A great Portland Trail Blazers writer for SBNation, BlazersEdge and creator of A Young Sabonis, I traded lobs with Dane Carbaugh today in advance of the Utah Jazz at Portland Trail Blazers tilt tonight up on the coast.
Here’s a taste:
Dane Carbaugh: Has Gordon Hayward started to plateau to his talent ceiling or do you think there’s a noticeable gain to be had left as he moves forward?
Clint Peterson: The big knock on Gordon Hayward this season is his field goal percentage and shot location — he was taking far too many long twos, that dreaded lowest efficiency shot in basketball.
What’s really crazy is that Hayward has yet to post a triple-double in his career. He’s been within three assists or rebounds of one six times this season, including three times in the last four games.
With Gordon Hayward, it’s really a matter of role.
DC: With Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap no longer around, how have Kanter and Favors worked together to develop as a pair?
CP: The Utah Jazz are 0-Infinity when Enes Kanter starts this season. They didn’t work at all together early in the season leading to Ty Corbin pulling Kanter from the starting lineup and inserting Marvin Williams instead, a move that has served all involved well — it’s looking increasingly likely that Marv may be a member of the Jazz next season and beyond.
Ty Corbin has continued to work on Favors and Kanter together, a bit at a time, with results on the up and up after a few adjustments, mainly to what Enes was doing in his time on the floor.
DC: Portland is going to play small ball with a few of their key players out due to injury. How do you think the Jazz will handle that strategy and what might they do to take advantage of it?
CP: Small ball will help certain Jazz players like Trey Burke, Marvin Williams and Gordon Hayward excel.
And in this same vein, here’s a couple more to keep your eye on tonight: Alec Burks has been red hot, especially finishing from the baseline, his preferred path to the basket, and getting to the free throw line, as well as Jeremy Evans, who is coming off a career high 13 rebounds and has a sneaky smooth jumper that’s helped open up his cuts to the rim for those fantastic finishes.
In fact, guess what my computer wallpaper still is…