Man, that game last night . . . I'd rather lose like that (taking the #2 seed to the wire, our young core doing all the work), than win playing guys who aren't going to be on the team next season. But that's just me.
I like the big picture, and the current decision makers for the team (Dennis Lindsey as the GM, primarily) really embrace the big picture. Head coach Quin Snyder seems like another one as well. He's not specifically here to see people fail, but teach them the right way to one day succeed. If failure is the initial outcome it doesn't mean you are benched in favor of veteran players who remind himself of who he was in his playing days. This is a Jazz team that is fun to watch, and is going to be really good really quickly.
While a lot of the brains of the organization of Spurs guys, this is a heart of a team that beats from those Frank Layden times. For a long time (not as long as some, but longer than others) fan of the Jazz franchise, this season with all the struggles has still been infinitely more entertaining and easy to root for than some other years.
This off-season is going to appear way longer than it is because of how hungry we are to see how our team comes together, in the big picture.
|On the books for next season|
|1||Dante Exum||Alec Burks||Gordon Hayward||Derrick Favors||Rudy Gobert|
|2||Trey Burke||Rodney Hood||Trevor Booker|
|1||Bryce Cotton||Elijah Millsap||Joe Ingles||Jack Cooley|
|1||Raul Neto||Ante Tomic|
|1||2015 1st Rounder (UTA)|
|2||2015 2nd Rounder (UTA)|
|3||2015 2nd Rounder (CLE)|
And this doesn't even include the about $20 million in cap space this July.
Yesterday was National Sibling day, and most of us have siblings that we love and hate and love-hate. Any relationship is complex, but I can't imagine what it's like to have a twin. Two Jazz players, Gordon Hayward and Dante Exum, have twins -- and their twins are both sisters at that! Matt Sanchez wrote all about it in an amazing piece over at UtahJazz.com.
In it you will find great retro pictures, and more importantly, heartfelt memories from these Jazztwins. Personally, I loved the story of Gordon getting upset with guys from the Tennis team attempting to have normal high school relationships with his sister, also on the Tennis team. This picture of the four guys who got to dance with her at homecoming says it all:
Anyway, read the piece here, it's just so awesome I don't even need to tease you with an excerpt!
I love Mehmet Okur. I love that he's doing "something" with the Jazz still. He seems like a super chill dad and great husband from following him on Instagram. But you also get gems like this:
Thanks to Diana for the heads up -- and also, why is Randy Rigby in quotation marks? Like that's an imposter? Are there Randy Rigby clones? Are there clones of the clones? It's Multiplicity, isn't it? That explains the differences in his interviews and how awesome he is in real life, right? Multiplicity? You remember it? Back when Michael Keaton had a career?
This movie? No? Okay.
Anyway, Memo is awesome. In a franchise where us fans love and adore big defensive walls like Mark Eaton, Rudy Gobert, Greg Ostertag, and Kyrylo Fesenko -- or elevate a guy who didn't average a double double let alone the 20-10 that we were sold to Godhood -- it's awesome that Memo really carved out a niche for himself. That's a niche that our team still needs filled today.
Utah has an All-Around player in Derrick Favors who can defend the paint, pass, post up, get offensive rebounds, and get to the line. Next to him is Rudy Gobert, a defensive beast who is an athlete that can finish highlight plays and is getting better every week. Behind them right now are two energy guys (Trevor Booker and Jeremy Evans) and an NBADL prospect in Jack Cooley. There isn't much rim protection off the bench, and there isn't a stretch big -- despite recent history for Booker and Evans. What should the Jazz try to get figured out first:
- Defensive big off the bench, or
- Stretch big
Sadly, or because Irony is the major power of the universe, Utah does have the rights to Ante Tomic. He is a 7'2 offensive big around the rim. He's the size of a rim protector, but he's a rim aggressor, and while he is an offensive-minded player he doesn't have much stretch ability -- but is a great passer.
Do many teams have THREE rim protectors? Maybe the secret is to sub one of Favors or Gobert out first, and try to always have one of them on the court? I don't know. Tomic, at 7'2, could just be a rim protector by size. There are plenty of under-sized energy guys in the league so there's no need to stress out about Evans (weight) or Booker (height). A guy who hits threes and rebounds, though . . . that is a rare thing.
For his Jazz career Memo averaged 7.6 rpg, 2.9 threes attempted a game, 0.7 BPG, and shot .381 from downtown. There are only 19 players this season who average 5.0+ rpg, 1.0+ 3PTA, 0.5+ BPG, while shooting 34% or above from the three point line, who are 6'8 and taller. The only "bigmen" (non SF/PFs) on the list are Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Paul Millsap, Dirk Nowitzki, Serge Ibaka, Patrick Patterson, Donatas Motiejunas, Chris Bosh, and Terrence Jones. For the most part, all of those guys are spoken for.
Frank Kaminsky went 4.6 rpg, 1.1 bpg, 1.9 3PTA, and shot .369 from deep over his four year, 144 game NCAA career. (RPG went 1.4, 1.8, 6.3, 8.2 over the years.) It is likely that he will be available to be had (either by moving up or staying put) in the draft. I am absolutely certain that the Jazz front office knows all of this (and more!) already though.
This section should have been expanded into its' own post. I will do that on Sunday, methinks.
One team that doesn't seem to understand the big picture right now are the Lakers. And I'm fine with that. Tom Ziller, of SB Nation's NBA Mount Olympus, wrote about how one should never "...ever feel sympathy of the Lakers." I agree. Heck, the header image for that article is of Lakers fans at a recent Jazz game. Those guys and gals can all stay at home. LAL is 14th in the West right now and while they are paying one guy the GDP of Tuvalu, an actual Polynesian Island nation, their entire present and future looks horrible.
Why we don’t feel sorry for the Lakers http://t.co/2fLHubiyEv pic.twitter.com/T9qeHNf6rP— SB Nation NBA (@SBNationNBA) April 10, 2015
Ziller breaks down why you should not give any sympathy for the Lakers in a series of detailed points:
- The Lakers are the winningest team ever
- The Lakers average a championship every 4th season
- The Lakers can outspend every team in the NBA
- The Lakers do not know pain
- and most importantly in my mind, The Lakers deserve this
Check out the full article over here, if I know my audience well I know you'll enjoy it.
So..... Dr. John Amaechi, OBE had a fake action figure drafted up for him in photoshop by Angel Resto (@AngelResto28) for the Dan Le Batard show.
The @JohnAmaechi All-Star Figure comes w/ an OBE medal & bumper bollocks @LeBatardShow @Stugotz790 @MichaelRyanRuiz pic.twitter.com/j4IDPbkRQR— Angel Resto (@angelresto28) April 10, 2015
This is amazingly detailed, down to the autographed basketball by Jerry Sloan. I think that Amaechi is a very interesting man; and while in Utah Jazz -land we tend to believe in absolutes it's important to investigate issues from more than just the point of view that tracks with our own ideals. John wasn't the type of player certain coaches were ready for, someone smarter than them. I'm not going to make this a love letter to the generous bigman, so I will just end it there.
His is great work by Angel, and of the current Utah Jazz players -- who should have an action figure? What accessories would they have? Gordon Hayward and a high-end PC? Derrick Favors and twins?