Every week is seems as though a new tone is being set for the Jazz. One week they’re on top of the world, the next the sky is falling. Right now the feeling is the latter. There’s definitely hope for the future, but right now it’s best that everyone brace themselves for the next few weeks.
So December is usually the month defined by holiday cheer. The snow is enough of a novelty that it brings a few smiles (for those not driving) and the full-on Christmas music blasting from all sides fills everyone’s soul with gladness. It’s safe to say the Jazz won’t be whistling a cheery holiday tune this holiday season though.
"December could be miserable...hopefully we come out of it a better team." -Coach Snyder on tough schedule this month for the Jazz— Austin Horton (@austinhorton) December 15, 2017
Quin Snyder calling December “miserable” might be the understatement of the year. Utah will not play a single team that isn’t currently sitting in a playoff spot the rest of the month. And they will play the top two teams in both conferences. For visual learners like myself, here’s the breakdown.
Today - @ Boston
Dec. 16 (tomorrow) - @ Cleveland
Dec. 18 - @ Houston
Dec. 20 - @ Oklahoma City
Dec. 21 - vs San Antonio
Dec. 23 - vs Oklahoma City
Dec. 26 - @ Denver
Dec. 27 - @ Golden State
Dec 30. - vs Cleveland
It is very possible that the Jazz will not win another game the rest of the calendar year. With a four-game losing streak already under way, Utah could find themselves on a 13-game skid and a 13-24 record come January.
That may be a little pessimistic. But what games on that schedule are wins?
The Jazz are playing the Celtics tonight. You may have forgotten (probably not) since with Gordon Hayward sidelined for the year the game is not quite as heavily circled on the calendar. But for Hayward, it’s still a momentous occasion to be seeing his old team again — even if he’ll be wearing street clothes.
In an interview, Hayward suggested he might meet up with some members of his former squad.
Hayward: "I think I’m going to be able to hang out with them a little bit, catch up ... I know they’re going to bring everything they have. This is a game that they circled on the calendar for sure. I definitely wish that I was playing but it’s going to be a fun game to watch."— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) December 14, 2017
I hope that obliterating his ankle somehow caused Hayward to forget the entire summer and the painful breakup with the Jazz because otherwise this is complete bovine excrement. Maybe I’m crazy, but I don’t get the feeling that anyone on Utah’s roster feels like buddy-ing up with Hayward right about now.
Speaking of former Jazz players, Trey Burke had essentially his basketball life story told in a first-person telling (though written by Alex Busch). It’s a good read and I’d recommend it no matter your opinion of Burke and his time in the Beehive State.
There’s a lot to the story and having read it I feel I understand the former lottery pick. He’s still got a massive chip on his shoulder, though, as evidenced by what he said at the end.
I deserve to be in the NBA because I respect the game and I’m an ultimate competitor. I’m going to play at 110 percent every night. I think that everyone that comes to our games can see that, the love that I have for the game. At the same time, I believe that I have a great competitive nature – anyone wants to play with that.
I’m 25-years old and have a lot of basketball left in me. I still believe that I am one of the best scorers in the world, and that has to be my mentality. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but I believe that given the opportunity I could help a team win at the NBA level. I knew it wasn’t going to just be given to me, but I know that where I’m at in my career.
This attitude is admirable and delusional at the same time (mostly due to the “one of the best scorers” part). But it was this mental fortitude that got him quite a bit of praise during his rookie year in Utah.
A previously little-known fact about Jazz power forward Jonas Jerebko is that he owns an eSports franchise.
The Renegades, based in Detroit, fields competitive teams in Counter-Strike, Overwatch, Paladins, Rocket League and Super Smash Bros.
In case you missed it, the Utah Jazz’s Nike City jersey got leaked on NBA 2k, along with basically everyone else’s.
Love it or hate it, you’re going to see the Jazz suit up in that at some point this season.