Thoughts from Jazz Game 1 (Tyler)
Hello everyone and welcome back to the blog after a short break. I had the opportunity provided to me to go the the Jazz's first game of the year (be it preseason) and wanted to give my thoughts on this years team.
The Jazz are finally in a "rebuilding" year and are giving valuable playing time to their young up and comers. The starting lineup last night consisted of PG Trey Burke, SG Richard Jefferson, SF Gordon Hayward, PF Derrick Favors, and C Enes Kanter. So besides 12yr veteran Jefferson the Jazz are starting 4 players that have a total of 8 years experience with Rookie Trey Burke at PG. It's good to see the Jazz finally commit to their young stars in the making. The Jazz should get thumped in most of their games this year but the future payoff will be exponentially higher than trying to scrap for the 8th seed year in and year out just to get swept first round of the playoffs. I like it.
I know, i know it's just the first preseason game of the year but i was pleasantly surprised by a couple of players. First is Jeremy Evans, i always thought that Evans was just the guy brought in to block shots and throw down a few highlight alley-oops, but i was mistaken. He has a jump shot! Evans hit on a couple of jump shots from 15-20ft and even looked comfortable doing it. Evans could see his minutes improve if he can keep hitting those consistently. Second is Trey Burke, the summer league didn't leave a good taste in my mouth concerning Burke, but last night after getting his first shot attempt blocked i thought "here we go again" but Burke showed he can play at this level by putting together a couple of nice shots, one being a step back jumper from the baseline along with a couple three pointers and assists. He will come along nicely in the starting lineup. Lastly is backup PG John Lucas III, he ran the point better than i expected and some times even looked like a SG instead by shooting 5-9 from the field including 2-2 from three point land and 4-4 from the free throw line. After losing essentially every point guard on the roster from last year (i don't count Alec Burks as a PG) it was nice to see that we aren't going to be stunted so bad at that spot because of solid play from John Lucas III. I don't mention Derrick Favors or Alec Burks who had good games because we all knew they would when they got the time they deserved.
Honestly i wasn't overly disappointed with most of the Jazz team, but i wanted to say that i expected C Rudy Gobert to do more than he did. He only took one shot (from right at the rim) and missed it. He did have 5 rebounds and a block which is nice. But was called on 4 fouls in the 12 minutes he was on the floor and looked like a deer in the headlights on the court. Luckily, like the rest of the team he is young and he will get some time to develop behind the other Centers Kanter and Biedrins who should be able to take up most of the time on the court. He will come along given time but i expected more of him coming in with the 3rd stringers of each team.
If you got a chance to watch last nights game what did you think? And don't give me the "We're going to the Playoffs" bologna because that just isn't going to happen this year.