If you were to ask 100 Jazz fans what the team lacked most in the last two seasons, you would probably get a really common response. Spacing, shooting, consistency, and scoring would most likely be the main responses from everyone that watched the Jazz the past few years. This season, Dennis Lindsey and Justin Zanick addressed that.
Included in what was one of the biggest offseasons in franchise history, the Jazz signed Bojan Bogdanovic to a four-year, $74 Million deal in free agency. Some speculated as to whether or not Bogdanovic could provide that additional scoring or shooting boost that they showed was so desperately needed. So far this season, Bojan has been exactly what the Jazz needed.
It manifested itself last night, in what was probably the Jazz’s best win of the season so far over the Philadelphia 76ers. Bogdanovic finished the game with 20 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists, and came up huge when the Jazz needed it most. Bogdanovic scored 15 of his 20 in the first half, but was held scoreless in the third quarter. It wasn’t until the three minute mark of the fourth quarter that Bogdanovic got his next bucket, but boy was it a big one. The Sixers had cut a double-digit lead down to four, and seemed to have all momentum behind them. Bojan calmly took the ball off a pop, dribbled his way into the midrange, and put it through the net.
This was a big bucket putting the Jazz up 6 and gaining back so momentum. But, this shot only enjoyed its glory for a moment until about a minute later when Bogdanovic planted the dagger in the hearts of Joel Embiid and the visiting 76ers.
Almost the exact same play, expect Bogey wanted more than just two points.
This shot, to me, perfectly encapsulates the value that Bojan Bogdanovic brings to the Utah Jazz. Donovan Mitchell has grown so accustomed to having to make all the shots, especially late, but Bojan is here now, and that’s going to change things. He sank that three like it was nothing, even though in reality it was probably the biggest shot he has hit so far in a Jazz jersey as it helped result in the biggest win of the year.
So far this season Bogdanovic is averaging 20 points per game on 50/45/91 splits. That is.. *checks notes* .. really freaking good. If he keeps those percentages up for the season (which is incredibly difficult to do) he would be the first play in Utah Jazz franchise history (for qualified players with more than 3 3P attempted) to join the 50/40/90 club. Bogdanovic has had scoring games of 16,26,29,14,17,19, and 20. Every game, along with Donovan Mitchell, he’s been a steady horse of scoring. He is yet to have a game where he shoots less than 40 percent. With the exception of maybe being a little careless with the ball (20 turnovers in 8 games), the dude just does not have bad games. And that is another reason why Bogdanovic has been so amazing for the Jazz this season; consistency.
Bogdanovic has been scoring consistently from all areas of the court, and it’s been beautiful to watch before our eyes.
He even threw down this dunk against the Suns and helped spur a fourth quarter run.
The Jazz struggled mightily the past two seasons finding any wing scoring consistency from anyone not nicknamed after a web-slinging superhero. With Bojan Bogdanovic, the Jazz have an efficient, consistent, and reliable secondary scorer that they have not had. It’s why they paid him the big bucks this offseason, and why they are hoping to right his shoulders to NBA contention.
Can Bogdanovic keep up his 50/40/90 shooting? Maybe.
Can he maintain this consistency as a secondary scorer? Probably.
And that’s why he is exactly what the Jazz need.