So far my first couple downbeats were focused on positive news around the Utah Jazz. These takes keep coming, so I’ll keep putting them out there. Call me a homer if you want, but this Jazz team is still set up for success.
James Herbert of CBSSports became the latest national writer to point out that the Utah Jazz are fine despite the loss of one Goard on Hollywood:
Utah will be OK precisely because it will not need to change the way it plays. It already passed like crazy, had multiple playmakers and stifled opposing offenses. Center Rudy Gobert, who finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting, might never be as skilled as Hayward, but he was the team's most essential player. The system is strong enough to survive the loss of the go-to guy.
He adds that the additions of Thabo Sefolosha, Jonas Jerebko, and Ekpe Udoh (and might I add Ricky Rubio) will be similar to the additions of George Hill, Joe Johnson, and Boris Diaw last year.
The Jazz will be one of the deepest teams in the NBA next year, and hopefully get more our of their starting lineup than the pitiful 13 games last year.
Speaking of our offseason additions, Adam Coffman of Hoops Habit pointed out how well they will fill the gaps.
Epke Udoh was one of Europe’s best defenders last season, blocking 2.2 shots and gathering 7.8 rebounds per game. He’ll perform best in the screen game, and has enough passing ability to survey the floor on short rolls...
(Jonas Jerebko) can provide decent spacing at the power forward position, taking nearly half of his shots from behind the three-point line and making 36 percent of his catch-and-shoot triples...
He won’t start, but Thabo Sefolosha could be thrown at a superior scorer for bursts in order to slow him down...
This summer will never be seen as anything but a loss for the Jazz, but the front office has done well to plug the holes that were left by Hayward and their other free agents’ departures.
I can’t wait to see what Quin Snyder does with this new group and how he gets the most out of each of them. They each bring a unique skill set and I’m confident in Snyder’s abilities to utilize all of the new additions.
Some Jazz players actively show how much they love being a part of this city and organization:
These two sure know the way to Jazz fans’ hearts! The easy-to-like Joe Ingles somehow became even more likable. And if Donovan Mitchell hadn’t already done enough this summer, he goes and does something like that.
Others are somehow finding even further offseason motivation (notice who liked the tweet):
There was an interesting piece recently on NBA math about how poor isolation basketball is.
At the NBA level, the play is a little smoother, however, the overall premise is the same. Isolation is supposed to be an easy play to let your star take advantage of a mismatch and get your team quick buckets. Yet it’s become one of the most difficult and inefficient plays in today’s game...
Based on the league-wide averages you can see below, is it any wonder the best teams have steered away from ISO-ball and toward cut-heavy offenses spaced out by spot-up marksmen?
I’ve never been a big fan of isolation basketball. My preference is a more elegant and exciting style where the ball is moving and defenses are scrambling. I like the offense Quin improved on last year, and hope he continues to open up that play book, especially considering the amount of scoring we lost from last year’s roster.
That being said, I loved every second of Joe Johnson punishing the LA Clippers possession after possession in the playoffs last year.
Yesterday was Pioneer Day here in Utah, so I hope you had a great day if you got the day off. Naturally, we should take some time to remember those that have come before:
Happy Birthday to "The Mailman" Karl Malone!! pic.twitter.com/d9s33VSITU— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) July 24, 2017
Karl Malone belongs in the pillars of not only Utah Jazz history, but NBA history. The events of this summer show just how spoiled we were to have #32 and #12 for as long as we did.