Diante Garrett will always be the guy that got the Utah Jazz their first win of the season against the New Orleans Pelicans on November 13th. Garrett was a sight for sore eyes as the Jazz arguably had no point guard play up until this game with John Lucas and Jamal Tinsley. Garrett had just 7 points and 5 assists, but his presence on the court as a long guy that could defend was something the Utah Jazz desperately needed.
Diante averaged 3.5 points, 1.7 assists and 1.5 rebounds in 14 minutes a game backing up Trey Burke for the majority of the season. Dennis Lindsey had his eye on Garrett and without much delay cut Jamal and brought in Diante. Garrett played 19 games for the Suns the previous year but was unable to stay with the team.
He made a huge leap with his 3-pt shot as his percentage went from 20% to 35%. The game that might describe this best was against his former team the Phoenix Suns. The Jazz and Suns were in a good game as Diante was on the side 3, next to the Suns bench. The Suns bench then told whoever was defending Garret to give him space cause he wouldn’t hit the 3. As the defender backed up Garrett took the 3 and drained it. He then followed that up with 12 more points including 3 3 pointers for the game and one where he had a sick crossover before knocking the 3 down.
What he must improve:
If Garrett wants to stay on the Jazz he will need to improve on his shooting overall along with his decision making. Although he averaged next to 2 assists he also averaged over 1 turnover a game and a lot of them came in costly moments. He also needs to improve his consistency as one night he would look better than Trey and the next he would look worse than Lucas. If he can get his 3 point percentage up to 40% then he will always have a place in the NBA but if not he might bounce back and forth between the NBA and the D-League.
Diante in my mind has a place on the Jazz next year unless they decide to draft another point in the draft. Diante has earned the backup role for now and I’m looking forward to next season to see where he improved. I think it would be a mistake not keeping Diante for one more year, but that will be up to the new coach (and Lindsey) as it depends which direction the Jazz go.