We bring today's Cyber Monday Downbeat with the most important Utah Jazz news around. Tonight's #GSWatUTA game is going to be one you don't want to miss. We look back at some of the people Kobe Bryant has influenced. It's important to recognize the benefit of being a capable outside shooting team today, and the Jazz are halfway there. John Stockton is amazing and probably more popular now than when he was a player, which is crazy. And championship level bigmen are hard to find. But I think Dennis Lindsey did just that this time around.
So the big news today is that the Utah Jazz get a chance to do the impossible -- and by that I mean defeat the undefeated Golden State Warriors. The Dubs are doing it with Luke Walton as their head coach as Steve Kerr has important things to deal with right now. And the Dubs are even winning games by starting Brandon Rush. The 18-0 club is playing a perfect season, but it's hard for teams to keep that up. All good teams lose eventually, even the 72 win Chicago Bulls team lost games -- to the Denver Nuggets and Toronto Raptors at that back in 1995-1996. So there has to be some level probability here where our guys break their win streak.
For one, the game is in Utah at the Aunt Viv. The Jazz are 65-20 all-time against the Warriors in Utah. Of course, does history mean anything when a weak franchise somehow goes ahead and wins a title playing small ball? Probably not.
If the Jazz are going to win they have to play their game, and not fall in love with the up and down style that the Warriors excel in. These two teams played four times last season and Utah did win in Utah 110-100. I wouldn't be surprised to see our guys get a win in the four game season series this year. And it could be tonight.
Steph looks cold. His shooting? Not so much. pic.twitter.com/ZECNLON8Xd— Austin Horton (@austinhorton) November 30, 2015
It'll be much easier if Stephen Curry isn't shooting so hot right now.
The other big news is that this is day 2 of Kobe Bryant 's media takeover. Our very own Trey Lyles got a chance to share his feelings on the subject.
VIDEO: Trey Lyles reacts to Kobe's news, calls him one of the greatest of all time https://t.co/EKWS2yPuKP pic.twitter.com/FPsNXV3dco— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) November 30, 2015
I obviously don't agree with everything he said, but then again, I didn't just turn 20 years old either. I'm closer to Kevin Garnett 's age than I am to Trey Mamba Lyles' age. Which is as good a reason to embed this picture:
November 30, 2015
It is going to be crazy for a hater like me over the next few months when everyone falls over themselves to heap praise on him. But maybe it will give me a chance to finally appreciate him?
You've read Kobe's open letter to Basketball. Now, the exclusive reply from A Basketball: https://t.co/Czm4UFlab2 pic.twitter.com/fMJswEiX3Q— Rodger Sherman (@rodger_sherman) November 30, 2015
Three pointers, huh? Threes are like the feast or famine for each team now. If your team is taking them and making them you are almost always going to win. If your team can't make them, then every game is a struggle. This season the Jazz have the 15th best offense in terms of ORTG, but are 28th in total PPG. I get that last part is really pace dictated, the Jazz are the slowest team in the league. The "about average" offense has to improve though. Being average isn't okay for our defense. Why should it be okay for the offense?
The Jazz are hitting the threes they do take this year ... shooting .360 from outside, which is good for 11th best in the NBA. Four players are shooting above that average: Joe Ingles (.462), Trey Burke (.449), Chris Johnson (.444), and Alec Burks (.395). Three more guys are shooting in the 30s, Gordon Hayward (.356), Raul Neto (.333), and Elijah Millsap (.333).
Possibly the team's best outside shooter, Rodney Hood, is currently shooting just .286 for the season. He's streaky. But I would love to see the Jazz trot out there with eight guys shooting in their 30s or above. As a point of direct comparison, the Golden State Warriors shoot an average of .429 % from outside, and have eight guys shooting in their 30s or above. Of course, they have seven guys shooting in the 40s or above, with the eighth guy shooting .389. So if you want to see the type of spacing great shooting can get you look no farther than the Warriors.
I do think that it's really all Spurs influence. The Dubs under former Spurs player Steve Kerr really uses the three. That's where Quin Snyder wants to get our team eventually. Utah is in year two of his four year deal. I think that in year three we're going to see more baseline threes from bigmen -- maybe Derrick Favors, Rudy Gobert, Tibor Pleiss, and Trey Lyles will get in the act? I am excited to see how this team continues to evolve.
Utah Jazz #12 jersey that says Stock? Shut up and take my money!
Just put in an order for the next batch of #slaps from @VinylDisorder! #TheStarters New legends coming!! pic.twitter.com/BLM12bnLMZ— Kevin Zwirble (@kzwirbs) November 30, 2015
Speaking of John Stockton, did you get his autobiography yet? It's like a few bucks on Amazon right now. It's an important read for all Jazz fans, buy it now -- it's a great Christmas gift!
How many of the following centers are, in your opinion, "Championship Centers":
- Al Jefferson
- Mehmet Okur
- Otto Moore
- Rich Kelley
- Mark Eaton
- Jeff Wilkins
- Felton Spencer
- Greg Ostertag
- Olden Polynice
- and Rudy Gobert
Those are the ten best centers in four decades long franchise history. The Jazz played two decades (rounding up) with two Hall of Fame starters, but for the vast majority of their careers they did not play with someone good enough to be relied up. (Mark's body fell apart.) I think the bottom line distinguishing factor with this core is that they do have a legit starting center on a championship team now. Just my two cents.