Aren’t you glad we made it out of the development stage?
I hope I’m not being too presumptuous in saying that. The Utah Jazz have only played 21 games thus far and you never know what future seasons will bring. Though for now it seems as though the Jazz’s tanking/development days are behind them. But it’s never a guarantee that a team will make it out of development in a timely manner.
During the development days of the Jazz (including the Dark ages of Tyrone Corbin) I held the base assumption that the Jazz were going to be, for the most part, done with the main development in 2-5 years. But as I look around the NBA I see that such an expectation is actually a pretty high standard to hold a team to.
When you think of teams that have been in the development stage at some point in the last five years or so, several teams come to mind. The Jazz, Celtics, Suns, Knicks, Timberwolves, 76ers (insert “trust the process” joke here), and Kings all come to mine. And though several of those teams have seemingly found their identity, others are still struggling to be relevant. Even teams that have spent years in the dumpsters of the NBA have been unable to capitalize on high draft picks to build their team (I’m looking at YOU Philadelphia).
Today the Jazz are going to face a team that is in a similar position to the Minnesota Timberwolves and a couple of steps behind the Jazz (hansenjames wrote an article about the similarities between the Jazz and Suns’ development if you remember). They’ve collected a group of talented youngsters and are now waiting for them to mesh and become a winning entity and not just a cluster of talent.
Perhaps it’s a bit late to use the grateful theme since Thanksgiving has passed, but the fact that the Jazz have had good management of their assets and some good luck with development of players is something to be grateful for. We actually got to legitimately talk about possibly getting to 50 wins this year instead of ending up in the lottery yet again. Few teams get that luxury, especially in the brutal Western Conference.