The Utah Jazz could not get out of the first round of the playoffs. Despite seeing six straight playoff berths, the Jazz have only been to the second round and have never taken a second-round series past Game 6.
In the face of an offseason of uncertainty, it seemed like a good time to open the mailbag and talk about some of the pressing things on the minds of jazz fans.
In your opinion, does it make sense to make Donovan the point guard?
— Jazz Fan (@imautahjazzfan) May 12, 2022
I think Donovan Mitchell as the primary ball handler alongside more wingers makes the most sense if you’re going to move forward with Mitchell. Such a move would demand a lot from Mitchell, but that’s what should be expected of him at this point and if he can’t make the right adjustments then we may have to reassess Mitchell’s cap.
Mitchell is going to have to get even better defensively and he’s going to have to be able to play against some really shrewd and fast playmakers. In addition, he will have to be able to find the right balance between creating and playing in relation to the score. That’s not to say there isn’t a right time and place for him to pick up the ball and get a bucket, but he has to know the right time and place and also initiate a movement of ball that will keep the defense on its toes. .
I still think there’s another level for Mitchell that we haven’t seen, and I think setting him up as the primary ball handler will give him the opportunity to prove his mettle.
Who would be the optimal 3rd star to partner with Don and Rudy?
— Carrigan (@carriganholt) May 13, 2022
There are a lot of teams over the last few years who would have been very happy to have Mike Conley or Bojan Bogdanovic as their third best player or their third option. At this point, I think the question we should be asking is, can a team win it all with Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert as their two best players?
If we are not there yet, we are very very close to being able to say that the Mitchell-Gobert duo will not be good enough to win everything.
I think that’s where the Jazz are right now and I think that’s the question they have to grapple with this offseason. If they believe there’s still some retooling that can make it work, then maybe they’re giving this duo one more chance. But, I don’t think it’s a third star issue.
I would add to this question: what could be a reason to want them in the game besides an ego trip for Ryan? I think having the best team possible would pump his ego more than an extra player in the ASG. But what do I know? 🤷🏻♂️
– Acor brand (@acor_mark) May 12, 2022
I absolutely buy this story.
An all-star game draws large crowds to the host city, as each team and player is accompanied by PR teams, coaches, publicists, stylists, support teams, agents, family and friends. There are entertainment teams and representatives from every sponsor and that doesn’t even get into all the people it takes to put on the shows and the festivities and the former players and the coaches and, and, and.. .
But even with all those people, the home team still has to sell tickets for all the events and games and it’s a lot easier to do all of that when there’s strong home team representation. If you think ticket sales and the ability to market a competitive team with established stars isn’t in the spirit of the Jazz, you’re wrong.
The NBA is a business and every team really wants to win, but they also want to make money. Now, there’s a point where those two things go hand in hand, but sometimes sacrifices are made to make the money at optimal times and All-Star weekend isn’t something the Jazz are going to ignore. .
Do we learn anything new about last year’s Jazz team after watching this Mavs/Suns series? Before they started, I was sure the Suns would be swept away by the gentleman.
— Jared (@JaredCrookston) May 13, 2022
I don’t think anyone has seen the Phoenix Suns-Dallas Mavericks series go the way it did. But regardless of how it ended, I think there are a few really important things we can highlight in order to better understand the Jazz team from last year.
First, there will be games in the playoffs where even the deadliest teams go cold. You just have to hope it’s the start of a streak and you’re able to bounce back. Poor shooting performance isn’t unique to the Jazz and that doesn’t mean they’re a bad scoring team.
What is perhaps even more important, especially when you are not in an offensive rhythm, is that in the playoffs, you have to be able to count on your defense. When I watch the Mavericks and compare it to what I’ve seen of the Jazz, it makes me realize that the Jazz just weren’t good enough defensively to handle the deeper playoff rounds.
Not only did I think the Jazz were too small and not changeable enough, but when you look at the way the Mavs were rotating even when deploying double teams, they were leagues ahead of the Jazz. The Jazz weren’t disciplined enough defensively to do what Dallas did.
I think you need the right personnel, but you also need a level of focus and determination on that side of the ball. Jazz must do better.
You are the general manager, what is a job you would do and a free agent you would look for?
—Wade Warnick (@doubleuade_79) May 12, 2022
If I had to answer that question conservatively and the way I think I can imagine the Jazz actually working, I’d say trade Mike Conley, Rudy Gay, and maybe Nickeil Alexander-Walker. Maybe there’s a deal to be done with the Atlanta Hawks for John Collins or Kevin Huerter or maybe the Indiana Pacers might want to part ways with Malcolm Brogdon. I’ll have other business ideas later in the offseason, but that’s kind of out of my head.
You could tackle one of the Golden State Warriors free agents like Juan Tuscano-Anderson or even Damian Lee, or maybe something more ambitious like Victor Oladipo after his run with the Miami Heat. Keep Juancho Hernangomez and Danuel House Jr., expand Jared Butler and see what we can do.
But that would be the conservative approach.
If I’m being completely honest and was the general manager in charge of making the Utah Jazz roster decisions, I’d trade everyone. Every big contract should go away and I would get as many expiring offers and future picks as possible, then try to do a quick rebuild over the next two to three years. But I am a kind of carefree person who would disregard any caution. If I was the general manager, I would destroy everything and try a different approach.
What is the team’s strategy to fill out their summer league roster? Is Zaire Wade in the game?
— nlsguy (@nlsguy) May 12, 2022
From what general manager Justin Zanik said after the season, it sounds like the Jazz really want Jared Butler to play summer ball, along with some of the other young players over the past two seasons.
Remember, the past two years have been really weird for the NBA. There was no 2020 Summer League and barely any pre-season for the 2020-21 season, the off-season was cut short last year and Butler couldn’t play, so I think there will be a lot of emphasis on him and other players which could include Udoka Azubuike and even Trent Forrest.
Other than that, I would expect some of the Stars players, including Zaire Wade, as well as undrafted players to be hoping to make a splash this summer.
Well, what writers do on a game day depends on what city we’re in, if the game is back-to-back, if we’re traveling on game day, and some other variables. But it usually all starts with a team shootout, followed by interviews. These interviews can be based on the game or upcoming games or we can do individual interviews for an upcoming project.
After shooting, we have lunch, and then there’s usually a bit of writing that we have to do. There may be radio, podcast or TV spots that we have agreed on and then prepare for the game. If we are lucky, we will have time to take a nap, because we will wake up quite late that night.
Visit the arena a few hours before the match starts, do pre-match interviews with the coaches of both teams, mingle around the arena and meet sources or speak with players and coaches , have dinner and then get ready for the game to begin.
I usually write and tweet throughout the game, then drop an instant analysis shortly after the final buzzer. Then we have to run to the interview rooms from wherever we are seated to do post-match interviews with players and coaches.
Sometimes post-game is a good time to meet with executives, players, or other sources, but then there’s more game movie writing and editing to do. By the time we’re done with everything, it’s usually past midnight. And we all live happily ever after.