On Sunday night I was a guest on Hoops Habit’s weekly Google + Hangout. This week the crew was previewing the Northwest Division. As you will be able to see in the video, writers from other parts of the country do not believe in the Jazz at all. I attempted to try and defend the home team but a lot of things went unsaid due to other opinions and time. Here is a look at the video, followed by things that I wanted to continue to talk about, but didn’t have the chance. The Jazz talk begins around the 31:00 mark of the show.
If you didn’t watch the video, the crew had the Jazz hovering around a win total of 25 for the season. Not many mentioned Enes Kanter and how he can be an improvement over Al Jefferson. Also, none of the guys believe in Gordon Hayward. They think he is a good player, but with him as our go to guy for scoring, the Jazz have no choice but to fail.
I have the Jazz finishing the season with a 37-45 overall record. The Jazz will not hover around 25 wins. Here is why.
The offense last season was stagnant. The ball was thrown inside to Al Jefferson and was held, waiting for him to make a move. There was no ball movement whatsoever. This season, the ball will move more freely and we will see more cuts to the basket, more pick and roll, and more open curl jump shots from the corner of the free throw line.
Gordon Hayward, as mentioned in the video, averaged over 23 points per game off the bench as the go to guy for the second unit. As a starter, he averaged nearly 14 points. One thing mentioned in the video is that he can’t score as the go to guy. That he proved in the starting unit that he can not score. Like I said in the last paragraph, the offense ran through Jefferson and Hayward was not asked to be a scorer or the go to guy for the team. He will be able to prove doubters wrong with the young group to start the game.
The crew mentioned how the Jazz let Jefferson and Paul Millsap walk in free agency and how this was not a good move for the team. Like we have been talking here at Purple & Blues, this was a GREAT move. It was great for the development of these young guys, it was great for the future of the team, and it was time to give the young guys the opportunity to take over the team. If you keep Jefferson and Millsap on the team, you are telling your fans that you would rather go with the veterans than develop the young guys with an extremely high ceiling. You’re also telling your fans that you are satisfied with being a mediocre team, and have no intentions of building toward a championship.
Not everyone is like me and is a fan of Trey Burke. Burke was compared to possibly a Kendall Marshall wannabe, which could happen, but I highly doubt that. Burke is given the keys to this team, he knows his role, and he will be given the opportunities to showcase on what he can do in the NBA, which is not something that can be said for Marshall.
A hangout like this was difficult for me. I write about the Jazz and our staff has a pretty good handle on the direction that management is going for this team. Writers for other teams do not have that same handle and, as seen above, have very different opinions on our team. As biased as I was for the Jazz, I value everyone’s opinion.
Regardless, after all that was said tonight, the Jazz ceiling is still very high for the future. The team will surprise a lot of people this season, and hopefully some of my fellow panelists I met up with tonight.
All information used in this article was used courtesy of www.hoopshabit.com