Introducing Quin Snyder and What We Learned

Listening to the introductory press conference for Quin Snyder, there were several things that stood out to me. First, he was clearly hired for his development skills. His ability to develop was mentioned several times. He not only is able to develop players, but spends time individually with players working on their game. Given the young lineup of the Jazz developing players is huge. Players like Favors have a ton of potential, but up to this point has been a bit inconsistent. Hopefully Snyder is able to come in, work with Favors and help him develop into the defensive anchor he can be.

Just think about Alec Burks for a minute. Burks has been a player that attacks the basket, but despite shooting 35% from three point, is not considered a threat from deep. A big reason for this is his form changes when he shoots from three. His mid-range jumpers and free throws look very smooth and fluid. When he steps back and shoots a three he pushes the ball. If Snyder can work with Burks on his three point shot and get him to shoot the ball with the same motion as his mid-range jump shot it would not be inconceivable to have his percentage jump up to 40%. Alec Burks shooting the three pointer with 40% accuracy would only make him more able to get to the rim. If defenders decide to slack off him he can kill them with the three, if they try to take away the three he can blow by them, getting to the paint and getting an easy bucket or getting to the free throw line. If Burks is able to develop under Snyder and improve his form on three pointers, could Burks not then become the missing piece for the Jazz in having a go to player on offense that can score when you need someone to score?

Second, his time in Europe taught how to plan for a game. Like Snyder pointed out, teams are only able to play one game a week in Europe. This allowed him to dive into preparing for a game. Allowed him to take time to dissect what the other team wanted to do and scheme a game plan. In addition to having the time to really study the opposing team, he was able to do so under the best coach in Europe, Ettore Messina.

Third, Snyder wants to open up the offense. This was merely a comment he made, but opening up the offense will give the Jazz more opportunities for easy buckets. Too often the past few seasons the Jazz would collect a defensive rebound, slowly take it up the court, pass it around without purpose for 20 seconds, then having to force up not only a low percentage shot, but a low percentage shot that was also contested. The Jazz have a young team with some athletes. Grabbing a defensive rebound and pushing it up the court looking for an easy basket could easily improve the offense by several points. If no easy basket is available they can then slow up and get into their half-court offense.

Fourth, Snyder has learned from his experiences both good and bad. His tenure, and ultimate firing (officially he resigned, but even Snyder has said he was fired) at Missouri has been highly publicized. I am sure he has had to answer questions regarding his release everywhere he has gone. During the press conference it was brought up multiple times. Snyder did not back down from the questions, but answered them in ways that showed he has grown. He has taken those failures and has used them to help make him a better coach today. Because he has learned from these failures, they should only be a benefit going forward with the Jazz.

Fifth, and finally, Snyder is quick on his feet. I came to this realization from one comment he made. Earlier, Dennis Lindsey was talking about his time with the Spurs when he was first hired. Snyder had been hired as the Toros (Spurs D-League affiliate) just a few months before Lindsey. Lindsey was asked what he thought about Snyder and he said he was skeptical. Lindsey then explained his skepticism was due to him not knowing much about him and as he grew to know him he grew to like him. Later in the press conference Lindsey was asked what it was about Snyder that they hired him over the other three finalists. Without missing a beat Snyder jumped in and said he wanted to hear the answer as well because earlier Lindsey was saying how he didn’t like him. That quickness on his feet is beneficial as a coach. Coaches have to make changes on the fly. Snyder is clearly a smart individual, but being able to think quickly will allow him to use his intelligence during the games in making adjustments and giving the Jazz their best chance to succeed.

Ultimately what we learned during the press conference will ultimately be shown on the court. As for now I believe the Jazz hired themselves a very good coach, who has the ability to succeed. It will be exciting to see Snyder lead the Jazz, hopefully for many years to come.

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