Machado Better than McNeal
Two things happened this week: the Utah Jazz added guard Scott Machado and, in turn, released former guard Jerel McNeal on a whim. The Jazz are looking for a third point guard (they traditionally keep three) to play behind newly-groomed rookie Trey Burke and primary backup John Lucas III.
From the perspective of many, this was a surprising move because the Jazz rarely act in such brazen fashion. Even moreso, it fosters curiosity as to its inducement—did Machado impress the brass enough to warrant Jerel McNeal’s release?
It’s a given that we’ll likely never have a concrete response. However, from a draft article I wrote a couple years ago, I predicted that Machado would be a diamond in the rough:
I’m absolutely in love with Scott Machado’s game. The NCAA leader in assists in 2012 at 9.9 per game, Machado is a much better passer than any other point guard prospect in the  draft, including UNC’s Kendall Marshall.
Machado’s court vision is simply jaw-dropping. He doesn’t usually go for the “flashy” pass, but his simple passes still amaze you.
Most point guards can hang their hat on being either a half-court facilitator or a floor general in the transition game. Machado is both, at no expense to one or the other; whereas, Kendall Marshall is definitely a half-court player with an OK feel for transition.
Machado has a great shooting stroke, as well, and can hit a shot or score when needed. He’s a terrific defender and is active in passing lanes. On top of those 9.9 assists, he averaged 13.6 points, 5.0 rebounds (yes, you read that right), and 1.6 steals while shooting 49.5 percent from the field and 40.4 percent from beyond the arc.
Watch this video to get a grasp on Scott Machado’s passing game (it’s vs. BYU):
I absolutely endorse this move by the Jazz. It screams commitment (to the youth movement). Further, the prospects far outweigh the risks with Machado. He’ll be a solid role player with the Jazz. When in need of a facilitator or spark off the bench, the team will need only to look to point guard Scott Machado.
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