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NBA Regular season schedule day notes, Elijah Millsap birthday, and more - Downbeat #1703

It's SCHEDULE DAY! GET HYPED! It's Elijah Millsap's birthday! GET HYPED! Rudy Gobert could be DPOY this upcoming season! GET HYPED!

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

GET HYPE! The NBA releases their 2015-2016 regular season schedule today! It comes out at 6 p.m. EST, so that's at 4 p.m. MT -- and we'll be covering it here semi-live. Well, not really. But expect a healthy breakdown in time. But before we get there, we get a really late downbeat, just because it's still kinda the NBA Doldrums. Don't worry Utah Jazz fans, we still have a bunch of things to talk about. Starting with . . .

Today is Utah Jazz shooting guard Elijah Millsap 's 28th birthday! It's clear that we here at SLC Dunk are Millsap family fans (from Paul Millsap, to John Millsap (who played in the summer league for the Jazz), to Abraham Millsap, and of course Eli now). A few months ago I contemplated the idea that Elijah should be the starter at shooting guard in that Thabo Sefolosha role -- but that was before the Dante Exum injury. Still, Elijah is clearly in the pecking order for the Jazz this upcoming season. He wasn't asked to play in Summer League, while Chris Johnson was; but instead, he was playing with the team in summer practice. (Other guys there were Raul Neto, Alec Burks, Derrick Favors, and so forth.)

I'm excited to see what Millsap can do with a full training camp under his belt. While he may not have the overt upside of someone closer to 20 than 30, he knows what he can do and can be relied on to play mistake free basketball. He's a Dennis Lindsey type of player who has length and strength at the wing, and seems to be the only guy on the team who got on-ball steals last year. With a larger sample size this upcoming season I think we'll see his three point percentage (.311 last year) normalize to closer to his NBA DL level (.361 career over 155 games and 5007 minutes).

As far as "Three and D" guys go, hard to say "no" to a Millsap brand player. Endless hustle, a true Jazzman for life.

Happy Birthday, ELIJAH!



That video was compiled by Dakota Schmidt, who writes for SaltCityHoops (among other places). He's much more than a video guy, he's an excellent writer and basketball analyst. He broke down game film on our rookie Raul Neto. Check it out here:

Here's another teaser video, but read his analysis. It's well worth it!

Awesome stuff, I'm so glad there are so many talented people writing about the team I love to learn about!



Is Rudy Gobert a likely candidate for Defensive Player of the Year in 2015-2016? I think so. So does the NBA.

Fran Blinebury has been on the Rudy bandwagon since the NBA Draft combine (he wasn't the only one), and is one of the first guys taking the time to actually write about him regularly -- like, even BEFORE he put up a whopping 400 minutes in his rookie year under erstwhile NBA head coach Tyrone Corbin. Anyway, of Rudy he writes:

At 7-foot-2 with a nose for shot-blocking, the "Stifle Tower" was meant to one day be named Defensive Player of the Year. He takes his responsibility to guard the paint and protect the rim so seriously that he'll challenge any shot in his neighborhood and isn't afraid to put himself in a position to occasionally get posterized. That's occasionally, because it doesn't happen very often. Gobert held opponents he guarded to just 40.4 shooting last season and so it's no coincidence that from the time he was inserted into the starting lineup post-All-Star break through the end of the season, the Jazz ranked as the top defensive team in the league. The 23-year-old will be in the middle of the Jazz lineup and the middle of this conversation for years to come.

- Fran Blinebury,, August 11th, 2015

Check out the full article here!



Did you all see the Trey Lyles video from the NBA Rookie shoot yet?

It's nice to have players comfortable in front of the camera for once . . . I can't wait for the Trey and Trey show on public access TV.



As the schedule comes out today . . . which game are you most hyped for? The old rivals like the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets, Chicago Bulls; the teams we could be fighting for playoff position against like the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks; or the return of former players like Al Jefferson, Deron Williams, Paul Millsap / Kyle Korver, and this Enes Kanter guy? Or is it something else entirely that you are totally crazy about?