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Jeff Van Gundy lauds Jerry Sloan: The Downbeat #1520

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The team is being flexible, and it's working ... Do you even know who is starting? ... Jeff Van Gundy's story about Jerry Sloan ... Rudy Gobert and Enes Kanter on the terrorism in France ... and fun videos!

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This downbeat (late) is late because there's some mind-blowing stuff coming tomorrow. But still, that doesn't mean we can't have fun! Did you know that the Utah Jazz are winning more games, and winning on the road too? I think that this team is coming along and while they are young, and not all of the pieces fit right now -- there is plenty of capspace in our future, even if the team has to pay guys coming off of rookie deals. But that's not what I'm really going crazy about.

I don't think we recognize that this team is playing better -- despite the challenges. I am amazed by the scouting department of the team and a guy like Elijah Millsap comes in, an NBA rookie, and is playing 24.3 mpg (4 games) -- and is some crazy mix between Wesley Matthews, Paul Millsap, and Mike Harris (even down to having to guard Kevin Durant one-on-one at the end of the game at times). Sure, in an idealized world Alec Burks and Rodney Hood would be playing a lot of minutes. But reality is far from ideal, and this Jazz team has shown me that they don't fall like a house of cards when things don't go perfectly.

Quin Snyder is a no nonsense coach and while there is a plan, the plan doesn't work all the time. He has remained flexible and willing to try new things. And as a result, his coaching staff and the players are working together to forge solutions.

I think it's working.

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It's so amazing that even guys who are on the team don't even know who is starting right now -- but they are playing very solid basketball. And that's all that seems to matter. Check out this video by Salt City Hoops founder Spencer Ryan Hall!

Even Enes Kanter can't name the Jazz starting lineup right now.

A video posted by spencerhall (@spencerhall) on

Hilarious! Man, Enes Kanter is a gem.

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Moni is awesome. And Jerry Sloan is awesome. And Diana knows all about both of these things!

Visit Moni's site here! Here's an excerpt from the JVG story:

"Everybody knows about his toughness, about the offensive execution, the defensive tenacity that he displayed as a player, but also that his teams displayed.

"But I was always struck by a couple different things. One is unique humbleness. For a man who has accomplished so much, to be so very humble, was truly inspiring.

"And then secondly, during the games, he cared so deeply, but after the game, he didn't let it rip apart his life. You know, he went home, he put his John Deere hat on, and he was able to separate his work from, you know, the other parts of his life, and I think that's what allowed him to coach so very, very well for so very long."

- Jeff Van Gundy, as transcribed by Moni, JazzFanatical.Wordpress.com, 2015

You absolutely need to click through to read the rest of it, it's the best thing you will read all day (provided you are reading this on Sunday). (I am sure some people have cool stuff coming on Monday, too.) I am enriched by the personal story Jeff tells about coaching against Jerry, and thank you to Jeff and Moni (and Diana) for leading me to it!

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The Deseret News' best employee, Jody Genessy, got a chance to ask Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert about what's been going on in France. Listen here, or, um, listen below:

I don't actually know how connected Rudy is with Paris, as he was born in Saint-Quentin, which is in the Picardie region in Northern France. He then played for Cholet, which is close to the West coast of France. Paris, in Île-de-Franc, is south of his hometown, and waaay central to where he worked. Of course, as a Frenchman it makes sense to ask him about what's going on in France. But it's like when someone asks me about what's going on in Toronto just because I'm Canadian. Sure, Toronto is the biggest, most obvious city in the nation. But I've never lived there. It is possible that may be the case for Rudy Gobert and Paris as well. Le Federation Francaise de Basket Ball is in Paris though. Perhaps he has a flat there too?

What's the point of the previous paragraph, beyond to show how I can ramble? Well, I guess I am avoiding talking about terrorism and actual things that matter. You all come to a sports blog for fun, but I felt like it is important to see some of the sides here. Rudy doesn't want to say too much. On the other hand, Enes Kanter -- one of the few foreign, non-Middle Eastern Muslims of the NBA -- is strongly denouncing the acts of some horrible people.

The Zurich born kid, who was raised in Turkey (knocking on the door to Europe), who then did his high school in Cali, and college (one year) in the US . . . knows what's up. Kanter's twitter feed has been more religious for years now, but it's clear that he understands that it is up to moderates to denounce the actions of radicals. He is evidence of it, if anyone asks "where are the good Muslims?".

Anyway, as a non-Muslim I don't know why I need to stick up for them. All peoples can be good or bad. Just not Houston Rockets fans. All of the are bad. (No, I'm not over the David Benoit game back in '95 yet. Thank you for asking!)

Anyway, let's switch the subject from Terrorism, France, and Islam . . . and the Rockettes . . . to . . . this?

What in the world? The weekend downbeat (outside of reporting on weekend games) seems to be filled with "stuff no one wanted to talk about during the week" stories.

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Our very own superdeno has been making some videos of recent Jazz game highlights. Check them out!


Way more entertaining than reading about terrorism and former cheerleader pedophiles. Right?

Man.

Bring on a new week of Jazz basketball.