With 5:30 left in the game, the Jazz were missing their best offensive player (Donovan Mitchell), their point guard and floor general (Ricky Rubio), and their James Harden defensive specialist/best speed scorer (Dante Exum) due to injury.
Burks. At least you won't have to not talk about Alec next year when he's on another team
This was also probably the best game of Mitchell's career in terms of finding a balance between scoring and finding teammates. That's only the third time he's gotten at least nine assists, and in the first two instances, he scored under 20 points. On Tuesday night, Mitchell was able to do both.
Need to build around pick and roll with him and Rudy and shooters. Rubio off the bench or ideally on another team.
That's good because it appears Mitchell wants to get back to work. He'll undergo his exit interview Wednesday, then take a well-deserved break along with giving him a chance to heal up. Then, Mitchell will work with Johnnie Bryant in the offseason. Who knows what he's capable of.
Him and Gobert need to spend as much time as they can together running pick and roll. Ideally with some tutelage from Stockton and Malone. No reason they can't do what Harden/Paul and Capela do with shooters around them
Starting floor general Ricky Rubio missed the entire Rockets series with a left hamstring strain. Key reserve Dante Exum couldn’t play Game 5, either, with the same injury. Already at a disadvantage in terms of talent, the Jazz certainly couldn’t keep up with a short-handed lineup as well.
I think the reason they stole a game and played them tough in the last two was because the coach had to play Alec and Neto.
In all likelihood, the franchise will boast: the league’s Defensive Player of the Year (Gobert); Slam Dunk Champion (Mitchell); a dead-certain top two Rookie of the Year finisher (Mitchell); a likely top five, and maybe top three, Coach of the Year finisher (Snyder); and quite possibly a top five Executive of the Year (Dennis Lindsey). The Jazz have elite talent at every level of the franchise.
Two elite players and an elite role player. The Exec and coach now have to prove they can build around that. I'm doubtful
Favors hit 14 threes this year. The 22 percent accuracy isn’t wonderful, but consider Paul Millsap’s performance from long range at the same age (26): seven of 31 from three (23 percent). Millsap’s development into an ideal stretch four makes clear this shaky first step of a season for Favors may blossom in ways hard to imagine at this point. And remember that the Gobert/Favors tandem outscored opponents by better than eight points per 100 possessions in the post-season, and by nearer to nine points per 100 in the regular season. Over a prolonged period, the duo have proven they can play together.
Millsap's jumper was already money though. Favors still has never had a consistent free throw range jumper. He needs to go elsewhere and dive to the hoop and help on d. That's what he is great at.
Many have anecdotally said that this Utah Jazz team has to be their favorite Utah Jazz team of All-Time. At first I skeptically listened because that just sounds like something you say when you’re caught in the moment. “This is the best pizza I’ve ever had.” “This is the best movie I’ve ever seen.” I saw those hyperboles as victims of the moment, but then the group who said this was their favorite Jazz team of All-Time grew and diversified. It wasn’t just young Jazz fans who were not accustomed to a superstar saying it, it was older Jazz fans who lived through the Mark Eaton and Darrell Griffith days and fans who had watched MJ take on Stockton and Malone in the Delta Center. It was writers of my own staff falling in love with a team that they before had a hot/cold relationship with. But why?
'88. Very similar. Malone and Stockton's coming out party. They had the defending and eventual champ Lakers(the one that Riley guaranteed would be the first repeat champ since the Celtics in the 60's) beat and let it get away. Jazz never did put the team around those guys to win it all. Will it be different this time? I'm obviously skeptical