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The Downbeat: Utah Jazz preseason basketball has begun!

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The Jazz are playing real ball again

Melissa Majchrzak - Getty Images

We made it! I’m so proud of all of you. After a long, albeit busy offseason, Utah Jazz basketball is back and it’s here to stay. Are you excited? You better be!

The preseason kicked off last night night against the Sydney Kings. Here was the very first offensive set, and a pretty one at that!

It’s the first time we got to see our new-look Jazz. What’s your hot take and overreaction after 1 game? What excited or disappointed you the most?

Zach Lowe is putting out this year’s version of his annual League Pass rankings. The Jazz came in 21st and here’s a little of what he had to say.

Utah's offense is a pretty slog, but it's still a slog. The Jazz played at the league's slowest pace for the third straight season, and now they have to grind out buckets without Gordon Hayward and George Hill...

Bearded Ricky Rubio, the best no-look passer alive, helps -- provided Quin Synder bumps the pace to leverage Rubio's hit-ahead missiles...

Joe Ingles outwits everyone, and Joe Johnson will be backing his way down for last-second floaters until he's dead.

But the biggest takeaway was probably this.

The court is nice, and the new yellow-gold alternate jerseys pop with a welcome boldness. And trust me: The upcoming fourth jersey and accompanying court design are awesome, and like nothing you've seen before in the NBA.

Accompanying court design!? I cannot wait until those new jerseys and court design are released.

Vice Sports reached out to Quin Snyder and wrote a pretty detailed piece about his time coaching in Russia and how important that was for his professional development. The entire piece can be found here.

Snyder's road took a left turn about four years before he landed in Utah, when, as an assistant coach on Mike Brown's staff with the Los Angeles Lakers, he unexpectedly accepted a job with CSKA Moscow, a historically triumphant club that competes in Russia's VTB United League and the Euroleague. ...

"I was always curious about basketball over there in the Euroleague," Snyder told VICE Sports. "I followed the Euroleague for quite some time, and when [Messina] decided to go back to CSKA, he asked me if I wanted to join him as an assistant. So, I don't know if it was difficult as it was unusual to try and think about what that would be like. My wife, Amy, was really supportive. We had two young kids. So on a personal level, we were doing something that was a little unusual, but we were excited to have the life experience, to be honest with you." ...

"There's innovation going on with this game all over the world," Snyder said. "And you don't have an opportunity to be a part of that or see it or watch it sometimes because everything from the time change and the fact that we, in the NBA, are immersed in what we're doing." ...

"You can't be married to a certain style of play if your players don't fit that style," he said. ...

"I think in any situation as a coach you try to treat your players with respect, and that, to me, is the most effective way of communicating," Snyder said. "No different than guys I've coached in the D-League or guys I've coached in the NBA. I think if players know that you're trustworthy in some sense and you do what you say, they know there's an earnestness about you trying to help them improve. That's the foundation of the relationship."

Seriously it was a really good read and I recommend you take the time to go through the whole thing. Quit has blossomed into a top tier NBA coach and I couldn’t be happier to have him as the coach of the Utah Jazz.

Andy Bailey helped FanRag Sports put together a Utah Jazz preview before the season starts. He makes his case on why you should watch the Utah Jazz in 2017-2018.

The Utah Jazz are returning their star: “Rudy Gobert doesn’t put up a ton of points (somehow still the ultimate measure of a player to many), but there’s no question he was Utah’s most impactful player last season. He has arguably held that title for the last three years.”

The Utah Jazz added Ricky Rubio: “Rubio getting to league average (usually around 35 percent) from 3 would be game-changing for Utah. If you include his numbers at this year’s EuroBasket tournament, Rubio’s shooting 35.6 percent from downtown since the 2017 All-Star break. It’s a small sample, for sure, but encouraging signs are encouraging signs.

The potential breakout of Rodney Hood: “Though it’s a small sample, he was really good in the minutes he played without Hayward in the 2016-17 campaign. In 694 such minutes, Hood averaged 21.3 points per 36 and shot 44.5 percent from the field. Sustaining those numbers over an entire season would be a huge jump for Hood. So, a more realistic goal might be somewhere between that 21.3 and his career per-36 average of 16.1. Even that might be enough from a No. 1 option backed by a Gobert-Favors defense.”

There’s a whole lot more in there, including the up-and-coming youngsters, the veteran additions, and the unstoppable Joe’s. It’s definitely worth a read.

The Ringer added their own version of an NBA preview recently by looking into the most important, very serious questions facing each NBA team.

Utah Jazz

Is EuroBasket Ricky Rubio the new Ricky Rubio?

O’Shaughnessy: “Change the team. Change the look.” That was Rubio on Monday, when he was asked about his summer transformation from Ricky back to Ricard Rubio i Vives. I’d say let’s hope he stays this fierce forever, but there’s no need—he got a half-sleeve of lions tattooed on him this summer. (Which is, uh, pretty permanent.)

Even if new Rubio only reaches half of what he did to end last season and did over the summer, that would be an incredible development for this Jazz team. We’re about to see passing we haven’t seen in a very long time. The type of passing we came to know and love as Jazz fans.

I present to you Exhibit A:

BONUS

Because we are back and talking about real basketball again, I can’t contain my excitement. So I’m throwing in a bonus video here that will hopefully get you pumped as well.

If it wasn’t Rudy’s team before (hint: it was), it definitely is now. If other players follow his attitude and passion then they’ll win plenty more games than everyone has projected. And yet that won’t be enough for our new franchise centerpiece.