The other night on our weekly edition of “Jazzcast”, we had on Bill Oram of the Salt Lake Tribune. During the segment, he posed the question, what do we expect from this season? What do we want to see from these young guys? What are our expectations? As any fan probably would say, we would like to win a championship. We all should know that is probably not going to happen this season, so realistically, here is what to expect.
The guys will be young, we all know that. A young starting five like the one we will have will probably struggle offensively. In a half court offense against a veteran team, we could have problems. However, with being as young as we are, we should excel in a couple key areas because of it. We should be faster than in the past and should be very good on fastbreaks. Also, defense and rebounding should be a big key area these youngs guys are good at.
Favors and Kanter are beasts on the boards. That being said, it can help out the offense if we can keep possessions alive with kick outs and put backs. With Kanter and Favors defending the paint also, not a lot of opposing players are going to get to the rim easily. However, with a lot of teams going smaller and playing with a “stretch 4″, that can give us problems as it pulls Favors away from the basket.
The bench can be better than most people think. Talking with Oram on the segment, he expects Alec Burks to play some backup point guard. If Burks is sliding into playing back up point guard, Brandon Rush could be put at shooting guard. Marvin Williams is recovering rather quickly from his injury and could be back sooner than expected. He could play small forward. However, I think the Jazz could play smaller off the bench and play Richard Jefferson at the small forward and Marvin at the power forward. Andris Biedrins would play center.
With this lineup, the Jazz have shooters on the floor. For their careers, Marvin, Richard, & Brandon all hover around 40% shooting from behind 3 point line. If things can open up for these 3 and they can get open shots, that would help take some of the pressure off the young guys.
I’ve heard from the “experts” that the Jazz are going to be hovering around 25 wins for the season. When I first heard it, I was a typical fan and called out everyone for being wrong about it. After I have had a chance to think about it, I still think they are wrong.
We will be a very good defensive team, good fastbreak team, good rebounding team, and have a good mix of young guys and veterans. Mix that in with the home court advantage that is very apparent in Salt Lake City, and you can win more than 25 games. I don’t expect the Jazz to compete for the NBA championship this season. I know there are going to be struggles with this team and this season. However, the improvement that we should see throughout the season should be very exciting to watch. I’m expecting anywhere from 35-39 wins this season. Winning that many games should excite Jazz fans because that might tell the “experts” that the Jazz are ahead of schedule and could be getting more national respect next season and closer to the ultimate goal of an NBA Championship.