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The Downbeat #1960: Utah Jazz three point shooting, and all this All-Star uproar

Five Jazz stories for the best fan on the net!

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Do you know who the most prolific three point shooters in Utah Jazz history are? Who do you think should take the last shot from that epic group? Also: we check in with the point guard situation, the All-Star game, some overlooked NBA History, and who can possibly make Karl Malone look small?

Beat 1

So the NBA award the Charlotte Hornets with the 2017 NBA All-Star Game. And now they have taken it away from them -- with many people seeing the New Orleans Pelicans pushing hard for it. I think that’s messed up. New Orleans hosted the game in 2008 and then again in 2014. It took the Toronto Raptors over two years to it get in Canada. And New Orleans can have it three times in a decade? And lots of teams have only had it once - ever. Forget that noise.

Since the single and only time it was hosted by the Utah Jazz it’s gone to: Minnesota Timberwolves (1994), Phoenix Suns (1995, 2009), San Antonio Spurs (1996), Cleveland Cavaliers (1997), New York Knicks (1998, 2015), Golden State Warriors (2000 -- no game in 1999), Washington Wizards (2001), Philadelphia 76ers (2002), Atlanta Hawks (2003), Los Angeles Lakers (2004, 2011), Denver Nuggets (2005), Houston Rockets (2006, 2013), Las Vegas Noteams (2007), New Orleans Pelicans (2008, 2014), Dallas Mavericks (2010), and Orlando Magic (2012).

I’d rather have it hosted by the Memphis Grizzlies than in New Orleans again. If they are such great fans they would have shown up back when the Jazz played there. (As you can tell from the “Utah” on the front of the jerseys, they didn’t.)

Beat 2

This was from yesterday, but man, very few people can make Karl Malone look small. One of them is Mark Eaton:

As an aside, I’m so lucky to have watched these All-Stars during their primes.

Beat 3

The Top 15 Jazzmen by most three point field goals attempted are: John Stockton (2544), Bryon Russell (1797), Darrell Griffith (1720), Deron Williams (1616), Gordon Hayward (1511), Mehmet Okur (1492), Jeff Hornacek (1253), Andrei Kirilenko (1108), C.J. Miles (1076), Trey Burke (982), Howard Eisley (666), Kyle Korver (652), Rodney Hood (619), David Benoit (588), and Raja Bell (580).

Yes, not all of them were great at threes. But some of them were. Who is the biggest surprise on this list? If this was a 15-Man roster, which five would you put out there to close out a game where the team needed a three pointer?

You basically are lying to yourself if you’re not picking Memo for the last shot, though.

Beat 4

Our sister site (bro blog?) that covers the Denver Nuggets, SB Nation’s Denver Stiffs, is bringing some heat right now. Jeff Morton is going deep into NBA History with this multi-article series on the Nuggets. It’s really worth reading.

As Jeff puts it:

“The Summer of 1989 saw the promise of a new era in professional sports and it featured the Denver Nuggets, David Stern, a former Tennis legend, former Democratic National Committee Chairman and two businessmen. What unfolded was an unmitigated disaster for everyone involved.”

Jeff Morton, Denver Stiffs, 2016

I can’t wait for Part 3 to drop later on this week!

Beat 5

I was asked today via twitter about the Utah Jazz point guard situation.

This is timely because over the last two (three? a billion?) days I’ve been trying to crunch numbers about this in a ‘reasonable’ way. In a ‘win now’ mode you usually don’t have time to play all four point guards equally. Especially not when there is a talent disparity there. You want to play the guys who can help you the most as much as possible. This means that, automatically, one of the four point guards on the roster is going to be left without a chair when the music stops playing. (Musical Chairs is a thing.) Reasonably, this is probably going to be either Shelvin Mack or Raul Neto. Neto started last season until the trade deadline, in favor of Mack. So history dictates that the fourth stringer could be Raul. (Wow, from first to fourth.)

Dividing the 48 minutes a game by three people is much more manageable, but I really do not think that we’re going to see an even distribution. In my skew the eating (or if we’re continuing on with the Musical chairs analogy, Seating) order goes:

  1. George Hill — An actual starting point guard for a team that went deep into the playoffs in recent memory
  2. Dante Exum — A young point guard who is unnaturally gifted on defense
  3. Shelvin Mack — A journeyman who is the ‘homie’ of the star player (Gordon Hayward), and a personal favorite of the head coach (Quin Snyder)
  4. (Raul Neto) — HE IS ONLY A CHILD!

The least a starting point guard (who is clearly the best point guard on his team) will wish to play is 28 mpg. For someone like Hill, who has averaged 34.5 mpg, 32.0 mpg, 29.5 mpg, and 34.1 mpg the last four seasons, I really don’t see him playing fewer than 30 minutes on average this season. And if we continue to be reasonable with the idea that this team is ideally in win now mode, more than 30 mpg for someone of Hill’s caliber and experience is more befitting of his station.

So that means there will be fewer than 20 minutes left at point guard for Exum and Mack. And whatever that value is — in my opinion -- needs to go to Exum.

Dante Exum Combine STDEV vs Jazz PG AllThatAmar

He’s behind the curve after missing an entire NBA season (Summer League + Training Camp + Pre Season + Regular Season + Playoffs potentially). He did not play in the Summer League this year, nor did he play for his Boomers in their friendly games. And Dante will not play in the Rio 2016 Olympics either. IF he’s going to catch-up to where he needs to be on the court (and let’s not forget that he didn’t play NCAA ball either, but came directly from high school) — and the Jazz are adamant in only letting him play in Jazz games — then he better be actually playing enough in those games.

Where does that leave Mack, in a contract year? I don’t know, he can ask Trey Burke what he did while collecting DNP-CDs as the 3rd stringer watching guys ahead of him win games. I think that Mack is actually going to play more than zero, in a perfect season. I expect some of the shooting guard minutes to be assigned to Dante Exum (and why not?), leaving some token minutes at point for others.

What is YOUR reasonable solution to the point guard minutes crunch? For me, my unreasonable solution in NBA 2K is to trade Shelvin to the Philadelphia 76ers for a 1st round draft pick (or Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot).