Utah Jazz to rest Mitchell, Conley, and Gobert against Adelaide 36ers - SLC Dunk
The debut of Utah’s full lineup will have to wait for another day. Quin Snyder appears to be taking no chances when it comes to a preseason game against the NBL’s Adelaide 36ers. Mike Conley, Donovan Mitchell, and Rudy Gobert will be held out of tonight’s contest to rest. Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert have had a very busy summer that has included the FIBA World Cup. Mike Conley on the other hand is Utah’s prized trade piece from this offseason and the Jazz are playing the long game here by resting him in preseason.
The Utah Jazz are finally playing their first preseason game. In what has felt like the longest—and craziest—NBA offseason on record, Jazz fans will finally get their first chance to see their new look team in action. This Utah Jazz squad is riding the biggest wave of hype probably since the NBA Final Utah Jazz teams from 1996-1997. There are a lot of questions that won’t be answered tonight, but we’ll get to see the first seeds of chemistry and potential with this squad.
Most fans are excited about seeing how the new faces on the court mesh with the past roster. Players like Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic, and others have a small window to adjust to Utah’s defensive mindset and learn Quin Snyder’s complex offensive system. They have four preseason games before the season starts and they are thrown into the gauntlet of the Western Conference where the difference of one win here or there could mean the difference between the 7th seed and the 1st seed.
Adding to the pressure of gelling quickly is the past season memory of starting off slow. The Jazz assumed just because they went to the second round last year that their defense would just show up. That they were a contender. They got a brutal reminder that the NBA doesn’t give a damn what you did last season in their October-December schedule in 2018.
Luckily for Utah, they have urgency with facing adversity earlier in the playoffs last year that should push their star players toward the mindset of having to bring it early. Add in players and veterans who are hungry for a championship with their careers getting closer to the end and it’s a good mix.
Turning to the Adelaide 36ers of the NBL, they proved to be pesky last year when the Jazz played them in preseason. If anything, they were the canary in the coal mine that signaled Utah’s early season woes. In both quarters in which Utah was playing their starters (1st and 3rd), the 36ers won. They even got out to a quick 31-28 lead in the 1st half. While Utah is definitely adjusting to new personnel, this game should never be in question with which Jazz’s upgraded firepower.
The 36ers are poised to be a force in the NBL with Jerome Randle. He’s a guard Utah will have to keep their eye on and is a good light test for Utah’s backcourt as they will have more defensive responsibility thrust upon them this season. He’s a two time NBL MVP. Alongside him is a familiar face in Eric Griffin. Griffin spent some time with the Utah Jazz Summer League team and the Utah Jazz as a two way contract guy.
When: 7:00PM Saturday, October 5th, 2019
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
TV: AT&T SportsNet - Rocky Mountain
Radio: 1280 The Zone
What to watch for
Donovan Mitchell WITH space
Donovan Mitchell working with better spacing has been a dream—and twitter talking point—of every Jazz fan since his rookie year. Now that dream is a reality. There’s not more excuses. No more, if only Donovan had shooters, or if only Donovan had space. He has that in spades. With the type of player and worker he is, we should see a jump in his production and increase in his efficiency. It may not show against the 36ers quickly, but we should see the building blocks of that.
The BoJoe Show
The greatest show on hardwood is about to be unleashed on the NBA. Joe Ingles and Bojan Bogdanovic, the Bald Bros, or the BoJoe Show as Mike Conley named them, will see time on the floor together. The spacing they create with their above 40% shooting on open threes should be spectacular.
Bojan isn’t sold on The Bo-Joe Show just yet.— Aaron Falk (@aaronfalk) October 4, 2019
“I knew that there were going to be some funny nicknames about me and Joe. I saw already a lot of them. But we’ll wait for the season to start to see what’s going to be our real nickname.” https://t.co/yMRi4LB3ma
Bojan may not sold on the nicknames, but he is sold on their potential. So are we. Donovan Mitchell has even commented that it feels like Bojan shoots 100% from three. BIG if true.
Royce O’Neale - Starting 4
By most accounts, it appears that Royce is the favorite for the starting four spot. I’m not calling it a power forward spot anymore. We may as well get with the times and accept that the power forward position is dead and not coming back. Royce O’Neale seems to be the ideal player to get that starting nod as his low usage rate, ability to initiate the offense, high rebounding rate for his size, and defensive ability all make him a great candidate to be out there. Oh, and he can knock down the open three. What will be even more interesting is to see how Quin Snyder shuffles through his roster to fill that four spot for all 48 minutes.
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