clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Gordon Hayward, Future Father: The Downbeat #1613

G-Time is all growns up. Also: poor-shooting point guards, NBA football helmets, Jon Bois, and Goldfish crackers. Yeah, it's your Wednesday Downbeat.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Amar caught you up on the first half on Gordon Hayward's season-ending blog post on Monday, but Tuesday's entry was even lengthier, covering team and personal improvement as well as his impending fatherhood (Gordon's wife, Robyn, is seven months pregnant with their first child). Here are some tidbits that stuck out to me.

On watching film:

As I've mentioned in previous entries, Coach Snyder is a big proponent of film. I can say pretty confidently that we watched more film than any team in the league, and it helped us out to a great extent. Individually, we were all better at the end of the season. Collectively, we were better as well. Film can't lie. It holds people accountable. People can't make excuses when you're watching film. It's right there in front of you.

One of the big things we picked up on by watching film as a team was just learning the importance of trust in one another. When we saw film of teammates coming from the help side, the ball movement, making the extra pass, and what those things do for the success of your team, it showed us what can happen when you learn to trust your teammates more.

Love the bits about trust and accountability. I think those two attributes were in shorter supply over the previous few Jazz seasons.

Two Jazz players Gordon singled out:

Rodney Hood was one of those guys that stepped up late in the season. In the beginning of the year, he had some unfortunate injuries and was banged up, but he showed what he's capable of down the stretch. Rodney has a great feel for the game and a natural ability to not only score, but to be in the right place at the right time. He stays on balance and his body is built to play the game. He's also great with the ball in his hands and can be a playmaker not only for himself but for his teammates. He played extremely well for us at the end of the year, and he can be a guy that can handle the ball and take the pressure off of me. He's going to be a great player in this league.

One guy who was kind of unsung this year was Trevor Booker. He played really, really well for us. From my view, he was one of the most important guys we had — not just for the great things he did on the court, but the things he did off the court as well. He was the glue guy for us. He kept the team together. The other thing that struck me was his improved shooting. He had one career three-pointer made before this season, but he became a threat from the three-point line. That's a testament not only to his work ethic and his constant self-improvement, but to the coaching staff as well.

I find those choices interesting, since this post didn't mention any other individual teammates by name, and since there's a chance the Jazz let Booker and his unguaranteed contract go. Probably not worth reading into too much, but interesting.

On becoming a father:

Robyn is doing well, and for the most part the pregnancy has been good. She's starting to show a little bit more, and you can really feel the baby in her belly, especially when it kicks. It's a pretty strange feeling to experience for the first time. It made me immediately think of the movie "Alien," because I'm a nerd. Unfortunately, Robyn's at the stage where she's uncomfortable, and can't really sleep because the baby is a lot bigger. She just can't find a spot that she likes to sleep in.[...]

[...]Up until this last week or so, I really haven't thought about what's about to happen. I've been so busy and involved in basketball that I haven't had a chance to sit down and think about how our lives are about to change. But I think now that I have more time, it will probably become more real — especially at the end of this month when we head back to Indiana. That's where we're going to set up, and where she's going to have baby with both our families there. That's probably when it will hit me that this is actually about to happen, and I'm about to be a father.

Of course he has to make an Alien reference. You do you, G-Time.

Anyway, the whole thing's super worth reading. I don't know how much of it is purely Gordon and how much is ghost-written for him by his PR team, but it's good stuff.

The Jazz aren't in the playoffs, but Grantland's Zach Lowe has been churning out a ton of content that I think is applicable to our team, even if it doesn't cover us directly.

For example, he wrote a piece Tuesday about playoffs "winners and losers" thus far, and one section caught my interest:

LOSER: Point Guards Who Can't Shoot

They might be the trickiest players to build around — one-man saboteurs of otherwise-functional NBA offenses. It's just hard to gain traction on a pick-and-roll when the guy guarding the ball handler can go under every screen — even below the foul line.

His piece mentions Michael Carter-Williams and Rajon Rondo specifically, and ends with this summary:

Rondo's a skilled player, and health has robbed him of some of what he once was. But the league has also evolved since Rondo's peak. Teams are more attuned to spacing — on both ends. They are more aggressive in simply abandoning bad shooters than they were in 2009 and 2010. It is harder today for Rondo, and for Carter-Williams, than it was five years ago.

You probably see where I'm going with this: the Jazz's biggest offensive weakness right now is shooting from the point-guard position. Trey Burke regressed as a shooter in 2014-15 (and he was below average to begin with), and Dante Exum was even worse. There are mitigating factors -- youth, learning a new system, focusing on other areas of the court -- but you simply can't have 35% shooting from your point guards (and 32% from beyond the arc).

I still have faith that both Trey and Dante can improve their shooting, and Dante's already turned himself into a plus defender (a skill Lowe mentions later in this piece as essential for point guards). But it's a flaw that the Jazz will have to address if they want to make another leap like they did this season.

FanPosts! Here's a set of three for ya.

Tadexuba points out the holes the Jazz need to fill:

2-A stretch-big ( via draft)

Draft Kaminsky or Turner as a stretch-big with our 12th pick, the players in 12th pick range are: Kaminsky,Turner, Kelly Oubre and Sam Dekker. The Jazz have picks to move up in the draft.

Robstewart has ideas on how the Jazz should use their upcoming draft picks:

I'm going start this off with saying remember last year when DL said that the Jazz traded our second round pick because he didn't want three rookies on the roster... and then remember when the Jazz ending season roster had 7 (SEVEN) rookies on it.

I am assuming that we won't use all three picks on players either immediately coming over or going to play for us next year.

I also am not on the bandwagon that Tomic, Neto or Pleiss are coming over, and for that matter even make us better.

And anne r. keye takes a look at how the Jazz do when Trey Burke shoots more:

we all know that trey loves to shoot. and who can blame him? to win basketball games, you gotta take (and make) shots. let's look and see how our wins and losses correspond to the amount of field goal shots trey takes in a game.

Thanks, everyone! You guys are cooler than Goldfish crackers on a treadmill.

Jon Bois did a thing again.

Jon Bois is a madman employed by SB Nation for the purpose of destroying video games. Last year, Bois tweaked the settings in the latest NBA2K game to give every incoming draftee the worst possible skill ratings (turning Derrick Favors, among others, into a Hall of Famer by comparison). This year, he's done the opposite: every new player is a 99-rating Immortal, slowly squeezing out mere "mortals" like LeBron and turning the NBA into a halcyon realm of titans.

It's definitely worth your time. (And keep an eye out for a new superhuman Jazzman named Wantsum Grapes.)

Hey, it's time for another NBA-teams-as-other-sports designer mashup! I love these things, even though the entries for the Jazz invariably turn out hideous. This time, designer James Politi has reinterpreted every team's identity in football-helmet context. His offering for the Jazz:

The "Rationale" text reads:

Utah's jerseys used from 1996 to 2004 are one of my favorite '90s throwbacks. Their identity at the time boasted six colors. I felt I had to narrow it down and unfortunately left out the teal and brown. Again, I did so by telling myself I'll make full uniforms one day. I made them a logo that says more about mountains than jazz.

I hate gradients on football helmets, but I...kind of like this? I mean, the uniforms in question had a prominent gradient anyway. I dunno. Every aesthetic instinct I have tells me I should hate this, but I'm sort of okay with it. Probably just nostalgia for the old Finals-era color scheme.

Hit up this Imgur link for the whole gallery.