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The Downbeat #1211 - The "Positive Spin" Edition

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Okay, outside of Enes Kanter and his right ankle sprain, the entire team is healthy right now. Andris Biedrins, a dude who was shut down from the preseason, played his first NBA game for the Utah Jazz (with the requisite Rudy Gobert DNP-CD). Brandon Rush played his second game for the Jazz last night as well. Kanter is playing but not healthy. Marvin Williams is back and producing well. Trey Burke is back and finding his legs in the NBA. Jeremy Evans came back to the healthy side of things and has been super efficient as usual. Some other guys have had bumps and bruises along the way. BUT NOW, before the end of November things within the team have progressed to a point that coach Tyrone Corbin can actually have enough players to make rotations and adjustments with.

Let's remember that the team started out with a poor hand dealt to it with a crappy schedule and a lot of injuries. Both of those things have corrected themselves with time and now the team's play should and will probably improve. (This means happier Jazz fans) The team was theorized to be filled with injuries for a while: a big question mark for Rush, and late December or early January for Trey and Marvin. The team is healthy NOW. That's ahead of schedule. So that's one thing that has gone right.



Oh yeah, Rudy Gobert DNP-CD. I see that. I worry about that. I felt like he was a guy who joined an NBA team with the aspirations of playing now. Playing more in Europe may not have helped him. Playing in the NBA-DL may help him. But right now with the injury to Biedrins he had an opportunity to play now. Did he play now? Well, no, not really. He played in 13 games and was on the court for a maximum of 154 total minutes. That averages out to 11.8 mpg; which (before tonight's game) was only more than Rush and rookie Ian Clark. So this looks bad right? Our dude can only play 12 mpg when there are flat out no other real bigmen on the roster?

That's one way to look at it. Perhaps another way would be to look at how Gobert was good enough to declare for the NBA Draft. He was good enough to be drafted. He was good enough to be drafted in the first round. And he was good enough to make it through both the Summer League, but also though an actual NBA training camp.

His numbers don't look like much though, 11.8 mpg, 2.5 ppg (45.8 fg%, 37.9 ft%), 4.8 rpg, 0.8 bpg, 2.0 fouls a game, and 1.2 turn overs a game. Without any context that looks like a player who isn't good on offense, doesn't really end games with big swat totals, and would average 8 fouls a game. Let's bump up his numbers to 36 mpg and see what we get: for starters -- 7.7 ppg, 14.7 rpg, 2.6 bpg.

For his career, per 36, Mark Eaton averaged 7.5 ppg, 9.9 rpg, and 4.4 bpg. He shot 45.8 fg%, and 64.9 ft%.

Outside of blocks and free throw percentage, Gobert for all of his in-experience, is right there or better than Mark Eaton's career numbers were. Take that as another positive.



Remember this! FUN!

I like it when good things happen on the court #DerrickFavorsTweets



Okay so November was rough. November is not going to last forever. So that's good news right off the bat.


Of course, December isn't a cake walk either. There's a really crazy pre-Christmas road trip to deal with, but hey -- not time like a tough road trip to get a team to come together and gel.

Yikes! Disney movies aren't lying to me? It's possible for the team to come together now that they are healthy! They just need a training montage and to sing some old Motown music.



The Jazz play the Phoenix Suns for the third time this season today, and also the third time this month. This is a back to back set where the teams are at home and home. We lost last night, and we lost our first game of the season as well. The Suns won in their gym by a score of 87-84, the difference was a late three pointer by Eric Bledsoe. They lost tonight, at home, by 11. So we're down 14 points in two games to the worst team in the league. A team that also had injuries and a rookie head coach in Jeff Hornacek.

Utah could drop another to the Suns and it looks bad.

What's the positive spin on this one? Well, it helps the team in the long run to know what it's working with. Even if what they are working with now is bad.