One of my favorite comedy teams is the McElroy brothers. Something Griffin McElroy said in passing has actually stuck with me for a long time. I can’t even remember what they were talking about but there was a lull in their comedy routine and Griffin exclaimed, “Commit to the bit! Commit to the bit!”
When Emmanuel Mudiay joined the Jazz I had some preconceived notions about him. I had seen him play in New York and Denver a few times and already mentally written him off as depth for the team and not much more. And, to be honest, a lot of what I felt for the first third of this season was true.
His passing was iffy to start the season and his assists seemed rare amidst a lot of ball-hawking to find his own shot.
But there were some signs. Every game or so Mudiay would show the flashes of what people saw in the draft. A strong guard with good vision and passing.
For fans it was difficult to notice those flashes while the bench unit would give away leads game after game. When a ship is sinking, it’s hard to admire the craftsmanship of the sail.
When the Jazz made the trade for Jordan Clarkson it provided another bonafide scorer on the bench. With the release of Jeff Green, and the emergence of Tony Bradley, it cleared the way for Georges Niang and Emmanuel Mudiay to have more minutes with higher level players. After that trade the bench has flourished. Maybe that trade was the key, but there’s signs of a significant improvement in his play.
Most of what we’re seeing now is Emmanuel Mudiay understanding the offensive flow. He’s moving the ball and creating great shots for teammates because he’s bought in to the offense completely. He’s committing to the bit!
Don’t believe me that things have turned around?
Here’s a look at Muday’s numbers during the first 19 games (with three DNP’s).
Here’s a look at Mudiay’s numbers from the last 15 games.
There’s a pretty clear uptick in the production, especially from three. Obviously some of that comes with the recent ease of schedule, and there will likely be some sort of regression, but you can’t argue that Mudiay hasn’t taken things to another level.
That uptick has definitely come with Mudiay’s passing. The ball is flowing when he’s on the floor now and he’s showing the passing and vision everyone hoped for when he was being drafted. Combine that with his size at the PG position, and you’ve got a very solid rotation player.
The Jazz have a handful of easier games coming up and then the schedule gets really tough again. It’ll be interesting to see how well Mudiay does. But chances are he’ll be doing just fine and continuing what has become one of the many fun stories about the Jazz this season.