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Utah Jazz media is jazzed about media day and more stories from the past week

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A look back at the biggest Jazz related stories for the week of Sept 22.

via Dante Exum’s IG Story

In this week’s Encore, the anticipation for Training Camp is building! Jazz players are arriving back in Salt Lake City, jokes are being had on twitter and IG, Donovan Mitchell is STILL going after Zendaya, and Gordon Monson has an odd headline. We even announced the very first Dunk Night Out where we’ll finally get to meet in real life rather than debate Ricky Rubio vs Dante Exum in perpetuity in the comments. I mean ... we’ll still debate Dante Exum vs Ricky Rubio, but this time, there will be wings, beer, soda, fries, and prizes to be won.

Let’s get to this week’s Encore.

Articles

Ranking the Utah Jazz Roster from Least to Most Valuable - SLC Dunk
Coming back for a 3rd consecutive year is #JazzRank, where we vote on the Utah Jazz roster to decide who the most valuable player is. This has brought some interesting results in the past, like the criminal underrating of Royce O’Neale and the unfortunate over-ranking of an aging Joe Johnson.

What happens when a blogger tries out for the NBA G League’s Salt Lake City Stars? - SLC Dunk
When the Stars asked me if I’d like to try out for the team, I put my sausage biscuit down, wiped the crumbs from my chest and decided that this was my chance. This would be the rise of the blogger. Years of focusing on stats to prove a personal narrative would now be validated. Years of going to work bleary-eyed after a late night game recap would be proven invaluable. All that knowledge would surely give me the edge to rise above the other players trying out for the team.

Learning to Believe Again: Confessions of a Bandwagon Fan - SLC Dunk - FANPOST
But for all the emotions of a live game, my most vivid basketball memories are of sitting on Berber carpet in front of a square TV with a finicky antenna. That was where we watched the ‘97 and ‘98 playoffs. When Stockton hit his immortal three, it was like we had won the lottery. I have a visual memory of my dad running up the walls, across the ceiling, and then down the other wall, like a cartoon.

But when Jordan sank his iconic shot, a year later, there was the lasergun "pew" of a CRT television turning off, and then silence. My dad left the room. We wouldn't speak of it again.

After ‘98, my dad didn't watch much basketball.

Spida-Man—Donovan Mitchell—out here trying to bring Zendaya into the NBA Cinematic Universe - SLC Dunk
It took years to get Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now Spida-Man Donovan Mitchell is trying to bring Peter Parker’s girl, Zendaya, into the Jazz Cinematic Universe. Many Jazz fans have seen Donovan Mitchell working on his shot all offseason long on Instagram. Ever since Spider-Man: Far From Home filming occurred Donovan Mitchell has been firing from long range on IG and Twitter.

Let’s get physical: NBA teams asked to provide precise height and age for their players - SLC Dunk
According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the NBA has told teams that they must “certify and submit the precise height and age for every player within the first week of training camp.” That sound you hear is Bismack Biyombo sweating about getting questioned about his real age again.

Royce O’Neale gathers teammates and sponsors ‘Strikes for Kids’ charity event - SLC Dunk
O’Neale hosted “Strikes for Kids”, a charity event for the local Boys and Girls Club at Fat Cats bowling alley Tuesday night. Not only did he host the event, he brought in his teammates, including some of the biggest names on the Jazz roster aka Donovan Mitchell and newly-acquired Mike Conley. There were about 70 kids that enjoyed a night of bowling, pizza, autographs, and hanging out with these Jazz players, courtesy of Royce O’Neale and the Strikes for Kids foundation. The kids were also gifted backpacks full of school supplies, to help alleviate stress at this time of the year for kids going back to school.

Training camp preview: When it comes to Utah’s bigs, the most important thing is to keep Rudy Gobert healthy – The Athletic
Davis has a lot of responsibility this season, and will have it in limited minutes. He has to keep the Jazz humming on the back end during the minutes Gobert isn’t on the floor.

The Jazz considers him a free agency steal. He’s truly one of the best rebounders in the NBA, particularly on the offensive end. At 6-foot-10, Davis has few peers who are as active or who anticipate as well as he does on the offensive boards. He’s also a terrific screen-setter, which is a staple of Quin Snyder’s offense for the bigs. He’s good defensively and an adequate rim protector, but has typically been a notch below Favors and Gobert. But, 8.6 rebounds in 17 minutes a night is almost absurd production, which is what he did last season for the Brooklyn Nets. He also played in 81 games, so his durability is an attraction.

‘He’s prideful’: Brett Brown encouraged by Ben Simmons’ summer progress with his jump shot – The Athletic
When all was said and done, Leonard checked Simmons for just nine possessions in the decisive Game 7, compared to 45 possessions Leonard spent on Butler and 13 on Tobias Harris. Simmons, who for most of his brief career had been the Sixers’ primary offensive initiator, was relegated to an off-ball role, clogging up the lane as he occupied the dunker spot.

While Brown was still largely protective of Simmons back in May, a hint of frustration could be heard in his comments. “I wished he would (shoot),” Brown acknowledged after being pressed on the matter. “If I’m sitting in front of you and he’s 26, I think the conversation would be a little bit more disingenuous.”

...

“For me, it starts here, and here first: the willingness to shoot,” Brown said when asked about what he hopes to see out of Simmons as a jump shooter. “With Ben, we’re not gonna hunt 3s. When they are available, I want him to shoot them.”

‘There are no silver bullets here’: In a Q&A with The Athletic, Adam Silver discusses the NBA’s tampering problem – The Athletic
It’s scary stuff if you’re one of the many guilty parties. Yet all around the league, where so many questions loomed about how Silver planned to put all of this pontificating into practice, skepticism reigned supreme that it would truly make a difference. As some see it — including Silver himself in a Monday afternoon chat with The Athletic — inspiring real change won’t be easy.

A team executive: “If I told (a team owner), ‘Listen, we’re going to get Kawhi Leonard and Paul George this summer but you’re just going to have to write a $10 million check to the league, they would’ve done it in a heartbeat. Ten million dollars doesn’t matter to these owners any more. …Everyone knows there’s a problem. No one really has any idea how to fix it. But everyone knows there’s a problem.”

A second team executive: “Do I think it’s going to curtail it altogether? No. But do I think that it will force teams to think two and three times before they make an action that would be against the rules? Yeah, I think it’ll do that.”

Ten compelling questions as the Jazz get ready to open preseason camp - The Salt Lake Tribune
With five key contributors — Conley, Davis, Bogdanovic, Ingles, and Green — over the age of 30, it might be smart for the Jazz to strategically rest guys during the course of the season. But in an all-out Western Conference war, with playoff positioning critical, can the Jazz afford to? That’s especially true given that the depth of this team from spots 10-15 is not as effective, on paper, as what it was a season ago.

Jazz broadcasting plans largely the same for 2019-20 season, with a couple of twists - The Salt Lake Tribune
There’s not a lot of change in the Jazz’s broadcasting plans for the 2019-20 season. And that’s understandable: Jazz TV ratings increased again in 2018-19 by 35%, up to a 6.6 market share on AT&T SportsNet. They’re now the third-highest TV ratings in the league.

...

The one change in the Jazz’s TV plans: Pre-game, halftime, and postgame TV shows will be hosted from a studio between sections 1 and 2, near the main entrance, rather than their past studio in Vivint Arena’s upper level. Those shows will still be hosted by Alema Harrington, with Bailey, Kenney, Ron Boone, and former Clippers color man Mike Smith rotating as analysts depending on their other tasks.

...

Unfortunately, what hasn’t changed is the Jazz’s streaming setup. In order to stream Jazz games over the internet, people must have subscribed to a cable or satellite TV package that includes AT&T SportsNet. Among major providers in Salt Lake County, only those who subscribe to DirecTV or Centurylink Prism TV can stream through the AT&T SportsNet app. Those on Comcast, Dish, or with Google Fiber TV may be able to stream through those companies’ individual apps, but reports have been mixed whether that works for individual users. People outside of the Jazz’s TV market can stream Jazz games through NBA League Pass.

Utah Jazz: Has Joe Ingles moved ahead of Gordon Hayward?
[Editor's Note: LET IT BE KNOWN THAT SLC DUNK WASN'T THE FIRST ONE TO DROP THE "JOE INGLES > GORDON HAYWARD" article, BUT WE ARE 100% HERE FOR IT.]

It’s crazy to think about — even now, the most bitter Utah Jazz fan might have a hard time saying — but it may just be true…

The premise: Joe Ingles has supassed embattled former Jazzman Gordon Hayward in the hierarchy of NBA small forwards.

Ranking the NBA's best players - Giannis and Kawhi at the very top
For the ninth season in a row, ESPN.com is predicting the top players in basketball with NBArank.

Who will be the best player this season? To get the final prediction, we asked our expert panel to vote on pairs of players.

LeBron James vs. Kawhi Leonard. Zion Williamson vs. Luka Doncic. Devin Booker vs. D'Angelo Russell.

We asked, "Which player will be better in 2019-20?" To decide, voters had to consider both the quality and the quantity of each player's contributions to his team's ability to win games in the regular season and postseason.

NBA rankings debate - Which stars are about to crash the top 10?
Marks: Despite being one the NBA's most productive point guards, Mike Conley has gone unnoticed the previous two seasons as Memphis shifted to a full-scale rebuild. That should change with his new team. The Utah Jazz feature two franchise players, Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, along with a supporting cast to challenge for a top seed in the Western Conference.

Young: Conley could completely transform the Jazz. He fits in culturally and checks a lot of boxes as a player, but his steady control of the game and ability to create on his own raise Utah's ceiling. Conley allows Donovan Mitchell to slide off the ball more and play as a slashing guard, but don't sleep on Conley's takeover talent. He's a proven playoff winner and has a history of big shots and big plays.

A Reintroduction to the NBA Title Race - The Ringer
This has the makings of a dynamic four-out offense: Gobert screening, diving, dunking, and cleaning the offensive glass, flanked by four players who can all make good things happen with the ball in their hands. The newcomers should fit well on the other end too. Conley’s smaller and older than ex-Jazz point guard Ricky Rubio, but he’s still a quality defender at the point of attack. And while Bogdanovic isn’t going to lock up opposing wings, the 6-foot-8, 216-pound Croatian has enough size, length, and smarts to guard either forward spot in a pinch.

Superstars playing musical chairs got more attention this summer, but landing Conley, Bogdanovic—as well as quality backup center Ed Davis, and versatile forward Jeff Green—might quietly be good enough to give teams with more star power fits in a series.

Training camp preview: When it comes to Utah’s bigs, the most important thing is to keep Rudy Gobert healthy – The Athletic
Davis has a lot of responsibility this season, and will have it in limited minutes. He has to keep the Jazz humming on the back end during the minutes Gobert isn’t on the floor.

The Jazz considers him a free agency steal. He’s truly one of the best rebounders in the NBA, particularly on the offensive end. At 6-foot-10, Davis has few peers who are as active or who anticipate as well as he does on the offensive boards. He’s also a terrific screen-setter, which is a staple of Quin Snyder’s offense for the bigs. He’s good defensively and an adequate rim protector, but has typically been a notch below Favors and Gobert. But, 8.6 rebounds in 17 minutes a night is almost absurd production, which is what he did last season for the Brooklyn Nets. He also played in 81 games, so his durability is an attraction.

‘He’s prideful’: Brett Brown encouraged by Ben Simmons’ summer progress with his jump shot – The Athletic
When all was said and done, Leonard checked Simmons for just nine possessions in the decisive Game 7, compared to 45 possessions Leonard spent on Butler and 13 on Tobias Harris. Simmons, who for most of his brief career had been the Sixers’ primary offensive initiator, was relegated to an off-ball role, clogging up the lane as he occupied the dunker spot.

While Brown was still largely protective of Simmons back in May, a hint of frustration could be heard in his comments. “I wished he would (shoot),” Brown acknowledged after being pressed on the matter. “If I’m sitting in front of you and he’s 26, I think the conversation would be a little bit more disingenuous.”

...

“For me, it starts here, and here first: the willingness to shoot,” Brown said when asked about what he hopes to see out of Simmons as a jump shooter. “With Ben, we’re not gonna hunt 3s. When they are available, I want him to shoot them.”

‘There are no silver bullets here’: In a Q&A with The Athletic, Adam Silver discusses the NBA’s tampering problem – The Athletic
It’s scary stuff if you’re one of the many guilty parties. Yet all around the league, where so many questions loomed about how Silver planned to put all of this pontificating into practice, skepticism reigned supreme that it would truly make a difference. As some see it — including Silver himself in a Monday afternoon chat with The Athletic — inspiring real change won’t be easy.

A team executive: “If I told (a team owner), ‘Listen, we’re going to get Kawhi Leonard and Paul George this summer but you’re just going to have to write a $10 million check to the league, they would’ve done it in a heartbeat. Ten million dollars doesn’t matter to these owners any more. …Everyone knows there’s a problem. No one really has any idea how to fix it. But everyone knows there’s a problem.”

A second team executive: “Do I think it’s going to curtail it altogether? No. But do I think that it will force teams to think two and three times before they make an action that would be against the rules? Yeah, I think it’ll do that.”

Ten compelling questions as the Jazz get ready to open preseason camp - The Salt Lake Tribune
With five key contributors — Conley, Davis, Bogdanovic, Ingles, and Green — over the age of 30, it might be smart for the Jazz to strategically rest guys during the course of the season. But in an all-out Western Conference war, with playoff positioning critical, can the Jazz afford to? That’s especially true given that the depth of this team from spots 10-15 is not as effective, on paper, as what it was a season ago.

Jazz broadcasting plans largely the same for 2019-20 season, with a couple of twists - The Salt Lake Tribune
There’s not a lot of change in the Jazz’s broadcasting plans for the 2019-20 season. And that’s understandable: Jazz TV ratings increased again in 2018-19 by 35%, up to a 6.6 market share on AT&T SportsNet. They’re now the third-highest TV ratings in the league.

...

The one change in the Jazz’s TV plans: Pre-game, halftime, and postgame TV shows will be hosted from a studio between sections 1 and 2, near the main entrance, rather than their past studio in Vivint Arena’s upper level. Those shows will still be hosted by Alema Harrington, with Bailey, Kenney, Ron Boone, and former Clippers color man Mike Smith rotating as analysts depending on their other tasks.

...

Unfortunately, what hasn’t changed is the Jazz’s streaming setup. In order to stream Jazz games over the internet, people must have subscribed to a cable or satellite TV package that includes AT&T SportsNet. Among major providers in Salt Lake County, only those who subscribe to DirecTV or Centurylink Prism TV can stream through the AT&T SportsNet app. Those on Comcast, Dish, or with Google Fiber TV may be able to stream through those companies’ individual apps, but reports have been mixed whether that works for individual users. People outside of the Jazz’s TV market can stream Jazz games through NBA League Pass.

Utah Jazz: Has Joe Ingles moved ahead of Gordon Hayward?
[Editor's Note: LET IT BE KNOWN THAT SLC DUNK WASN'T THE FIRST ONE TO DROP THE "JOE INGLES > GORDON HAYWARD" article, BUT WE ARE 100% HERE FOR IT.]

It’s crazy to think about — even now, the most bitter Utah Jazz fan might have a hard time saying — but it may just be true…

The premise: Joe Ingles has supassed embattled former Jazzman Gordon Hayward in the hierarchy of NBA small forwards.

Ranking the NBA's best players - Giannis and Kawhi at the very top
For the ninth season in a row, ESPN.com is predicting the top players in basketball with NBArank.

Who will be the best player this season? To get the final prediction, we asked our expert panel to vote on pairs of players.

LeBron James vs. Kawhi Leonard. Zion Williamson vs. Luka Doncic. Devin Booker vs. D'Angelo Russell.

We asked, "Which player will be better in 2019-20?" To decide, voters had to consider both the quality and the quantity of each player's contributions to his team's ability to win games in the regular season and postseason.

NBA rankings debate - Which stars are about to crash the top 10?
Marks: Despite being one the NBA's most productive point guards, Mike Conley has gone unnoticed the previous two seasons as Memphis shifted to a full-scale rebuild. That should change with his new team. The Utah Jazz feature two franchise players, Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, along with a supporting cast to challenge for a top seed in the Western Conference.

Young: Conley could completely transform the Jazz. He fits in culturally and checks a lot of boxes as a player, but his steady control of the game and ability to create on his own raise Utah's ceiling. Conley allows Donovan Mitchell to slide off the ball more and play as a slashing guard, but don't sleep on Conley's takeover talent. He's a proven playoff winner and has a history of big shots and big plays.

A Reintroduction to the NBA Title Race - The Ringer
This has the makings of a dynamic four-out offense: Gobert screening, diving, dunking, and cleaning the offensive glass, flanked by four players who can all make good things happen with the ball in their hands. The newcomers should fit well on the other end too. Conley’s smaller and older than ex-Jazz point guard Ricky Rubio, but he’s still a quality defender at the point of attack. And while Bogdanovic isn’t going to lock up opposing wings, the 6-foot-8, 216-pound Croatian has enough size, length, and smarts to guard either forward spot in a pinch.

Superstars playing musical chairs got more attention this summer, but landing Conley, Bogdanovic—as well as quality backup center Ed Davis, and versatile forward Jeff Green—might quietly be good enough to give teams with more star power fits in a series.

Podcasts

Listen for our top things to look forward to this season, stay for solid 90’s Pogs explanations.

*a new podcast has entered the arena*

David Locke? Featured on SLC Dunk? A new era may have begun ...

Over/Under Predictions for Utah

Social Media

WOWOWOWOWOWOWOW. Utah Jazz players are in midseason Twitter form and training camp isn’t until tomorrow.

WAIT WUT ...

It’s not Jazz news, but it’s still really important.

Finally, Jazz media training camp was this week. Once again ... we were not invited. Our best guess is James Hansen caught the eye of too many scouts at Salt Lake City Stars tryouts and was left off the list. Happens all the time to aspiring bloggers who are making the leap to G-League Star.

FESENKO IS GONE, LONG LIVE FALK-SENKO. #FALKSENKOFRIDAY