With 33 days left until the Jazz play their first preseason game against the Perth Wildcats, I’ve been messing around with the roster looking for interesting lineups. Here are a few of my favorites so far. I’m not including obvious lineups, like the starters, this was a thought exercise. Some of these might not make sense in practicality, but I’d still really like to see how those specific players fit together.
“Spread the Floor”
- Donovan Mitchell, Grayson Allen, Royce O’Neale, Joe Ingles, Derrick Favors
This one is self explanatory. This lineup is about as close as the Jazz can get to playing “five out”, with all five guys being able to shoot the three ball. I will definitely be keeping an eye on how Derrick has developed his three point shot over this offseason. If he can get to even just 33%, that would open up a whole lot of offensive options for the Jazz.
“Drive and Kick”
- Dante Exum, Donovan Mitchell, Joe Ingles, Jae Crowder, Rudy Gobert
Another fairly self-explanatory lineup. The idea would be to get Dante, Donovan, Joe and Jae all in a drive-and-kick motion that I believe coach Quin Snyder calls the “blender”. This offense works with most of our lineups, but I feel this group would be particularly good at it. Dante, Donovan, and Joe especially have proven to be effective at driving to the basket, all in their own ways. Dante with his blinding speed, Donovan with his insane moves and athleticism, Joe with his cunning and craftiness.
Stockton to Malone Ricky to Rudy”
- Ricky Rubio, Grayson Allen, Joe Ingles, Derrick Favors, Rudy Gobert
OK. This is just the starters with Grayson Allen subbed in. Mostly because I want to see how Grayson would play with an extremely talented point guard, and other starter-caliber players.
“Let Don Go to Work”
- Donovan Mitchell, Grayson Allen, Royce O’Neale, Jae Crowder, Derrick Favors
This lineup is meant to put other players on the floor that do not need the ball in their hands quite as often. However Grayson, Royce, Jae, and Derrick are all very capable passers when they need to be. This group could get Donovan open looks, or allow him to simply do his thing, running pick n’ rolls, isolations, and tearing up the opposing defense.
“The Utah Bad Boys”
- Ricky Rubio, Grayson Allen, Joe Ingles, Jae Crowder, Rudy Gobert
Based on the “Detroit Bad Boys”, this lineup is specially designed to get underneath the opponent’s skin. The trash talk from this group would be on another plane of existence. The majority of scoring from this squad might as well come from Ricky Rubio knocking down technical foul free throws. Who needs a shot-creator when you can get the other team’s players, coaches, mascots, and dancers ejected?
Royce O’Neale and Naz Mitrou-Long were sighted at Be Well Utah 2018. Per Be Well Utah’s Twitter page, it was “a week of family-friendly, fun, and healthy activities devoted to helping Utah families adopt a healthy lifestyle”. Royce and Naz got their groove on with the Zumba class.
.@BucketsONeale00 & @NazzyJML joining in the Zumba class at @bewellutah pic.twitter.com/NPBnAuTTew— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) August 25, 2018
you know I like to dance https://t.co/CZmF2YtQIl— Royce O'Neale (@BucketsONeale00) August 25, 2018
Some fans were able to meet them as well.
Come meet @BucketsONeale00 and @NazzyJML! pic.twitter.com/aNAVW2v4wE— Be Well Utah 2018 (@BeWellUtah) August 25, 2018
The Jazz players have been more active in the community this offseason than I ever remember them being.
We got an update from our favorite warrior JP Gibson.
Had a great day at the annual @CureSearch walk. It was another great event honoring our local cancer fighting kids. JP had a lot of support on his team including @utahjazz GM Dennis Lindsey and his family. Classy organization from top to bottom. #takenote #jpstrong #cancersucks pic.twitter.com/clnQCDrVZM— Josh Gibson (@jjpgibson) August 26, 2018
A few days ago he had his first day of 3rd grade.
It’s so great to see JP smiling again. This kid is certainly an inspiration to a lot of people. Life can throw a lot of curve balls, and unlike in baseball, we don’t get a penalty walk for four errant throws. Heck, we don’t even get a penalty walk when we get beaned. Apologies for the baseball terminology on a basketball website, but it gets the point across. Here’s to JP Gibson and the light he brings into this world we live in.
Former Utah Jazz player, and All-Star Weekend Dunk Champion Jeremy Evans will be playing basketball for a Turkish team this upcoming season.
Evans, a second-round pick in 2010, spent five seasons with the Jazz after entering the league, averaging 3.7 PPG and 2.7 RPG in a limited role over the course of 219 regular season contests. He also won the Slam Dunk contest in 2012.
In tribute, I wanted to leave this highlight reel of “The Statistical Anomaly”.
Here is another thought exercise. If you could build a team of ex-Jazz players that are still currently in the league, who would you go with? (Note, this cannot include players currently on the team.)
Here is mine:
- Devin Harris
- Wesley Matthews
- DeMarre Carroll
- Paul Millsap
- Kyrylo Fesenko (I’m going to count this one because he is still playing professional basketball somewhere)