The Utah Jazz believes they have the team to go deep in the playoffs this year. With many of their star pieces returning as in Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert while and adding a few new pieces like Mike Conley, who is arguably one of the most underrated point guards in the league. Adding him wasn’t only a good upgrade […]
The Utah Jazz believes they have the team to go deep in the playoffs this year. With many of their star pieces returning as in Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert while and adding a few new pieces like Mike Conley, who is arguably one of the most underrated point guards in the league. Adding him wasn’t only a good upgrade at the point guard position, it also helped by adding another scorer to make the team have three people who can have a good night at any time of the week.
The Jazz has been another team that has been struggling to get over the hump and try to make it back to the NBA finals since the 1997-98 season, losing to the Bulls. Adding big names to the roster such as Mike Conley from the Grizzlies and Bojan Bogdonavič from the Pacers, it gives them size and depth on the bench, and a little bit of defense as well.
Justin Wright-Foreman *Two-Way
Conley will be the main guard they use to bring up the ball. I actually think this was a good pick up by the Jazz. It’s a big upgrade to having Ricky Rubio as your key ball-handler. Not taking anything away from him but Conley has more experience and makes a better perimeter defender with Donovan, and with both of them playing the backcourt position, they could switch rolls easily and have Donovan bring up the ball on the occasion. Exum and Mudiay are more experienced at this position as well compared to Gross and Foreman, they come in as rookies to a very heading guard set. Mudiay is coming from the Knicks who had a pretty good season and can help with the rebounding as well. Exum is coming back from last year, who could occasionally take over the offense if need be.
Donovan is their franchise player, there’s no way you can keep him from starting on this team. He’s expected to learn a lot from Conley while sharing the backcourt with him. Bojan was brought over from the Pacers who has some pretty good size. If need be, he can always slide over to the small forward position if they play with the right lineup during the stretch of games. He, along with Conley, brings a lot of experience over, especially in the playoffs.
With many of their players who are known for the small forward position, they are full of rookies, except Ed Davis, who is coming from Brooklyn. Ed has been bounced around from team to team looking to make an impact with this one who is very close to going back to the finals. If need be, Bojan can play this position along with Joe Ingles.
Joe Ingles will be the starter for the Jazz at this season with a pretty good back up in Jeff Green, who I think is a pretty solid player and pick up by the Jazz. With him, you’re adding more size in the paint who can actually get you rebounds and can block shots if need be. He also brings defense along with him. Ingles is a three-point threat in the corner. If he’s hot from beyond the arc, it’s hard to cool the lefty down, especially when playing at home, but who else doesn’t get a little bit more confidence when playing in their own arena.
The two-time defensive player of the year Rudy Gobert is coming back to go on his run to win his third Defensive Player of the Year award. With his length and size, it makes it hard for other centers to guard him, and it’s a point guards nightmare to get switched on him during a pick n roll because one of two things can happen; either the point guard gets switch on him and becomes bbq chicken to Gobert for a possible and-1 and going to the line, two shots from the line, or even a posterizing dunk. The other option of a pick n roll is the guard bites and tries to guard the ball handler, which leads to an open lob to Gobert. This is basically 65% of the Jazz offense. Isaac, in my opinion, is a fundamentally sound big man from Purdue who can easily average a double-double in this league and can learn a lot from a multi defensive player of the year in Rudy Gobert.
Projected Starting Lineup/ Roster Cuts
Sixth Man:Jeff Green
Rest of the Bench:Dante Exum, Ed Davis, Tony Bradley, Emmanuel Mudiay, Georges Niang, Royce O’Neale, Nigel Williams-Gross, Stanton Kidd, Miye Oni
Overall, this lineup can actually make a very good run when they get to the playoffs. They all have the same dream and with the veterans that they brought along can help them in the long run. The starting lineup is very deadly and anyone can go off at any point in the game and once one goes cold another one can pick up right where he left off. Their bench isn’t bad as well. Their first two off the bench can keep the moment going and can help make key stops on the defensive end.
I think this could be the year where this team may sneak into the Western Conference Finals.