As we enter into the final two months of the NBA offseason, it seems as though basketball fans tend to start losing their minds. This is the time for “hot” takes that make no sense, and sports arguments over pointless subjects. I understand this one is not necessarily Jazz-related, however there are a lot of fans in this market that have been making a bit of a racket over Jimmer Fredette’s 41 points at 2018’s The Basketball Tournament in Georgia. Here is footage of that game:
After that notably impressive performance, some fans dusted off their Jimmer fanclub cards and took to stanning him on social medias. The tweet that got the most attention came from Mark Durrant (@DurrantMark).
I'll go to my deathbed saying that if an NBA team would just show a little nerve and imagination, they could make Jimmer into a superstar.— Mark Durrant (@DurrantMark) July 28, 2018
Now, he may not have been absolutely serious, or he may have been completely serious. That is not my place to judge, and I won’t drag the guy and take him out of context like media often does in these cases. However, reading through the comments on that tweet, it became apparent that people legitimately of this opinion still exist. Most Jimmer fans would probably not call him a superstar, but probably something like, “I don’t think he was given a legitimate chance in the NBA.” So here we are, let’s see if that is true.
Jimmer is a streaky shooter who needs to take shots in order to contribute to a team. He may have some passing skills, but most people would not call his passing “NBA-ready”. From the videos of this tournament, it looks like his quickness has improved at least somewhat since college, but still is not a strong point. His biggest weaknesses in my book are his defense, his playmaking, and his off-ball offense. Jimmer can’t stay in front of an NBA point guard. While other NBA players are also bad at defense, Jimmer doesn’t make up for this weakness in other areas like others do. He simply is not good at running an NBA offense, as far as getting his teammates involved and set up to score. All of that could be mitigated for a third string guard if he could just stand in the corner and shoot 3’s, while strengthening his weaknesses to a point where he wasn’t a net negative whenever he was on the court (he has a career box plus/mins of -4).
I just don’t see it. Most third string point guards, like Raul Neto for the Jazz, still bring a significant skill set to the table. If Ricky Rubio or Dante Exum were to be sitting a game due to injury or rest, I feel very confident in Raul’s ability to fill the gap to some extent. Even the Jazz’ two-way player Naz Mitrou-Long has a solid overall skill set, paired with a silky-smooth 3pt shot, and would likely be a reasonable stopgap for 7-11 minutes if needed. I would not feel the same if Jimmer were to step in for a game. YouTuber Mike Korzemba outlined his reasons why Jimmer did not succeed in the NBA. (You can start at the 1:00 mark to skip the preamble.)
All in all, I would bet my bottom dollar that every one of the 30 NBA teams has scouted Jimmer Fredette to see if they think they could make something of him. Heck, 6 NBA teams have already given him a legitimate chance to prove himself, and he just couldn’t cut it. Nobody doubts Jimmer’s ability to shoot threes, he shot 41% from three on a good sample size in his second NBA season, and 47% from three on a bad sample size in his third season. The argument that “nobody gave him a shot” simply isn’t true. Plenty of teams have taken a look at him, and he had 6 real chances. That is significantly more than most fringe-NBA players tend to get.
The reality is that Jimmer is a tweener, too good for the G-League, but with a specific skill set and athletic level that simply is nullified by what is “normal” in the NBA. Especially these days, where teams are gravitating toward big, quick, long-armed guards that are Jimmer’s bane. He may make a return to the NBA under very specific circumstances, and find a niche as a 3rd-string guard. He won’t be a superstar any time soon though, that is for certain.
If you are interested in watching him play, Jimmer will be in the tournament semifinals alongside former Jazz players Jack Cooley and Jeremy Evans on Thursday at 7pm MDT on ESPN. If “Team Fredette” wins, they would advance to play in the tournament finals on Friday.
Donovan Mitchell took a trip to Shanghai, China to publicize the new NBA 2k Online 2. This is basically China’s 2k game. It is unclear how or if this differs from NBA 2k19 which is being released on September 11, 2018. NBA 2k Online 2 will probably not be available in America, however from the sounds of it, we finally have a Jazz player on a video game cover.
Shanghai was so dope! Shoutout to @2k for putting me on the cover of NBA 2k Online 2 out in China!!! Crazy to go from playing to being on he cover of the game pic.twitter.com/zaAJlKlqWZ— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) July 30, 2018
While Donovan was in Shanghai, Assistant Coach Antonio Lang was spending some time in Japan.
Coach Antonio Lang of @utahjazz was our very special guest for #JazzNationJapan party this weekend!!!— リルタク #JazzNationJapan #邪神会 (@liltaktak) July 28, 2018
It was wonderful time having him and inspired us in so many ways. He spoke such a fluent Japanese and even telling jokes!
Thanks Coach!!!#JazzNation #takenote pic.twitter.com/Zva7X7gaWi
The Jazz have been putting in some serious work this offseason reaching out to our international fan bases. With the Jazz playing two Australian teams in the October preseason, I hope our fans from down under get a little love too.
Breaking: Former Utah Jazz player Enes Kanter takes to training with children to improve his defensive skills. Still misses the mountains.
Any tips ?? pic.twitter.com/USfpvI3Nio— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) July 29, 2018
It isn’t Jazz news, but I wanted to compare and contrast Enes’ basketball camp with Rudy’s. Here is more of Enes:
Enes Kanter gets knocked out by a kid (via @Enes_Kanter) pic.twitter.com/Y2L7SrccW6— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) July 27, 2018
Here is Rudy:
Even at his own camp, @rudygobert27 takes no plays off.#NBADunkWeek pic.twitter.com/98pdVjDnb6— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) July 25, 2018
I know the Rudy clip has probably already been covered in another Downbeat. While showing children what it means to eat freaking with humans may not be that difficult for an NBA player, I love Rudy’s competitive spirit. Jabs and jokes aside, Enes still did something cool, and those kids now believe that after beating an NBA player, they can do anything. Both players have been out instilling a love for basketball in the next generation, and that is commendable.
With that acknowledgement, let’s go back to booing Enes’ every move on NBA hardwood.
Chandler Parsons of the Memphis Grizzlies took to Twitter to answer fan questions the other day. Inevitably, he was asked about his thoughts on the Rookie of the Year race. Here is his response:
can’t knock ben for the rule. he’s technically a rookie. so no. but donovan had an unreal season https://t.co/nKJd9NQ3XK— Chandler Parsons (@ChandlerParsons) July 28, 2018
It is interesting how NBA players approach this question. They usually will not knock a player, or say that they do not deserve a certain award, because making unnecessary enemies is dumb for many reasons—some of them potentially monetary. I think the common census is that Ben Simmons was a little bit better than Donovan overall during the regular season, but Ben did have an (extended) NBA offseason on on Donovan. Rules are rules, and by the rules, Ben deserves it. Donovan won what was essentially the player-voted Rookie of the Year award, and we as Jazz fans should be ecstatic about that.
ICYMI: Last week was NBA Dunk Week on Twitter. The official NBA Twitter account posted their top 100 dunks from the 2017-18 season, including the playoffs. Donovan Mitchell had two top-ten dunks. They are as follows:
At #4 of the TOP 100 DUNKS from the 2017-18 season... @spidadmitchell of the @UtahJazz!#NBADunkWeek #BESTofNBA pic.twitter.com/VQPVyi7SzL— NBA (@NBA) July 27, 2018
At #7 of the TOP 100 DUNKS from the 2017-18 season... @spidadmitchell of the @UtahJazz! #NBADunkWeek #BESTofNBA pic.twitter.com/biQ1lEUmoG— NBA (@NBA) July 27, 2018
Here is a cool response video from the Jazz, after Donovan was recognized for his dunking abilities.
The practice that led to the hardware #NBADunkWeek pic.twitter.com/wiVUa9zWLn— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) July 27, 2018
As a topic of discussion, what is the most memorable dunk you have experienced in recent history? Whether that be related to the Jazz, pick-up ball, or maybe the Utah Jazz Dunk Team (gotta give them some love) it’s up to you.