Let me tell you about a team from last season.
This team was the 5th seed in the playoffs and knocked out the 4th seed in 6 games.
It had the best defensive player in the NBA.
It had the runner up in the rookie of the year race who outplayed the league MVP on the game’s biggest stage.
Against the reigning champion Warriors, they were 3-1 including two blowout victories. And for the doubters out there, one of those blowout victories included Steph Curry before his injury.
If you haven’t guessed yet, I’m talking about the Utah Jazz. According to this article written by one of our colleagues at the mothership, they’ll be worse this season.
Here is the explanation for the Jazz being worse in their article.
Donovan Mitchell was excited about drafting Allen, and the rookie out of Duke should help the Jazz claw deeper into the playoffs. This team, though, probably did not improve enough to make it out of the second round. In fact, with the Lakers and Nuggets more in the mix for the playoffs this season, Utah may find itself clinging to a lower seed. The Jazz are hoping continuity is the biggest form of improvement.
Yes, the Jazz added Grayson Allen to the roster, but using the drafting of Allen as the only barometer of how well the Jazz will do next year ignores the hurdles the Jazz overcame last season that they won’t have to this year.
The Jazz will have the opportunity to play with a healthy Rudy Gobert, something they didn’t have for almost half of last season. They’ll have an improved Donovan Mitchell playing in his second season as the unquestioned scoring leader. Ricky Rubio will start the season familiar, and comfortable, within the offense. They’ll have an improved bench with Royce O’neale and Dante Exum getting significant minutes against 2nd units. They’ll also have returning veterans in Thabo Sefolosha and Jae Crowder with more time in the offense .
There’s more that I’m forgetting, I’m sure.
considering all this there are still NBA writers out there sleeping on the Jazz.
I graded all 30 NBA teams offseasons... with emojis— Kristian Winfield (@Krisplashed) August 14, 2018
What would you give your team? https://t.co/dPQjJgogOh
The Jazz will win over 50 games this season and they’ll do it while playing national games on Christmas and opening week. There’s no excuses after this season for not knowing how good the Jazz are. But you know, it can be hard for some who’s only job requirement is know about the league.
The Jazz are now Stockton-less again.
Sources: The Utah Jazz have waived guard David Stockton, son of Hall of Famer John Stockton.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 14, 2018
One of the fun parts of last season was hoping for blowouts so we might get a chance to see David Stockton play. When you heard Craig Bolerjack call “Stockton for three!” it was fantastic.
Best of luck to Stockton who’ll be playing in Germany this season.
The Utah Jazz have waived guard David Stockton, son of NBA legend John Stockton. He will play with the Medi Bayreuth in Germany this season.— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) August 15, 2018
It was national left handers day yesterday and it reminded me about the things I like about lefty players: chicken wing jumpshots and ... witchcraft?
Great teams need a good left hander to win like the Bulls with Toni Kukoc and the Spurs with Manu Ginobili.
Will Joe Ingles be that guy for the Jazz?
Happy national lefty day old man @Joeingles7 #LeftHandersDay2018 pic.twitter.com/TEkS5U69ke— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) August 14, 2018
One of the
only best parts of covering the Jazz in the summer is the annual Junior Jazz trips. Georges Niang is doing an amazing job and the Jazz social media team has provided great content to follow.
When I look back at my time as a Junior Jazz kid, and how much I loved seeing Jazz players like Jeff Hornacek and other Jazz greats, it’s obvious how much the kids will remember these visits.
Good job, Georges Niang!
It’s the longest month of the year. But it’s nowhere near as long as Rudy Gobert’s reach that lead to insane blocks like this game winner last season.
At #42 of the TOP 60 SWATS from the 2017-18 season... @rudygobert27 of the @UtahJazz! #NBABlockWeek #BESTofNBA pic.twitter.com/dI3303KVe6— NBA (@NBA) August 14, 2018