Today, I wanted to revisit the magic that was Joe Johnson’s performance in the 2017 NBA Playoffs. We’ll also hit on a few things bouncing around Twitter, discuss an early Power Rankings, and highlight a fan post!
It has now been three months and nine days since Joe Johnson nailed “The Shot”. This is a different Shot than the one most Utah Jazz fans are familiar with, which John Stockton hit many years ago to send us to the NBA Finals. No, this one signified a new era of Jazz basketball. An era where our team is once again capable of winning playoff games and making runs into April, May, and possibly June. Joe Johnson showed us a glimmer of hope after Rudy Gobert was injured in the first moments of Game 1, when it seemed all was lost. He showed us that our team was good enough, sans an all-nba center, to beat a team that was considered a contender. “The Shot” showed us what was possible, and the Jazz went out and took success by the horns, beating the LA Clippers in a thrilling seven-game series.
Here are some highlights from that exciting time:
An article bounced around Twitter about Ricky Rubio’s comments on his time with the Minnesota Timberwolves. His quote gives some good insight into what many NBA players value: stability.
“In this league, we know we are professionals,” said Rubio. “and that feelings are left on the side. It was a team I was happy in, but we had four or five coaching changes, that was hard to endure. In the end, I really do believe this trade was a good thing for both sides. Things just did not work out for the last six years.”
It really goes to show that General Manager Dennis Lindsey knows what he is doing, creating a stable environment where we do not need to worry about a coaching change every other season. Extending Quin Snyder’s contract for four more years will inevitably bring us success. If Quin continues his streak of ingenuity, it may be feasible to think that he will be around for many years to come.
Keep an eye out for an interview today coming from Adrian Wojnarowski.
Coming Monday on The Woj Pod: An hour visit with a candid @gordonhayward inside his free agent process. Great detail, insight and emotion. https://t.co/OIyoQ94y9P— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 23, 2017
This will probably be the last chance many Jazz fans will give Gordon to explain himself and earn a small measure of forgiveness. For many it may already be too late. Gordon’s actions spoke louder than words, and no amount of apologizing and backpedaling will fix the damage he did to our offseason. However, he may not deserve eternal hatred for what he did. We will see.
CBS Sports put out their post-free-agency Power Rankings, and the league has definitely seen some major power movement. They put the Jazz in the 18th overall spot, but gave some fair specifications as to why they did so, and how the Jazz could rise in their rankings over the course of the season:
This is no incompetent team that fumbled away its star (Gordon Hayward). They did everything right and showed Hayward love by matching a max deal (but not the full five-year max) in 2014, yet he walked. They have talent. They got Ricky Rubio, but need leaps from Rodney Hood and Dante Exum to remain a playoff team in the toughest division in the toughest conference in the NBA.
I’ll let you click through to find where they slotted the other teams. It’s actually not a bad read, and I normally don’t care about news involving other teams.
But as for our ranking, I think we may surprise a few people this season. We may have had an excruciating offseason, but we were very good to begin with. All of the adversity and injuries this team has gone through have prepared us to play without our star offensive player. Losing Hayward hurt, but it didn’t hurt as bad as the “dentist appointment” we will be giving visiting teams this coming season.
Thatdoolinkid wrote an intriguing fanpost, “Is Offense Really Overvalued in the NBA?”, where he compares how a few offensive stats and defensive stats correlate with the contracts that players get. He even has graphs, so go check it out right now!
Where would you slot the Utah Jazz in the Western Conference as all teams are currently constructed?
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