Even though the Utah Jazz have been out of the playoffs for a couple of days now, the team has still been getting some burn in national coverage even as everyone turns their heads to the conference finals matchups.
ESPN wrote about Utah’s future and what may come saying that Utah is “good -- clearly -- but they are teetering near the line of dangerous, rather than being an actual title threat.” And that’s something the Jazz will have to address.
Brad Rock, in a column for the Deseret News plainly stated that Utah can’t “stand pat,” going forward. His main contention is that the Jazz need a second scoring option next to Mitchell, pointing out how much having two scoring stars helped out the team that just eliminated them from the postseason.
Houston was Exhibit A of what happens when there are offensive options. James Harden tried everything in his bag of tricks on Tuesday, but couldn’t get untracked. He finished 7 of 22 from the field. Most of the night his shooting percentage was in the 20s and he ended up at 32 percent. But Chris Paul got 41 points, to put away the Jazz.
The Rockets had a go-to guy even when their go-to guy was sick.
It’s a very valid point and something that fans and media will certainly have their eyes on this offseason and next offseason as well.
With the NBA being bored while it waits for playoff action to resume, we can enjoy some fun little articles like this one by HoopsHype. They went back through history and looked at jersey numbers to see who was the best player for each number.
It’s not an exhaustive list, they skip a lot of numbers that could have been filled and really only looked at Hall of Famers so far as I could tell. But in case you just want to look at it for where Jazz players might show up, I’ll summarize.
#7 — Pete Maravich
Hoops Hype put Tiny Archibald as the best to wear No. 7, and I disagree with the decision. Archibald wore 7 during the later part of his career when he was much less productive than his early years (when he wore No. 10). Maravich also wore a different number early in his career (44), but arguably his best years were spent wearing good’ole No. 7 in New Orleans.
So after extensive research (and asking my dad) I figure Pistol Pete was better than Tiny, especially if you boil it down to when each wore No. 7. But it’s not like you could go wrong with either choice.
#12 — John Stockton
Stockton got the nod at this spot. And it probably wasn’t that hard of a choice. The only famous No. 12’s I’m aware of outside of the Jazz point god all play football.
#32 — Karl Malone
Magic Johnson also wore No. 32 so you can guess what happened there.
#45 — Donovan Mitchell
This is more of a fun thing to think about. As some know, Michael Jordan wore No. 45 briefly after returning to basketball, and that fact put him on the list at that spot. But maybe someday Mitchell might make 45 iconic with his legacy instead of a footnote in Jordan’s career.
#47 — Andrie Kirilenko
Despite being probably the only player in league history to be good and wear No. 47, Kirilenko wasn’t on the list. They just skipped 47.
#53 — Mark Eaton
They also skipped 53.
Andrew D. Bailey wrote a piece already today on what the Jazz should do at power forward, AKA, should the Jazz resign Derrick Favors or not. And that’s going to be the biggest question of the offseason for Utah. As such, it’s gotten a lot of attention inside and outside of Utah. KSL’s Adam Mason put together a short little summary of Favors’ time in Utah.
Derrick Favors played a big part for the Utah Jazz this season starting and playing in 77 regular season games. He will become a free agent in July. In this News Bytes get to know a little bit about the Jazz's power forward. #takenote pic.twitter.com/gpfbMmRizu— KSL Newsradio (@kslnewsradio) May 11, 2018
I’ve already brought up Hoops Hype, but they had a piece on four potential landing spots for Favors. The four places they suggested were Washington, Milwaukee, Golden State and Utah.
They explain the Washington and Milwaukee choices as good fits for both sides with Favors getting a more central role as a bigman and the franchises getting an upgrade over whoever they currently have. Golden State is there because maybe Derrick wants to get a cheap championship and would sign a team-friendly deal to get one. And Utah because he very well might stay.
FiveThirtyEight wrote an analysis on Brad Stevens yesterday, who has been getting credit for his great season seemingly all at once. In said article, out of bounds plays are mentioned and the Jazz pop up briefly as they rank second in net rating on such plays (executing and defending them). It goes to show that Quin Snyder is in the upper tiers of coaching in the league.
And to finish things off, in case you’re still a little bummed about the end of Utah’s season, here’s a pick-me-up in the form of Donovan Mitchell playoff highlights.