One of the things that made Donovan Mitchell as successful as he was for a rookie was his willingness to work hard and be coachable. He absorbed a lot in a very little amount of time and added it to his on-court arsenal.
Looking at this year’s main rookie, Grayson Allen, one would hope the same humility and hard work will be present enough to give him a chance to have similar success. And from some of what we’ve seen, there is some promise as Allen has been working with former Jazzman Earl Watson and Matt Barnes.
Big things coming this season! Glad I got to spend some time with @matt_barnes22 and @earl_watson and talk about turning pro. Head to https://t.co/swQX2EGXih to see my full episodes of the #TheWakeUpCall. Presented by @Officialize pic.twitter.com/8XNbRiF5PS— Grayson (@GraysonJAllen) August 9, 2018
Tweets of videos are far from proof of a successful mentality. But it’s August, so there’s not much else to go on at this point. Allen will need to show that all of this work he’s advertising is translating to the court.
Yesterday, Utah’s 2018-19 schedule was released. Taylor Griffin had the initial reactions.
Gordon Hayward’s return, Spida vs. Simmons, and tough road stretches: first reactions to the Utah Jazz 2017-18 schedule. https://t.co/Y3APmi9SOq— SLC Dunkismo (@slcdunk) August 10, 2018
In recent years, it’s been almost tradition that the Jazz get the short end of the stick in terms of schedule. But with the NBA acknowledging the rising popularity and skill level of the Jazz, the league threw Utah a bone. A LOT OF BONES.
The Utah Jazz have 17 nationally televised games. That’s not a typo. SEVENTEEN. Gordon Hayward returns in November, so Utah fans aren’t forced to wait an entire season before the Celtics visit Utah, and LeBron and Utah square it up three times in front of a national audience.
So according to this release, mini-plans go on sale on Aug. 21, group tickets Aug. 22. So I'm guessing those marquee games will sell out in the single-game phase? https://t.co/mILPBom2QG— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) August 10, 2018
Speaking of the schedule, while Jazz fans celebrated the fact the team will finally be playing on Christmas, not everyone was pleased with the NBA’s choice of holiday matchups. What’s interesting though is that not too many are complaining about Utah’s inclusion.
Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post wrote a commentary on how he thinks the league “blew its Christmas Day schedule.” When I read the article, I expected to read something to the effect of “why is Utah playing on Christmas.” But instead, it was more about how the Jazz should be playing someone else instead of the Trail Blazers.
And while having Donovan Mitchell, one of the league’s brightest young stars, playing on Christmas is an inspired choice, having his Utah Jazz host the Portland Trail Blazers leaves something to be desired.
Bontemps proposed a variation which had the Jazz playing a different playoff team from the West.
Capping off the night would be Mitchell and the Jazz hosting Anthony Davis — the man who may be the NBA’s most valuable player this coming season — and the New Orleans Pelicans, who happened to sweep the Blazers from the playoffs last spring.
One of the many small but sweet stories of Utah’s 2017-18 season was the signing of David Stockton. He played just nine minutes — none of which were meaningful — and made 2-3 shots. It was the fact he was the son of Jazz legend John Stockton that made all nine of those minutes that much more special.
Andrew Bernstein, an NBA photographer, opened up about seeing both of these men on the court through his lens.
Andrew Bernstein — NBA photographer for 36 years — talks about his experience documenting John Stockton & his son David.— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) August 9, 2018
"As a father, I ... couldn't even imagine what that must feel like."#TakeNote | #NBAAssistWeek
Full video https://t.co/4sj49ElQa3 pic.twitter.com/urZJHPcvFu
The NBA countdown of best assists continues and Donovan Mitchell made the list at #25 with his sweet improve dime to Rudy Gobert.
At #25 of the TOP 60 DIMES from the 2017-18 season... @spidadmitchell of the @UtahJazz! #NBAAssistWeek #BESTofNBA pic.twitter.com/XVTgVxN2fM— NBA (@NBA) August 9, 2018