The Utah Jazz are in the middle of another win streak and trying to force their way into the Western Conference playoffs. There may not be a game today, but there is plenty of Jazz news to discuss!
Sam Amick put together a piece for USA Today about how Donovan Mitchell is seizing the spotlight in Utah:
Utah general manager Dennis Lindsey deserves all sorts of credit, as he not only did the deal — third-year forward Trey Lyles and the No. 24 pick for Mitchell — but set the stage in the weeks before. Mitchell connected with Jazz officials during his Chicago combine interview, as USA TODAY Sports reported, and then made Utah the first workout on his tour soon thereafter – never mind that he was a projected lottery selection and they had the 24th pick...
Lindsey, like all the rest, isn’t about to pretend that he saw this coming.
“No one could have predicted this,” he said. “I was there. I made the selection, but nobody in my group said he was going to average 20 points a game and be great — at least to date – at helping us in close games from a usage and efficiency stand point in fourth quarters...
“The first thing is how quiet and humble he is,” Jazz forward Joe Ingles said. “He’s just a normal kid. He’s literally just a normal kid who loves playing basketball. That was the first thing I noticed and realized. He’s said to me before, ‘I still can’t believe what’s going on.’ He didn’t think he’d be (picked in the) first round.
With Rudy Gobert’s return and Donovan Mitchell’s ascension, this Utah team is one that no one will want to face in the playoffs.
There was a pretty funny moment to open the game against the Sacramento Kings on Saturday. The Kings went out and got the Sexy Saxophone Man to introduce the Jazz starters:
For those that don’t know the reference, Sexy Saxophone Man became a Youtube sensation several years ago. I thought it was a pretty funny moment and clever way to introduce the Jazz. Here’s the original video, and yes I still laugh when I went back and watched it again.
We got ourselves some thought-provoking Fan Posts for you to read and discuss this week. So take some time to read and discuss them!
parelkid brings ideas to the table on how to fix the NBA’s Lottery issues:
n my mind, no matter how you tweak the current draft pick allotment process, there will always be a major flaw... The ultimate goal is, of course, to balance these variables to a point in which everyone is on the same footing. And the system in theory makes sense... until you tell teams how it works...
My proposal is to therefore push draft pick allotment out of the hands of bingo balls and the league office and into the capable (or at least accountable) hands of the individual franchise Front Offices...So without further adieu:
Gobert_the_Destroyer takes a quick look into the Western Conference Playoff race and the remaining schedules:
Welcome to my quick run down of remaining schedules among the 3-10 seeds in the West...
Homer Guess for the Jazz 48-34. Pessimist Homer guess 48-34
Gobert_the_Destroyer wasn’t done, as a discussion about the Boys from Louisville was put up as well:
They boys from Louisville.
Darrell Griffiths and Donovan Mitchell are having incredibly similar rookie seasons.
Here’s a little fun with numbers...
Go through each one and discuss them below or on the article themselves.
I know it’s WAAAY too early to be considering the offseason right now, but this was interesting nonetheless. Bleacher Report put together a list of 1 Free Agent that every NBA team should pursue this summer:
Utah Jazz: Mario Hezonja
Utah has the flexibility to get rowdy in free agency. Waiving non-guarantees on Jonas Jerebko, Thabo Sefolosha and Ekpe Udoh while renouncing Dante Exum and Derrick Favors opens up nearly $20 million in room.
Ergo, the Jazz aren’t getting rowdy in free agency.
Jumping through so many hoops to turn up primetime cap space doesn’t mean all that much in a market like Utah. And the Jazz, in this case, wouldn’t have max room. A $20 million offer probably isn’t enough for the Magic to pass on Aaron Gordon.
And the Jazz wouldn’t be junking afterthoughts. Sefolosha was wreaking havoc on defense as a small-ball 4 before suffering a season-ending MCL injury. Favors has been a pivotal part of the team’s re-entry into the Western Conference playoff discussion. Exum has yet to amass two full seasons’ worth of appearances and still emanates the mystique ingrained into top-five prospects.
Scouring the market for economical prizes is more in the Jazz’s wheelhouse. And currying favor with Mario Hezonja would, for them, be a low-key coup.
The Magic made a pretty devastating mistake by waving Hezonja’s option and he’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer. He’s a 22 year old wing putting up 16.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.2 assists Per 36. His shooting splits this year have also been much-improved: 46% from the field, 35% from 3, and his TS% is up to 56. As a lengthy young being he could certainly be an interesting addition to Quin Snyder’s team.
Marc Spears from The Undefeated decided it was his turn to report on the Utah Jazz. He focused in on Derrick Favors and his love of comic books:
Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors is regretting not adding any vintage Black Panther comic books to his collection before the popular movie came out.
Favors has been a fan of comic books since he was a child and says he owns about 40 vintage comic books and about 20 graphic novels. The most notable comic book in the eight-year NBA player’s collection is a 1960 issue of Superman Annual No. 1, which is the first of a reprint of old stories from the 1940s. But after seeing the movie Black Panther, Favors wishes he had added some vintage comic books about King T’Challa and Wakanda to his collection.
“I am kicking myself. It’s a good story. I kind of missed out on it, especially as a kid. I’m definitely going to look into it now,” Favors said before scoring 15 points and grabbing eight rebounds as the Jazz defeated the Sacramento Kings, 98-91, on March 3.
It’s fun to see a more personal side of the players and the interest/hobbies that they have. Also, count me among those that are so grateful Derrick Favors is still a member of the Utah Jazz!