There’s been some good signs this season for the Utah Jazz and some not so good signs. Let’s talk a little about the cons then the pros. Then tonight, hopefully we see some of those cons disappear.
The Jazz are not shooting the ball well from three. Now, the NBA as a whole is down in percentages with the new Wilson basketball. But out of the 30 NBA teams, the Utah Jazz are #26 in 3-point percentage at 31.8%. Not great. Although it’s not surprising when you consider some of the highest usage players on the Jazz are not shooting it well from 3 yet this season. Donovan Mitchell is shooting 29/97 on the season, or 29.9%. Jordan Clarkson is shooting 20/92 or 21.7%. That right there is a major reason the percentage is down. If those two can improve their shooting, this Jazz team’s offense should make a big uptick in efficiency. Can the Jazz start the turnaround tonight?
A big plus for the Jazz? Royce O’Neale is having one heck of a season so far. O’Neale is doing a lot of the things he did last year, just better. Last season O’Neale averaged 0.8 steals per game, which was a career high. Now? 2.0 per game. You can also see an obvious uptick in O’Neal’s confidence on the offensive end of the floor this year. When he gets the ball, O’Neale has been letting it fly from three or driving hard to the rim which is part of why he’s averaging a career high in points. Last year, O’Neale shot 58.6% on 2P% shots. This year? 75%. O’Neale has been one of the most important players for the Jazz this season and a core piece of whatever they do for years to come.