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The Utah Jazz advance to the Las Vegas Summer League Semi-Finals

The Jazz come out on top in an entertaining game against the Phoenix Suns

2023 NBA Las Vegas Summer League - Utah Jazz v Phoenix Suns Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

The Utah Jazz have beaten the Phoenix Suns 97-93 to advance to the Las Vegas Summer League semi-finals.

Ochai Agbaji, Keyonte George, Taylor Hendricks, and Brice Sensabaugh highlighted the injury report for the night, providing opportunity for players “on the bubble” to control the game. On a night like this, the likes of Johhny Juzang, Luka Samanic, Micah Potter, and Joey Houser all received more touches and opportunity. It offered mixed results.

Juzang, who led the Jazz in scoring with 24 points while chipping in 7 rebounds and 4 assists, showed off decent poise and control in the fourth quarter. At one point, the two-way swingman rang off seven-straight for the Jazz, pushing them ahead with less than two minutes left. I think this game was a perfect representation of Juzang’s capabilities: he can score off the catch, attack smaller defenders, and score from midrange. Those are good skills that can probably transfer to the NBA.

Unfortunately, the game also represented some glaring limitations: scoring off the dribble (3 TO, a couple from dribbling off the feet), scoring in isolation, and defending quick guards. That said, I like Juzang and I think he’s worth a two-way contract. If he can shoot better from three, he could play occasional NBA minutes.

Luka Samanic also played well, offering 22 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks, and 1 steal. Samanic has the tendency to force the issue, taking difficult shots or attacking the basket uncontrollably. Tonight, however, he played with control, shooting 8 for 15 from the field and knocking down 4 threes. He’s truly effective as a stretch shooter and off-the-catch attacker, so long as he can keep himself from getting caught in traffic. Plus, he’s a relatively strong athlete and has shown the ability to defend multiple positions.

For the most part, I think he has had a good summer and I wouldn’t be surprised if he secures a roster spot on the Jazz next season.

Micah Potter had another respectable performance, providing 11 points and 6 rebounds in 23 minutes of play. Potter has performed as expected this summer, stretching the floor on offense and holding his own in the paint. While he could improve as a rebounder, he has shown the ability to move well on defense.

Joey Hauser, on the other hand, had another disappointing performance. He only shot 1-6 from the field, with each of his attempts coming from behind the arc. While I think he did a better job at impacting the game in other ways (he had 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal), he hasn’t necessarily played up to his two-way contract.

For the Phoenix Suns, Grant Sherfield led the way with 23 points and 4 rebounds. The Oklahoma Sooner nearly willed the Suns to victory in the fourth quarter, scoring 12 points in the last five minutes. Gabe Brown, Toumani Camara, Barry Brown Jr., and Hunter Hale each scored in double figures as well.

The Jazz will face the Houston Rockets on Sunday, July 16th at 6:00 P.M. E.T.