Bojan Bogdanovic was one of the best free agency acquisitions in Utah Jazz franchise history. And he rewarded the team last season by being an automatic 20 points per game scorer for the entire season. He also brought us some amazing memories such as theses:
I still get goose bumps when I re-watch those shots!
Honestly, I came to love Bogdanovic faster than almost anyone else in Jazz memory. His shot was so smooth and that spacing has opened the game for Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert so much more.
But then his wrist needed surgery and he missed the bubble. I’m still bummed by that, by the way. He would have made a huge difference last season, but that’s water under the bridge at this point.
The bigger problem is how that impacted him this year. When the season started, you could tell he still wasn’t right. He would have a brace on sometimes, other times you’d see him flipping his wrist as if something was wrong, or he’d grab it after an awkward landing as if it still hurt. He was terribly inconsistent, scoring 28 one night then just 6 the next on the same number of shots. Through the first 10 games he was shooting just 32% from three. It was painful to watch at times, especially when you knew who he was just a few months prior.
Things got better from there, but again, not consistently. He’d still have 5 game stretches where you could visibly see his confidence gone. He wasn’t willing to pull the trigger like usual, and when he did, he was off the mark. For example, in early February he had a 5-game stretch where he shot under 20% from 3. And he offered very little else to impact the games. It got bad enough that Quin Snyder finally decided to close with Joe Ingles instead.
But is Bogey finally getting comfortable again? Are the Utah Jazz finally getting the real Bojan Bogdanovic back? Just in time for the stretch run and playoffs?
It would appear that way!
Here are his numbers from the last 16 games:
- 17 points
- 4.2 rebounds
- 1.8 assists
- 45/40/88 shooting split!
It’s that last statistic that matters most for the Jazz. When Bogdanovic is that shooting sniper they signed in free agency, the Jazz are at their best. When you have to stay attached to him on the wing, it opens up the lane for Mitchell and Mike Conley. And when that happens? The blender commences.
And his last 5 games are even better. He’s put up 23.6 points per game in the last 5 and is at 42.5% from three as well! But the biggest thing is that it just feels different now. I have that confidence in him again. More importantly, it looks like he’s playing with more confidence again. And that I just love to see.
Could he still have a few poor shooting nights here and there? Of course, every player does. But I think Bojan Bogdanovic is finally back. And that’s a big deal for Utah’s high playoff hopes.