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Utah Jazz announce new name of home court: Vivint Smart Home Arena -- Downbeat #1756

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Huuuu-uuuge news out of Utah Jazz media circles today. Obviously, the biggest news of the day is the name change of the arena that Larry H. Miller built in 1991. They've had a number of 'lifetime upgrades' over the years, but now we get the third company with naming rights in building history. We miss you Delta Center. So long Energy Solutions Arena. Say hello to the new Vinit Smart Home Arena. (VSMA?) This, and other Utah Jazz news to read, so let's get to it!

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Without further ado . . .

So, obviously two things pop up for someone like me. First, I don't know anything about this company, but then again, I didn't know anything about "Energy Solutions" either. According to Wikipedia, Vivint was formerly known as APX Alarm Security Solutions, that did private home security, home automation, and somewhat green-ish home energy. So we're moving from the "Melta Center" of radioactive waste management to solar energy. That's cool.

But second, it's important for me to look at the home records for each era. So I did so:

  • Delta Center (1991 - 2006) -- Two NBA Finals, a billion dead, bleached by the sun carcasses of opposing teams on road trips
  • EnergySolutions Arena (2006 - 2015) -- One Western Conference Finals trip, a good home record somewhat diminished by a lack of fear of opposing teams.
  • Vivint Smart Home Arena (2015 - ?) -- Totally rolls off the tongue

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The Jazz added Phil Pressey and Eric Atkins and cut them, in similar moves to what they did with E.J. Singler. They will all play for the Utah Flash Idaho Stampede next season. Pressey is the gem here, as a 24 year old point guard who stands at a massive 6'11. Oh, no. Sorry. 5'11. (Still taller than me.) He went undrafted at the 2013 draft, but was at the 2013 Combine that My_Lo and I both attended. Pressey has played for the Boston Celtics over the last two seasons, and has career totals of 125 games for them, and played 13.9 mpg (so over a quarter each time in). He isn't a three point shooter, but has 5 minutes of playoff experience. So, there's that.

He played in 4 games for the Portland Trail Blazers this preseason (so, Boston didn't want him back), and averaged 4.8 ppg, 2.0 apg, and 1.8 rpg in 16.4 mpg.

Eric Atkins is another PG, and hw's 6'2 and went undrafted in 2014. He played four seasons at Jack Cooley 's Notre Dame. There he was okay, like, if you are staying all four years your last year better be worth it, right? He averaged 13.9 ppg, 4.9 apg, and 2.8 rpg in 37.8 mpg as a Senior.

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In other news, man, the Jazz play in like two days. Crap. Amar you better stop writing Downbeats and more of the big features you need to get out there. But in other "holy crap" news, we all heard about how Mike Krzyzewski is stepping down from Team USA, right? His successor will be the glib and sage Gregg Popovich. Pop is a great successor because of all of his experience with international players, watching and scouting them, and understanding their game. In a way it's a nod to understanding and preparing against the foreign game, instead of being a huge proponent of the "American" game. Pop also brings the rings and a team first attitude. Players respect success, and he has everyone's respect.

Of course, Pop also brings a legion of assistants who have become successful. You may have heard of some of these guys, like Avery Johnson, P.J. Carlesimo, Mario Elie, Vinny Del Negro, Mike D'Antoni, Terry Porter, Jacque Vaughn, Monty Williams, Steve Kerr, Mike Brown, Mike Budenholzer, and this Quin Snyder guy. Snyder is remarkable because he has also coached in Europe before as well.

I don't expect Pop to just use all of his former assistants to build up the Team USA coaching staff. There's usually a rule about this, mostly unwritten, where you have to kind of earn your place in the order. Of course, that rule was broken when Team USA passed from Chuck Daly to Lenny Wilkens, and then from Lenny Wilkens to Mike Krzyzewski. The team was supposed to go to Jerry Sloan after Wilkens if we are to believe the laws of procession.

So, well, I guess that makes Jerry Sloan into some Stannis Baratheon character (book version, tho). Anyway . . . I guess there's no rule about having to even have a coach from the same nation as the team. Mike Fratello used to coach Ukraine for years. I wouldn't mind seeing Team Canada hire Quin Snyder . . . but that's not going to happen.

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The Utah Jazz went 3-0 in the Utah Summer League. Then they went 2-3 in the Las Vegas Summer League. Later, the team finished 3-4 in the NBA Preseason. All in all that's a 8 and 7 record in absolutely meaningless action. What are the key points that happened?

  • Rodney Hood proved that he no longer has to play in meaningless games
  • Dante Exum looked amazing enough to mothball
  • Grant Jerrett got hurt, preventing him from having a fighting shot at keeping his guaranteed spot on the team
  • Alec Burks looks ready to go back attacking the rim without fear
  • Gordon Hayward can get whatever he wants against most defenses
  • Derrick Favors is a great finisher, but he still needs to be fed
  • Rudy Gobert is a sleeping giant who just may have woken up
  • Trey Burke shoots well in the preseason
  • Raul Neto could be very solid, if not spectacular at times with his court vision
  • Jeff Withey can bang and make free throws
  • Trevor Booker is hyped for the season
  • Joe Ingles makes the game look easy
  • Trey Lyles has a lot of offensive potential
  • and Jack Cooley will be missed.

What did I forget?

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Gordon Hayward 's new home. What are your opinions?