What happened last night, and if no one could see it, did it really happen at all? Also, someone on the Utah Jazz loves coffee. You’ll never guess who it is. Furthermore, there’s some even better news hidden here.
So . . . what does that anonymous NBA Scout have to dish about the NBA this season? And Memo and Earl are going to be doing good things down in Phoenix this year. But I think we all wish they were here.
The Utah Jazz (3-3) finished their preseason schedule last night with a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers (4-2). The game wasn’t on TV because of “reasons,” and yet here we have actual HD highlights to watch of the game.
Again, shoutout to Quinter is Coming for finding these. I don’t know how long the NBA will let those highlights be up on that YouTube account’s space, so watch them now before it disappears. There’s a lot of Rudy Gobert, which we love. But again, WHY WAS THIS GAME NOT ON TV? So very odd.
Remember a while back when an anonymous scout trashed Jimmer Fredette, and everyone lost their minds? Well, here we are for round two:
I’m going to save you the click, here’s what the scout has to say about our Utah Jazz.
"They’re a trendy pick for a team to make the leap, but they still need to prove it. They don’t have a star but they’ve got quality depth at all five positions and they’ll push [the Portland Trail Blazers] at the top of the Northwest. They could grind out a series win if everything goes right. I think they’ll do enough to keep who they want to keep, like [Gordon Hayward], next summer. … Everyone thinks of them as a big team with [Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors] but they have a bunch of stretch options now with [Trey Lyles, Boris Diaw and even Joe Johnson.] … They go can really small too with Diaw as their five if they want. … Last year, Hayward and [Rodney Hood] tried to do too much in clutch situations. Now you plug in Johnson as a late option and Diaw as a playmaker and [George Hill] as a complementary shooter and they’re much harder to guard late in games. … That Hayward and Hood pairing could be one of the best wing combos for a decade. Hood actually has a higher ceiling than Hayward and he’s in the conversation among young two guards who might push into the West All-Star conversation with guys like Devin Booker and C.J. McCollum. Hood has size, ball skills, he can score and he makes good decisions. He’s calm on the ball and smart. … Everyone wants a guy like Hayward so he’s always in trade rumors, but I just don’t see him moving. I bet there’s a 90% chance he’s back with them. … Hill was a great answer at point guard. He’s an established, plus defender, lots of playoff experience, consistent. … [Dante Exum] is a forgotten man. It’s time to see if he’s progressed with his shooting at all. … Will [Alec Burks] get more than 15 or 20 minutes a game? He’s a name to watch for possible trades. … Johnson going to Utah felt like [Paul Pierce] to the Clippers. They will manage his minutes and save him for the stretch run. … It’s fair to wonder how much Diaw has left. … Lyles is going to be a breakout player. He gets overlooked because they added all the vets but he’s ready to make a jump. He can shoot, he can guard all types of fours. … Gobert and Favors can really pound you on the glass and they defend so well. They can control the pace, post you up, finish around the hoop, take away all your offense from inside 10 feet. You don’t want to play them together the whole game but you’re not in a hurry to sub those guys out. … Favors is a workhorse, very good rebounder, good defender and a good scorer too. There aren’t a lot of holes to his game. Would you rather have him or Paul Millsap? He’s getting into that conversation. … Gobert is their most irreplaceable guy. He’s the difference between them being OK and very good. … They have the right personnel and the right style of play to be the NBA’s best defense."
That’s a pretty glowing assessment, it’s nice to see other scouts feel the same way about our team that WE fans do. If you want to see what else the scout has to say, click here. And thanks to Diana for finding this piece.
What some great NBA News? Look no further than this:
Someone just got cleared to spend his first night out of the hospital in 85 days! Make it a good one Cubs pic.twitter.com/KEgJ54nHFG— Craig Sager II (@CraigSagerJr) October 20, 2016
Also, Baseball is a fool’s errand. But hey . . . glad to know that Craig Sager is on the mend.
Okay, we know that Boris Diaw likes coffee. But we didn’t know that a) he was converting his team mates to his religion, or that b) it was a big enough thing that the dag-nab-it Wall Street Journal was writing about it:
What happens when the NBA's leading espresso drinker gets traded to Utah? He starts his own coffee klatch. https://t.co/zaEdmcw5vB— Ben Cohen (@bzcohen) October 20, 2016
Ben Cohen of the WSJ writes:
Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles was immediately excited when his team traded for Boris Diaw this summer. But not because of what Diaw might bring to the basketball court. Ingles was thinking about something else: coffee.
Like nearly everyone in the NBA, Ingles knew his new teammate was a coffee nut. That’s why he decided to welcome Diaw by tweeting coffee emojis at him. He had a feeling Diaw would appreciate the hospitality. It turns out they had visited a Salt Lake City coffeeshop even when they were on different teams.
“This was the first place I came,” Diaw said this week in that same coffeeshop.
The Jazz are widely expected to leap into the NBA’s elite when the season begins next week. They are one of the league’s only teams with the versatility to play any style of basketball. They are one of the league’s only teams with the roster continuity necessary to win in today’s NBA. And they are one of the league’s only teams with a coffee klatch.
Of course, Cohen has to go into the predominant religion in Utah and the perceptions of coffee, but hey, you knew it was coming, right? Anyway, it’s a pretty lengthy piece that is worth the read. After all, it’s a deeper insight into our players than the canned PR pieces we get on media day. Check it out here!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m really happy for Mehmet Okur. Just not happy that he’s with the Suns.
Mehmet Okur is still 6 feet 11. He still has one of the purest shooting strokes that a big man ever has developed in the NBA.
At 37 years old, Okur should still be playing. That was the plan, one planted in his head when Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan told Okur he could play until he was 45.
Instead, Okur is sharing his knowledge, skills and good nature with the Suns’ youthful big men as he dips his toes into coaching.
Okur is a part-time Suns player development assistant, a position he was prodded to take by former Utah teammate and current Suns head coach Earl Watson. It was the ideal re-entry to on-court basketball work after grappling with an unexpected end to his playing career and the paternal pull of three young kids at his San Diego family home.
“It’s time for me to do more,” Okur said, repeating what Watson told him when he called. “It’s been really fun for me so far. It feels really great. It’s good to be back. I missed this.
“Also, my wife said, ‘Get out, time for you to get out.’"
Also, the entire article is worth reading. (Watch out for the auto-loading video though, those always suck) Check it out here! Similarly, I’m ecstatic that Earl Watson has his own young team to mold into men, but again, would rather that it was with the Jazz instead.
Earl is a real deal mentor, motivator, and leader. And Memo is a flat out warrior with a golden heart. The Suns have had management problems that go all the way up to their owner, which is why Jeff Hornacek is now someone in New York. I hope things fare better for Earl and Memo. If those two are there for even two years then the Suns young players -- especially guys like Dragan Bender — will be ahead of the curve.