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The Downbeat #1999 - Utah Jazz season not derailed by preseason outcome

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Last night wasn’t great. But the Jazz have months of ball to play before they are at their peak.

NBA: Preseason-Utah Jazz at Portland Trail Blazers Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not the end of the world, Utah Jazz fans. Believe me. Or if you don’t want to do that — believe in these players.

The Utah Jazz lost last night to the Portland Trail Blazers. But you know what, it wasn’t the end of the world. The sun rose once again. We drove to work. We’re all surfing the net. Not much really changed. Some of us speculated that with the increasing attention public displays have been getting that we would have seen some sort of statement from a player, or group of players. That didn’t happen.

Portland players did the same thing (but somehow I don’t have access to the Jazz version of it):

NBA: Preseason-Utah Jazz at Portland Trail Blazers Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

We’re being told that this is a move for #connectivity. Multiple sources have told me a different story. I’m just happy that basketball is back. Even if it’s 17 assists to 19 turn over style basketball. (Why again didn’t we have John Stockton in Jazz training camp this year?)

There was this great Rudy Gobert jam tho!

Don’t worry too much about the first preseason game of 2016-17. It’s entirely meaningless in the big picture. After all, Las Vegas still loves us. Kinda.

AllThatAmar

The Jazz are supposed to finish as one of the Top 5 teams in the Western Conference, and I think we love that. The curious thing is that the team doesn’t exactly have great title odds — tied with the Portland Trail Blazers and Atlanta Hawks, but also the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, and Minnesota Timberwolves. That’s less encouraging. But hey, Utah honestly has a lot to prove before the next 82 regular season games are over. And one of the things they need to prove is that they belong in the Top 5 of the West.

One thing the other teams with the same title odds have that Utah does not have is a legit star player, or at least an All-Star. Damian Lillard (POR), Dwight Howard and Paul Millsap (ATL), Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony (NYK), Dwyane Wade, Jimmy Butler, and Rajon Rondo (CHI), and even Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins (MIN) receive higher Q ratings than our collection of talent.

And I presume it’s going to stay that way — our depth but good player ceiling vs. other teams with less depth, but more stars. Vegas knows more than I do. But as a fan I really don’t want to be lumped into the same category as some teams projected to win fewer than 40 games.

Are you a data nerd? Or are you just another Utah Jazz fan who wants to flagellate themselves for the mistakes their front office has made in the NBA draft? Are you both? Did you reply to my Craigslist ad? Russell Goldenberg crushes it with this post at Polygraph. It’s ridiculous.

It goes over the NBA Drafts from 1989 to 2008, and it’s a near un-relenting punch in the gonads for all franchises and GMs. There are some Jazz bright spots though, like Paul Millsap, and to a lesser extent, Kosta Koufos and Greg Ostertag. Some big misses too. Who knew that Chris Paul would be this good? Apparently everyone but key members of the Utah Jazz brass.

Anyway, this is really well done, and I would be a bad human being if I didn’t share it with you people.

Being a rookie is tough. It’s starting your first real job, but while that job also has hazing. Forget about the transition from high school or one year of college to being in control of your own house hold and being responsible for everything from groceries to dry cleaning . . . being on the clock 24/7 to your more senior co-workers has got to be rough.

We got a little peek behind the curtain for that life with this absurd Joel Bolomboy story:

Here Jody Genessy writes:

Utah Jazz rookie Joel Bolomboy is being a good sport when it comes to handling his initiation chores as a first-year player.

On Sunday, Bolomboy was exiting the cold tub following a workout at Zions Bank Basketball Center and was about to get dressed when third-year player Rodney Hood put in a Chipotle order for the rookie to fetch.

According to the unwritten, but oh-so-important rookie hazing rules, the second-round pick had to comply with the request.

Fulfilling the order normally wouldn’t have been a big deal, but it was about 1:10 p.m. and the Jazz’s charter flight to Portland was scheduled to depart from Salt Lake International Airport at 2 p.m.

On top of that, Bolomboy didn’t drive to the practice facility that day. And it was raining. He's smiling about it now, though.

“I had 50 minutes to go across Salt Lake to get Chipotle for the guys and I had to make it to the airport on time,” Bolomboy said. “It’s funny because Coach (Quin Snyder) had just talked to us about not being late.”

The fine for being late to the airport? Try a cool grand.

Jody Genessy, Deseret News, 2016

You’re going to click on the link to the article to find out if Bolomboy got out of that jam. It’s a hilarious story.

This is still going to be a great season. And man, our team has never been this deep before:

Also as that’s the official Jazz accounts promoting those 10 players we can assume the guys who ARE NOT there are not the guys actively being marketed to the fans / customers. And as a result, if we presume that marketing and the front office / coaching staff have any contact, that these are the 10 guys you’ll probably see a lot of as the season goes on. Missing out: Joe Ingles, Shelvin Mack, Raul Neto, Jeff Withey, and Joel Bolomboy. Which is fine, really. If the Jazz are going to be as good as Vegas thinks they will be (or better) then these 10 guys have to be the best 10 guys on the team.