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Jazz Wars: A New Hope ... for Utah

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Dante Skywalker and Han Snyder must save the galaxy

Jazz Wars: A New Hope ... for Utah

Recently, Andy Larsen posted a photo from practice that told me everything I needed to know about not only this upcoming season, but the future of the Jazz.

Really, what this should look like, is this...

Dante Skywalker and Master Lindsey

Luke: I’m not afraid!

Yoda: You will be ... You will be...

Dennis Lindsey let Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson go for a chance at a top draft pick to build around. He’s our “new hope” and, if he reaches his potential, has a chance to make us legit title contenders.

It makes for a fascinating storyline to see how well Dante Exum can do at converting potential into winning basketball. I love seeing Lindsey work individually with Dante, doing everything he can to help him succeed.

But Lindsey knows that it’s going to be difficult and that Dante needs mentoring, or he may fall prey to the dark side. To avoid that, Lindsey has brought together a cast of allies that will help the Jazz get to the next level. One of the greatest aspects of Star Wars is how important and beloved the supporting characters are. Luke is the hero of Star wars, but we remember the supporting characters just as much, if not more...

Who is possibly most important supporting character for Dante?

Han Snyder

Han Solo: Great, kid. Don’t get cocky

First, I just wanted to make Quin Snyder into Han Solo because it just kind of works. But I can also hear Quin saying these things to Dante, helping him grow in confidence, and do things like penetrate the lane and put the ball in the hole like it’s a death star....

It will be fantastic to watch the relationship between Quin and Dante grow. Dante has come in as a blank canvas, a moldable ball of clay, a lightsaber without it’s crystal. Everything he’ll learn will be within Quin’s system. It will get to the point that Dante will understand everything just like Quin wants him to. He’ll be a master Jedi on the court at some point, sometime soon....

Lindsey pulled off some serious magic when he pulled in the next ally that will help Dante. He’s well versed in the force and can show Dante so many things...

George Kenobi

Ben Kenobi: You must learn the ways of the Force, if you're to come with me to Alderaan.

Coming off an ACL tear, and in need of some mentoring at the point guard position, Lindsey brought in George Hill. This could get really interesting, especially if Dante explodes this year? Could there be a moment when George Hill comes off the bench? Would they start together? Does George start no matter what? Either way the Jazz are in great shape at point guard. Something we haven’t been able to say since Darth Williams.

When this season is over, I don’t know if George Hill will be back. He’s going to get serious offers from a lot of teams, especially when the Jazz make a deep run in the playoffs. And so it might be one great season with George. When it’s over, he’ll disappear allowing Dante to continue on his journey as the lead guard of this team...

Finally, and I am unashamed of my love for this supporting character in this story, is the lovable giant that protects Dante, George ... and the Rim. His name is Rubacca.

Rubacca

Chewbacca: “GGWWWRGHH.”

As fearsome as anyone defending the paint, Rudy deters the worst of rim attackers. He’s willing to block any shot, no matter the consequence. And even though there will be dunks this season that will posterize Rudy, there will be just as many times Rudy Gobert embarrasses those who try to challenge him.

There is no doubt that Lindsey is going to extend Rudy Gobert. He’ll be a part of this trilogy for a long time, scaring off enemies and endearing himself to everyone who watches him...

Guys, get ready for an amazing season. It’s going to be suspenseful with Gordon’s free agency, it has a great villain in the Warriors and, most important of all, it has a great protagonist in Dante Skywalker!