Mitchell looks like he’s scoring so much easier. Granted, again, it’s preseason and defense is really going to clamp down once games start to count. Because defenses have to spread the floor more now, and can’t just collapse on Mitchell once he beats his man on the perimeter, he’s able to flow more through the lane and make better, more controlled, shots and passes. I think my boldest take that I’m entering the regular season with is that Donovan Mitchell is going to be the best player on the Utah Jazz this season. I had been on the fence on whether or not he could leapfrog Rudy Gobert until watching the preseason and seeing how much easier the game was coming to him with this space. We’ll see how this take ends up for me at the end of the year, but for now, I’m rolling with it.
believe it when I see it. That would be a monster leap. Rudy has carried them for almost 5 years now. Mitchell nor Hayward or anyone has even been close. Few in the league have
Conley is a different defender than Ricky Rubio — that’s not to say he’s better or worse, he’s just different. Bogdanovic is clearly not the same defender as Derrick Favors. The Jazz aren’t as big or as long as they once were. Does that mean Snyder has to adjust the scheme to help his new player adapt? He’s not above questioning that.
Yeah Conley tries to stay in front of his man and defend. Ricky plays behind his man and goes for steals
If Rudy Gobert is disengaged to start the season, Utah could have a repeat of last year’s rough defensive start where they weren’t locked in. It took Dennis Lindsey making the Kyle Korver trade to shake this roster awake with some urgency. Dennis Lindsey even tried to get Conley earlier and bring him in at the trade deadline. With Justin Zanik now running the front office, I anticipate he doesn’t want to have to make a midseason trade for a role player to awaken his roster’s urgency for the second year in a row.
refusing to give up Exum isn't what I'd call trying. But what is another season wasted really?
Utah has the depth to play around Mudiay and Exum if they struggle or play outside of their roles to start the season, but if Mudiay and Exum can be feisty backcourt off the bench, Utah’s ceiling goes up exponentially. Part of why Utah holds onto Exum—aside from never trading away a player when their trade value is at its lowest—is Exum’s defensive abilities—when healthy—are elite.
What depth is it you speak of? No one proven. A bunch of rookies
He did not rebound the ball as well as he could. Royce O’Neale averaged 3.5 rebounds a game in 20 minutes a night. In preseason he was coming away with 3.4 rebounds a game in 22.4 minutes. He’s a little under his averages. Unfortunately for Royce, Utah is not just hoping he can increase his number of rebounds a game, they are expecting it. Utah needs to replace the rebounding that happened when Derrick Favors and Jae Crowder split time at the four spot. Admittedly, Crowder spent more time there than Favors, but those rebounds need to be replaced. O’Neale is a big part of that.
He's a better rebounder than Crowder and Davis is better than Favors
Donovan Mitchell wasn’t supposed to be “the guy” his rookie season. Expectations for the season were low ... and then Summer League happened. Donovan looked like the best player on the court and got the best of Jayson Tatum. He went on to have one of the most remarkable rookie seasons in recent history, and led the Jazz to a series win over a star-studded Oklahoma City Thunder team.
Exum looked like the best player. Enough said
Mitchell has done all of this without a “sidekick” on offense. For two years, Donovan has stood alone as the only consistent offensive playmaker. Defenses sagged off the likes of Rubio, Favors, and Crowder to stop Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell from owning the paint and the game.
They didn't sag off Rudy
Justin Zanick made sure that changes this season. Utah desperately needed shooting, so Zanick acquired some deadly new weapons to deploy in Quin Snyder’s offense. Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic, Utah’s two most note-worthy additions, shot 36.4% and 42.5% from 3-point range, respectively.
Player Weight Height Wingspan Career 3P% Ast % Total Reb % DRAYMOND RATING
Dante Exum 225 6'6 6'10 30% 17.90% 5.20% 1.5320429
Joe Ingles 226 6'8 6'10 40.80% 20.20% 7.10% -0.37619626
Royce O'Neale 226 6'6 6'10 37.40% 10.80% 10.80% 0.93629535
Georges Niang 230 6'8 6'10 36.40% 9.90% 9.60% -0.870820667
Jeff Green 235 6'9 7'1 33.33% 8.50% 8.50% -0.209303583
Bojan Bogdanovic 216 6'8 6'11 38.90% 7.80% 11.60% -0.77138502
Forgot Mudiay. Niang and Bojan have some length. Now we know why they got Green though!
The problem for Utah comes when they have to figure out how to rebound. While Jae Crowder wasn’t burning down the nets with his scoring, he was averaging 4.8 rebounds a game for the season. Rebounding the ball is the biggest void Utah is going to have trouble filling. Royce O’Neale and Bojan Bogdanovic only averaged 3.4 rebounds a game in preseason. Jeff Green? 2.8. Joe Ingles? 2.5. If Utah is unable to rebound the ball, their small lineups may suffer. Utah’s best non-center rebounding player in preseason? The undersized Donovan Mitchell. While Donovan has the chops for rebounding, that may not be a recipe for continued success to rely upon the Jazz’s primary scorer for rebounding as well.
5 boards in 27 minutes for a 4 is weak
Mitchell needs to step up his all around game. They have plenty of scorers
This type of play is now available just because of the name on the back of Utah’s wings’ jerseys. Portland has to react to Gobert’s gravity near the rim, but can pull away from Ingles and Bogdanovic because of their ability to hit the three ball AND take the ball off the dribble and create. That allows Utah to play a game of 3 v. 3 on this play with Conley getting the open shot. Utah’s offense changes dramatically.
who could have possibly seen that coming? Tell me again how Ricky and Favors ever made any sense?
While it may be hard to move on from the Derrick Favors years for Jazz fans, the good news is Utah has a group of players that through the aggregate can take Utah to higher heights. The foursome of Green, Ingles, O’Neale, and Bogdanovic has skills that Favors and Crowder just would never develop. Are there going to be times Utah misses Favors flexibility to move from the four to five? Most certainly. Are there going to be times Utah missed Jae Crowder’s toughness on defense? Of course. But by the midpoint of this NBA season, Jazz fans will see that Utah’s ceiling is now higher with this more modern set of NBA power forwards.
It was hard to move on from Millsap and Demarre and Wes Matthews. Favors should have been gone 5 years ago instead of Millsap.
With Bogdanovic on the floor, combined with the other new players, the Jazz have a very clear offensive identity. A four-out system with elite pick and roll screens coming from either Rudy Gobert or Ed Davis. Because of the Jazz’s now incredible overall team shooting, combined with Gobert’s gravity, Utah has been scoring at will.
It's the same system. It's just players that make sense spotting up in the corner instead of Rubio and Favors? How did they ever make sense again please?
That’s probably been the most surprising things with Bogdanovic this preseason is how much he’s been handling the ball. He shows a solid handle and an ability to make the right pass. It just hasn’t quite worked so far. What happens when everything clicks?
It's like people missed Haywards last season when in the 2nd half everyone on the floor except their centers could play with or without the ball and create space.
The influx of talent that came with the summer’s free agency and trade acquisitions will mean an adjustment for several players on this team. It looks like Joe Ingles, with the arrival of Bogdanovic, will be shifting from the full-time starting role he’s been in for the past several seasons to more of a sixth man, leader-of-the-bench role. I suspect Ingles will still close most games, but playing with primarily bench units throughout the game will be an adjustment for the Aussie.
Shouldn't be. Used to come off the bench because he didn't go to Duke and played with the 2nd unit a year ago
All of this is to say, it wouldn’t take much for this season’s Jazz to have a worse injury year than last season. A Gobert injury could be particularly debilitating for this team, without Derrick Favors to fall back on at the center position to anchor the defense.
Should be easier to survive a month or two without Rudy than ever with this year. They've sucked without him in the past despite the so called greatness of Favors
It cannot be understated how much the Utah Jazz roster has changed this offseason. The Jazz lost a whole list of Derrick Favors, Ricky Rubio, Jae Crowder, Kyle Korver, Raul Neto, Grayson Allen, Thabo Sefolosha, Ekpe Udoh, and two way contracts Tyler Cavanaugh and Naz Mitrou-Long. On the flip side, the Jazz have gotten arguably the best or second best player of two other teams (Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic, from the Grizzlies and Pacers), rounded out the squad with multiple high level role players (Jeff Green, Ed Davis, Emmanuel Mudiay), and added more young talent through the draft. So, with all of these changes, where are the weaknesses in the new team?
Mudiay may have been the best player on the worst team in the league but yet to prove he's a high level role player
In effect, at risk of oversimplification, we’ve replaced Ricky with Mike Conley, replaced Derrick Favors and Jae Crowder with a combination Jeff Green and Ed Davis, and brought in Bojan to take Joe’s place as he moves towards the bench to replace Kyle’s production. Looking at per-game average sums for the four guys coming in for Derrick, Ricky, Jae, and Kyle, we see some interesting trends:
This season is going to be a big one for Royce O’Neale. He’s on the final year of this 3yr-$4M that he signed in 2017. He will be a restricted free agent next summer, which ultimately means that the ball is in the Jazz’s court. O’Neale will be working all year long for a juicy contract extension, and the opportunity to lock down being an NBA player for many more years.
Might mean finally dumping Exum's contract so they can pay him too!
Can you tell when Gobert came back from injury to lead the Jazz on a season-ending tear? Gobert is a difference maker and a top 15, arguably top 10 player in the league. As the best defensive player in the world, he’s the key to Utah’s recent success and the most important player on the roster for winning.
Arguably top 5 as much as no one wants to hear that
In that same timespan, the Jazz offensive rating was 16th, 12th, 16th, and 14th. An average offense will only get you so far. Historically, NBA champions have had a top 10 offense and a top 10 defense. Sure there are some outliers, but you get the point. After some early playoff exists, the front office decided some changes were necessary. And looking at the roster it was relatively easy to see what needed to improve. Utah’s shooting woes in the playoffs had to be addressed. Despite creating some of the most open looks of anyone in the playoffs, their percentages were one of the worse.
The question is why have they wasted almost 5 years of Rudy's career before doing something about it?
A big factor to Utah’s defensive success may actually fall on Donovan Mitchell’s shoulders. Now that he has some offensive help he may have more energy and focus for the defensive end. He looked like a great defender at FIBA and has looked like Utah’s best perimeter defender in the preseason. That’s a byproduct I hadn’t anticipated, but will gladly welcome.
Mitchell getting help on offense so he can use his energy elsewhere. Who could have seen that coming?
Unfortunately, the overall defense hasn’t been there in the preseason. The team has given up 133, 128, and 128 points to the NBA teams they’ve faced. Is that a concerning trend or just the preseason? That could be a sign of things to come that the Jazz sacrificed a little too much on defense. I might not expect the Jazz to have a top 10 defense this year. Or the guys are still adjusting to their new teammates, rotations, and defensive call-outs and this takes time. Just last season the Jazz were only 12th defensively after 28 games. But Quin Snyder and team figured it out and finished the season 2nd overall. Don’t panic if it takes a few weeks for guys to settle in and this defense to start stifling again. And don’t panic if the team goes from the 2nd best defense to the 8th or 9th best. The offensive payout should make up for that.
I think he is crucial to the Jazz success this year.
If Royce and Dante can make shots from the outside (+35%) and keep playing good defense, they will be playing a bunch. Are second unit would be very good too. Not that Conley is old, but I believe the Jazz will keep his minutes around 30-32 min/game while Rudy and Donovan will be closer to 35-37 min/game. If Dante is playing well, they will feel comfortable giving Mike more rest. I am curious how Quin is going to distribute the minutes. So much versatility.
Posted by JMBDog on Oct 18, 2019 | 8:40 AM
Gobert a dn Mitchell won't play that much
Zach Lowe thinks Exum will be traded this season
It’s just a pre-season prediction and he explicitly says it shouldn’t be taken seriously, but he thinks Exum and Bradley will be packaged for a guy like Robert Covington or Marcus Morris. He also mentions that Bjelica might be traded by Sacramento, and I don’t think it’s a stretch to think that the Jazz might be interested in that one too if they need a mid-season boost.
Posted by TheManTheyCallJayne on Oct 18, 2019 | 9:23 AM
let's hope so but considering they wouldn't give him up for Conley I wouldn't count on it. He's the big contract they'd have to package with young guys/picks to get help though. Help could come in buyouts as well. Might just need to clear roster space
Shams Charania: Sources: The Golden State Warriors are waiving forward Alfonzo McKinnie, clearing way for Marquese Chriss to make regular-season roster. McKinnie will be one of the top available players on market. – via Twitter ShamsCharania
I'd go with Shumpert but still better than Howard/Kidd? Should fit. GS moved the ball offensively