I have not been this excited for a Jazz season to begin in years, and you should be too!! Here is why I’m jazzed up for the season to begin:
1. No Big Al Jefferson: Now yes Al is a wonderful person and was good for the organization. He helped mentor our young guys and was a good person for them to look up to. He even won a couple games for us with his performances in the clutch, I also feel he hurt our offense. Tyrone Corbin, head coach of the Utah Jazz, stated after the season that with Al in the game he was not able to run the offense he wanted to run. And that is the problem with Al, he can’t move so your offense becomes one dimensional and easy to defend. With Al out of the picture our offense is going to move, players are going to do back cuts again and it’s just going to be much more fun to watch. And with Kanter and Favors starting our defense will be sooooo much better, we will actually have people that can move on the pick and roll. This makes me very happy.
2. Defense: Our young core will be able to actually play defense. Alec and Gordon give the Jazz two young Athletic Wings that are both deceptively good at defense. With Favors replacing Millsap this give the Jazz a Power Forward who is actually the size of a Power Forward, which is refreshing. Derrick Favors has the defensive ability to be like Dwight Howard and be a Defensive Player of the Year. And next year we get to watch him grow into that defensive presence we all feel he can be. With Kanter replacing Al we get a young big that can move, and well that right there means he will be better than Al.
3. We get to watch Gordon Hayward become a leader: Here are some interesting stats on Gordon Hayward found by the Great David Locke:
Over the last three season’s Gordon Hayward has gone from 5 pts a game to 11.8 pts a game to 14 pts a game. Now it is time to see if the member of the USA Elite Team is ready to become a leader of a franchise. Let’s get a little geeky, last year Hawyard used 24% of his possessions to shoot a three (hitting on 42%) and he got to the line 12.7 of his possessions. The two most efficient ways to score are shooting a three and going to the line. Only 3 other players in the NBA who played more than 10 minutes a night did what Hayward did last year – James Harden, Danilo Gallinari and Gerald Wallace and none of them shot the three better than 37%. Last year Gordon Hayward averaged per 36 minutes on the floor 17 pts, 3.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists. The players who have done the same playing on the wing in the last 20 seasons are Le Bron James, Carmelo Anthony, Richard Jefferson, Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter, Kevin Garnett, Antoine Walker, Grant Hill, Juwan Howard, Anfernee Hardaway and Jamal Mashburn. Solid company.
Gordon Hayward is good. And finally we will get to see him play a lot of minutes and play with people who fit his game much more than Al, Mo, and Sap. The group of players listed above were all very good players, so can all the Paul George love please stop! Hayward is going to be something special.
4. We get to see Alec Burks and Enes Kanter Play: Finally we will all get to see Alec Burks play 30+ minutes consistently! This will be glorious, he could become the most improved player in the NBA. Will he be able to play defense for 30+ minutes and still be able to score consistently? Will he be able to sustain his body for 30+ minutes a night? We will find out! Enes Kanter will play a lot of minutes and it fills my heart with joy. Last time the guy played 30+ minutes he put up 20+ pts and 20+ rebs…enough said here.
5. Trey Burke: We get a young true point guard to set up the core 4! and we get to watch him grow and develop with other talented young players. Will he have mistakes? Yes he will, but we will get to watch and see how he corrects them and progresses through the season. It’s going to be fun.
6. We get a shiny new 1080 p score board!!!!