Diante Garrett was called up from the D-League and signed by the Utah Jazz yesterday at around 1 p.m. MST and by 8 p.m. MST, the very same day, he convinced all Jazz fans that he should be their starting point guard. John Lucas III and Jamaal Tinsley ran the show to start the season for the Jazz since Trey Burke broke his finger in a preseason game against the Clippers. The two veteran point guards had historically bad shooting numbers and were a major liability on the floor. The Jazz decided to cut Jamaal Tinsley and look for other options. They decided on Diante Garrett and last night he made it clear to Jazz fans how terrible their point guards actually were.
Here’s a cool video on how Diante Garrett found out that he had been called up and was heading to Utah.
That’s has to be one of the best phone calls he’s ever received! I’m sure he was very excited when he got that call and when he got to Utah and into the Jazz game he didn’t let that opportunity slip away. Garrett hit his first shot which was a 3 from the top of the key and played a great all around game finishing with 7 points and 5 assists. The impact he had on the game goes much further than the stat sheet he had. Garrett opened up the floor for the other guys by driving to the basket and drawing in the defense then kicking it out to his teammates who have been dying for someone to hit them out there for good looks. Hayward has been the only guy who has been able to do that but since he was able to sit out on the 3 point line as well it opened it up even more for everyone else.
Having a competent point guard is something me and a bunch of us at purpleandblues have been dying for since the season started. Missing Trey Burke has been more of a burden on this team than anyone expected it be. Jamaal Tinsley and John Lucas III are not starting guards in the NBA. John Lucas III can give you a few minutes here and there but he doesn’t have the ability to play for extended time on the floor and be effective. This is why I have said that missing Burke was so crucial to this team’s ability to run the offense and stay in games. Now many of you might say that Trey Burke is a rookie point guard and will make a ton of mistakes so we really don’t know how good he will be when he gets back. I’m here to tell you that it literally CANNOT get any worse than it was with Jamaal Tinsley and John Lucas III running the show.
There is a reason that Diante Garrett is in the D-League and not in the NBA and look how much better he made our team against the Pelicans. If a D-League point guard can effect the game like Garrett did then imagine how much the Naismith Player of the Year will help once he gets comfortable. I’m not claiming that Trey Burke is going to put up all-star numbers, all I’m saying is that if Garrett was able to be effective than Burke should have no problem helping this team win games when he gets back. I personally was ecstatic that with Garrett’s play and he had 7 points and 5 assists. I think the point guard play thus far have dramatically lowered the expectations we have for our point guards and for Trey Burke.
Diante Garrett in my eyes has earned himself some playing time. I don’t see a reason for John Lucas III to play over Garrett if he continues this level of play. When Trey Burke gets back I would be perfectly happy with Garrett as our back up point guard and Lucas III sliding into the 3rd point guard slot and playing in games here and there depending on the situation. The expectation that Garrett can keep up this level of play isn’t far-fetched because it’s not like Garrett had the game of his life. He took shots when the opportunity presented itself, he made good passes to open men and did a pretty good job on the defensive end as well. Even though he made a few bad passes, that should be expected from a young guy that has the ball in his hands a lot with a new team.
If you want to see any stats about how bad our point guard play really was offensively check out these two articles posted earlier this month.