Burks said he added around 10 lbs, playing around 200 last year to around 209 right now. The two younger big men have become both stronger and leaner. Favors was quite chiseled last year and added some muscle while not looking too bulky and Kanter looked every bit as muscular as his Twitter profile said.
+ Undersized, high-energy 4 who can score around basket or hit midrange jumpers.
+ Excellent rebounder with good hands and wide frame. Amazing knack for steals.
+ Size a problem defensively. Good passer. Moves well without ball into openings.
Millsap might be the most underrated player in the league. I love this guy. He's not a prototype 4 because he's undersized, but he's athletic, skilled and just knows how to play. He beats smaller players on post-ups, takes bigger ones off the dribble and confounds both with his midrange jump shot.
Last season was his best yet -- he averaged better than a point every two minutes, ranked sixth among power forwards in player efficiency rating, and had he been in the Eastern Conference certainly would have made the All-Star Game. The key is how broad-based his skills are: Millsap was in the top half of power forwards in every category I track except fouls per minute. All of them.
He was in the top quarter of power forwards in rebounds and assists. He got to the line and made his freebies. He made 41.6 percent of his long 2s and 71.6 percent of his shots in the basket area. He didn't turn it over. While he lacks a single defining go-to move, he has such an assortment of options that he can score on nearly anybody; in particular, his ball skills have really improved.
And for an undersized 4, his defense sure doesn't seem to be a problem. He fouls a lot, and that keeps him off the court sometimes. However, the Jazz were once again better with him on the court than off it, while Synergy's stats rated him above the league average for power forwards.
And then there's this little nugget: Millsap averaged 2.25 steals per 40 minutes. To put that in perspective, no other frontcourt player averaged more than 2.0, and no small forward matched Millsap's total either. The top 11 players in steal rate last season were 10 guys 6-4 or shorter -- and Paul Millsap.
Doesn't sound like a guy I want to bench, trade or start at the 3.
Last edited by Xiao Yao You : 10-01-2012 at 10:02 PM.
Paul Millsap asked today if #Jazz would be first choice in contract year.Seemed floored by question and said, "why wouldn't they be?"
— Adam Mikulich (@AdamMikulich) October 1, 2012
Millsap was even "flattered" by the Jazz' maximum-allowed-under-the-new-CBA contract extension. And of course, the Jazz just hired his personal trainer, Johnnie Bryant, as a team's development coach. In his interview with Locke, Millsap talked about the ballhandling and off-the-dribble work he's done this summer to expand his potential on the perimeter, naturally in the small forward position he played significant time in at the end of last season.
In short, there's a lot pointing towards Millsap staying around beyond this summer. And given Millsap's talent and contribution to the team's success, his presence will help ensure a winning Jazz future.
Mo's interviews were intriguing because of his immediate claim to the leadership role of the Utah Jazz. In his discussion with Locke, Mo talked about taking Alec Burks under his wing, saying that Burks "is not a 29% shooter".
I think Burks will become a better shooter too. His shot looks good. Not like Brewer.
Backup point guard Earl Watson proclaimed himself healthy Monday after missing the postseason with a knee injury. He didn’t say whether he would be ready to start camp Tuesday, however. Watson figures to battle with Jamaal Tinsely for the primary backup role.
But not long after the high of being invited to Jazz camp, which officially began Tuesday, Mekel quickly learned that he would have to turn down the opportunity because he would not be able to secure the required working visa for several days, likely forcing him to miss at least a week of practices. "Although the lack of an American work permit ruled me out for Utah's training camp, I feel good about my future," Mekel told Eurobasket. "It's very likely I'll play in Europe this year. Armed with all this new knowledge about how I can better my game, my goals are to keep improving my game, help my new team win and be prepared for possibly coming back to the United States next summer for either the NBA summer league or training camp in October." Eurobasket.com
Enes Kanter has arrived in camp with a different body, a new found confidence and from early reports a different game.
In the first night of scrimmaging Kanter hit some outside jump shots, showed a move other than the up and under and impressed numerous of his teammates. One player pointed out he even passed the ball out of the post on a few occasions.
Much of Kanter’s game last year was limited to what he did with the other young players in pre-game workouts 2 to 3 hours before games. He lacked the confidence and belief to bring it out into the forefront in the bright lights.
For the Turkish 20 year old it may all be coming together. His improved grasp of the English language is allowing his personality to come to the forefront. This in turn is letting him play the game with more self-assurance and his natural progression is beginning to take place.
Kanter’s rode to the NBA is the most unusual. He didn’t play basketball until he was 14 years old and by 19 was the 3rd pick in the NBA. After less than a year of basketball he was averaging 12 pts and 10 rebounds in European U16 championships, the next year he averaged 23 points and 17 rebounds. His performance in the U18 European Championships, averaging 19 points and 16 rebounds including a 35 point and 19 rebound performance against Lithuania and Jonas Valanciunas put him in the spotlight and then his domination of the Nike Hoop Summit rocketed him to the top of draft boards.
However, he didn’t play at all in 2010 and his size has always allowed him to dominate lesser opponents. When he arrived in the NBA he was no longer the biggest or strongest player on the floor and his lack of basketball knowledge was a impediment to his progress.
Last year, Kanter didn’t instinctively play the game correctly. Corbin explained “reading the pick and roll situations, if he is in the pick and roll how to set and dive and how to set and pop. Read his partner the other big man and react correctly off what he does. If the other big dives then to rotate up. If he pops then Kanter has to step into the lane, To play inside the game and to understand the game.”
It is understandable considering the lost year at Kentucky, followed by no summer league and a lockout that moved into December preventing any contact with the then rookie and the Utah Jazz.
Now Kanter enters a season knowing what to expect. He is still strong enough that Corbin says “people are still falling off of him.” However, the natural basketball knowledge is still trailing , “he is felling his way through it. He is still thinking but it is getting better,” said Corbin.
It is all part of the progression, an eye opening first year followed by a physical understanding of how to play and how what you need to be successfully. However, all the new found confidence on this newly developed body won’t be successful until the coaches believe that he knows the plays and the defensive assignment without thinking.
The skills are emerging. The body in improving. The confidence is beaming. Now the trust has to be developed.
INSIDER – Reports from last night’s contact session
Posted on October 4, 2012 by David Locke
Last night the Jazz broke into three groups for their contact sessions and played 4 on 4 and 5 on 5. Various pieces of information came out about last night’s sessions today.
The team of Jamaal Tinsey, Gordon Hayward, DeMarre Carroll, Darnell Jackson and Derrick Favors did most of the winning. The other teams were Chris Quinn, Alec Burks, Marvin Williams, Paul Millsap and Enes Kanter on one side and the other was Mo Williams, Randy Foye, Jeremy Evans, Brian Butch and Al Jefferson.
The three players that I heard were most impressive were Jamaal Tinsley, Gordon Hayward and Enes Kanter.
Tyrone Corbin was impressed by Tinsley “Oh man he had a great afternoon yesterday, he really showed once we got into contact how he sees things especially in a crowd he is a such a great passer he is a true point guard, he had a good afternoon yesterday.”
Corbin also commented about Kanter “He made some jump shots, he is playing well, he is moving really well due to his weight loss” and Hayward “Gordon had a good afternoon, he really attacked yesterday, his body seems to come back, he had a good afternoon.”
Numerous people talked about Kanter taking and hitting the jump shot. He was better finishing at the rim and he is moving far better. Kanter’s offense wasn’t only the up and under Kanter, he showed more jumpers and went to the middle on occasion as well.
Hayward was the best player on the floor according to some accounts, but still played in the Hayward style of being inside the game.
Posted in Insider
Shouldn't be any surprise that G is the best player. Along with Millsap he was their best player by the end of the year despite all the Favors hype. Hopefully he can put it together for a full year.
INSIDER – Is Favors impact Millsap and Jefferson
Posted on October 3, 2012 by David Locke
Is there a reverse Derrick Favors impact happening at Jazz camp? After just a day the word is that Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap have both been terrific in camp. Both are in amazing physical condition and both have come to camp to re-establish their prominence on this team
Millsap and Jefferson are both in contract years, but more importantly from a pride standpoint they both can see the immense talent of Derrick Favors and they both can do the math that there are only 96 big man minutes on the roster.
So much of the conversation has been about how Favors is going to develop and what his next steps are going to be as well as how Favors improves playing Millsap and Jefferson. Flip it around for a second and think about the impact Favors is having on Jefferson and Millsap.
Competition is good from all angles.
Posted in Insider
Would we expect anything else from Millsap? The guy works at getting better every year and has. Jefferson in a contract year so it's not too surprising. Most of the team is in contract years so it will be interesting to see how they all play.
The Jazz signed Foye in the offseason after a courtship that spanned more than two years. The guard has played for Minnesota, Washington and the Los Angeles Clippers, since he was drafted with the No. 7 pick in the 2006 NBA Draft. In 2010, Foye says he "was a step away from flying here and signing a contract."
Jazz Vice President and former General Manage Kevin O’Connor said a deal with Foye hinged on Carlos Boozer, who had not yet agreed to a deal with Chicago.
"He had a couple of really good offers out there," O’Connor said, "and we just told him, we liked him, ‘You’re somebody we would really like to consider, but we can’t make a decision right now.’"
Foye signed with Los Angeles, where he averaged 10.4 points over the last two seasons as a teammate of Jazz point guard Mo Williams.
INSIDER – Pace the word of Jazz Camp
Posted on October 3, 2012 by David Locke
One word continually came up today talking to players as they prepared for the morning sessions of Day 2 of training camp, pace. An increased pace to everything the Jazz are trying to do offensively.
The Jazz are not about to become the Phoenix Suns, but there is a hope to increase the urgency on the offensive end. They hope to get into plays quicker, get more options on a set and increase the movement from where the offense was last year.
The move to Mo Williams at point guard is a large part of the change. Last year, Tyrone Corbin was continually requesting his point guards to accelerate the tempo and get into the offense quicker.
Too often increased pace is associated with fast break basketball. In this case it would be more appropriate to talk about early offense. The Spurs were able to get up the floor in a hurry and Tony Parker would roll of a pick and roll with 18 on the shot clock. It was reminiscent of the Stockton to Malone Jazz who would get into their “power” set and have a quick post up option.
When a team is able to hit its first part of set with 17 to 19 on the shot clock a world of opportunity opens up in contrast to a team walking up the floor, looking for a play call and getting started on a set at 12 to 14 seconds. Five seconds is 4 passes, another chance to find an open man or more importantly more time to make the defense rotate and break down.
This doesn’t mean the Jazz will rise the charts in pace of play or more possessions used in the first 10 seconds of the clock. Instead, the hope is the action gets started earlier, thus creating better shots and better opportunities.
You aren’t going to see Mo Williams rush the ball up into a quick trialing three ball from Randy Foye or Marvin Williams. Instead, similar to the Spurs the shots will come off action.
Numerous possessions will still end in the hands of Al Jefferson in the post. Hopefully, they will have had some previous action before getting to Jefferson and Jefferson himself will be there and set quicker and earlier in the offense.
The combination of Millsap and Favors being able to run the floor and help create early opportunities with their speed and athleticism coupled with Jefferson’s ability to always be able to get himself a shot should give the Jazz numerous options inside of a 24 second shot clock.