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Get Off That Ledge!

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The Jazz fell to the Blazers in Game 1. No, they're not going 0-82

NBA: Utah Jazz at Portland Trail Blazers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Alright, Jazzland: let's face some facts. Gordon Hayward is out for awhile, as are Derrick Favors and Alec "Government Name" Burks. There's no way to paint a completely optimistic picture of this, because the team is undeniably better when those guys are in the rotation. However, as I wrote here, they are not without help. Remember, Dennis Lindsey made some major moves this past summer, bringing George Hill, Boris Diaw and Joe Johnson to the Wasatch Front. Speaking of Joe, take a couple of extra minutes out of your day and watch this:

29 points on 12/16 shooting is a really, really encouraging line. If he can consistently produce at even 75% of that then we'll be in great shape this season.

Here were our starters last night:

  1. George Hill
  2. Rodney Hood
  3. Joe Johnson
  4. Boris Diaw
  5. Rudy Gobert

There are obviously variables, but let's pretend that the Jazz FO had more or less stood pat in the offseason. The three guys who are injured are still injured. Here are the likely opening-day starters for your 2016-17 Utah Jazz:

  1. Dante Exum
  2. Rodney Hood
  3. Joe Ingles
  4. Trey Lyles
  5. Rudy Gobert

Color me skeptical, but I don’t think that team wins many games. This is one of the reasons the FO went after the guys that they did during the offseason: now we have depth, and we’ve been required to draw on it early-on this year.

Moving on, some of you are probably ready to dump Diaw right now. Don’t. Not yet. As I’ve said before, this dude knows how to play basketball and can feed his teammates as well as nearly any point guard. As he adjusts to his new team he’s going to continue facilitate good shots on the floor. He’s like those super old guys that hang out at the racquetball courts in gyms across the U.S.: they’re slow, but they know exactly which spots to be in on the floor and where to put the ball so you can’t reach it. Maybe I’m the only one who’ll get that analogy. I don’t know. Anyway, here is a great video montage of Mr. Diaw passing, lest you should forget.

I’ll revisit this article sometime down the road. if I’m wrong, I’ll be sad and you guys can say “I told you so” if you want. If I’m right, we all win because it means that the Jazz are on target. With Quin at the helm I don’t believe we’ll ever be completely lost.