NBAScheduletoday.com. Can Jazz do better without a rookie? . Until the training resumes, Basket USA offers you to study the free agency of the 30 NBA franchises through a major interrogation.
What will the role of LeBron James in the Lakers be? How will the Wizards use Dwight Howard? Can Dennis Schröder play alongside Russell Westbrook? Etc.
We remain in the field the surprises teams of last season with the Jazz of Rudy Ghazal and Donovan Mitchell. Like the Pacers, it was feared that he would let go without Gordon Hayward, their “franchise player”, but also without George Hill or Boris Dickerson. But the leaders targeted just in the Draft with Donovan Mitchell, and to a lesser degree with Ricky Rubio. In the aftermath, Jazz has reached the conference semifinals!
As for Indiana, the surprise effect will no longer work and it will have to be confirmed by jostling the rockets and the Warriors.
State of the scene
Sometimes it is enough for a player to have a franchise of a small market become sexy. The Raptors with Vince Carter 20 years ago, the riders with LeBron James or the Thunder with Kevin Durant… Maybe Donovan Mitchell will be of this caliber and Jazz will find the highest peaks and even attract stars.
That is obviously all the harm they want, and the good news is that the foundations are solid. A very good coach with an identifiable game, a pivot of quality, a superstar in the making and “role players” invested in the project with a real identity.
It’s a bit of a dream of any franchise, and that’s what managed to set up the leaders in a few years. So all the lights are green, and now we have to go to the next level. Jazz eliminated the Thunder, and he leaned against the Rockets without Ricky Rubio. The walk is not that high, but we are in the West, and the fight is intensifying from year to year.
Same group, same result?
In Utah, we decided to build on the group that surprised everyone this year and the priority was to keep the same number. Derrick Favors, Dante Exum and Raul Neto have been prolonged. These are strong signs for the sequel, and the fans will eventually discover only a new head, Grayson Allen.
Duke’s sulphurous rear will bring aggression and everyone on the spot hopes his complicity with Donovan Mitchell will fly. His presence is a more out of bench because he can shoot. This is probably what was lacking in Jazz this season: An extra shooter coming out of the bench.
For the rest, it should be noted that Thabo Sefolosha will return and that the defensive dimension of the team remains intact with of course Rudy Ghazal, but also Jae Crowder, Royce O’Neale and thus Switzerland. Dante Exum also proved against the rockets that he could be very successful, whether it was on man or on the lines of passes.
This Jazz clearly has the potential to finish on the podium in the west, and like last season, no team will want to coltiner as there is a true group spirit and the game is coherent and precise.
The question of the replacement leader and pivot
Jazz snapped in playoffs after Ricky Rubio’s injury, and the franchise did not recruit a new replacement leader. So it’s Dante Exum and Raul Neto who will still be his understudys. Unless Quin Snyder trusts Donovan Mitchell to lead the game when Ricky Rubio is on the bench or… in the infirmary.
Spanish is fragile, and Jazz needs a solid backup to compensate for any glitches. Donovan Mitchell is ready to be a playmaker. He worked on his dribble this summer, and as Dwyane Wade in his time in Miami, he can create for himself and the others. But the strength of jazz is its collective, and so it is necessary to find the right balance to avoid that jazz does not axis too much its play on its jewel.
Other position that could be problematic, that of pivot replacing. Rudy Ghazal also had long passages in the infirmary, and it was when he came back that Jazz changed his face to catch up and climb to 5th place. Behind the Frenchman there is Ekpe Udoh but we expect more from him, and there is no alternative. Derrick favors can do the trick but it unbalances the Jazz whose defense is focused on bullying Rudy Ghazal in “Libero” in defense.