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The Downbeat: Happy Halloween

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Let’s have some spooky Jazz news.

Happy Halloween everyone and welcome to your Tuesday Downbeat!

Today is October 31st, which means it’s Halloween here in the US of A. And here in Salt Lake City there are some scary things going on.

  • This team’s offense is rather terrifying at times (in a bad way). Guys are adjusting to updates schemes and roles, and we all hope that doesn’t take too much longer.
  • Ball security has been real scary in the early going this year. Last night was much better, so hopefully that continues.
  • Fortunately the defense has been an absolute horror for opposing teams. That D allows runs like last night’s 3rd and 4th quarters. The Mavs were shaking in their boots!
  • Scary Rudy was back last night and it was quite the sight to see.
  • My emotional state during games is also pretty chilling. Last night’s game was a prime example of the emotional roller coaster we go through this year.

Whether good or bad, what’s been the scariest part of the season so far for you? Also, stay safe everyone and enjoy the night!

Speaking of scary, this was an awesome photo from a game a few nights ago.

Please caption this as you wish in the comments section.

Beat 3. One of our favorites. And there are plenty of Fan Posts to go around this week.

Starting us off is pacoelcid looking at lineup statistics after 240 minutes of data:

There have been times this year that I said "This is how Jazz basketball is supposed to be played" and "This looks like a Jazz team" and other times I've been at a loss for words on what is happening on the court...

Upon seeing that 82games.com hasn't been updated since the end of the 2016-2017 basketball year, I wandered over to NBA.com's line-up analysis tool (link here) and did some investigating.

What I found intrigued me.

Click on the link to see what was found.

TMANKY gave us a week 1 review:

Here we are a week into the season and i must say...

WE GOOD FELLAS (& FELLLALAs?)!

Its early into the grind of the season but so far Utah has looked much better( and sometimes worse) in a variety of areas.

I’m a little nervous about what will be said after weeks 2 and/or 3.

FinallyRicky has some trade options for you all to consider:

My wish list is simply:

1. Cousins

2. Love

See the reasons made and whether or not you agree.

Fesenko For President with another player that the Jazz should target in Kelly Oubre Jr.:

I've been looking at how the Jazz could plug the big hole left at the SF position by Gordon Hayward leaving the Jazz in free agency to go to Boston. There really aren't many good SF free agency options coming up in the 2018 free agency period...

The best long-term option I can see right now for the Jazz at SF is to go after Kelly Oubre, Jr. of the Washington Wizards...

Agree? Disagree?

Thanks everyone for your amazing contributions to SLC Dunk! This place is the best Jazz community around because of the community itself. Hats off to you!

Sporting News had an article about how Ricky Rubio can help the Utah Jazz adjust their offense after losing Gordon Hayward. Link:

The Jazz made the move in late June, trading a first-round pick — a lottery-protected pick from Oklahoma City, one they received from the Enes Kanter trade of two years prior — for point guard Ricky Rubio. This move wasn't just to appease their star Hayward, who reportedly coveted Rubio and wanted to play with the passing savant, but also to help speed up the slowest-paced offensive team in the NBA last season....

Through two games, the Jazz are at the bottom of the league in pace, but they’re moving the ball more quickly when the ball gets up court. This is Rubio’s nature. Even if Favors, Gobert and new starter Joe Ingles aren’t bred for the fast break, Rubio never has the ball in his hands for long. Even in the half-court set, Rubio likes to make plays early in the shot clock...

Currently, the Jazz are second only to the Warriors in assist percentage on 2-point field goals. That’s where Rubio has come in, working off screens from the Jazz frontcourt — Ingles, Favors and Gobert all getting involved — and working off a slew of drive-and-dish opportunities. Last year, the Hayward-led Jazz were in the bottom seven in that category...

There’s more there on the Jazz offense and how Rubio has influenced it so far. Read through and see what you think. Unfortunately the changes haven’t translated into an effective offense quite yet, but last night was a step in the right direction. I hope it doesn’t take too much longer for everyone to start clicking.

I know it still pains everyone to talk about him, the The Pick n Roll talked about what’s next for Dante Exum and the Utah Jazz:

In the weeks following this new reality for Exum, most attention has, rightfully, been given to the here and now. After all, this season was meant to be his coming out party. With confidence in his surgically repaired left knee restored, Exum flashed tantalising improvements during Summer League and looked ready to stamp his authority on the Association.

However, that is all a moot point now. For the second time in his burgeoning career, a full season has been eliminated due to a freak injury. That is horrific luck for Exum. It also presents a significant obstacle for Jazz management as they decide how to proceed with their oft-injured prospect...

Their projection was this:

The most likely outcome is that the Jazz extend Exum a qualifying offer and let the free agency market run its course. The Jazz could still work towards a long-term extension, although in the shrewd business of NBA basketball, offering long-term money to Exum will likely be seen as an unnecessary risk. In such a depressed market, a one-year, seven million dollar deal, such as the qualifying offer, would represent fair value for both sides.

With only a handful of teams slated to have salary cap space in 2018, it’s extremely unlikely another franchise would sign Exum to a significant offer sheet. There just isn’t the quantum of dollars available in the market anymore; the spending spree of 2016 is well and truly over.

I still believe there is a place in the Utah Jazz foundation for the young Australian guard. Somehow he is still only 22 years old, and those flashes he showed in summer league and preseason this year were legit. It will be interesting to see how his contract negotiations play out given his unique situation. Jazz nation is still behind you Exum!