Jazz waive guard Shaquille Harrison

The Utah Jazz yesterday waived guard Shaquille Harrison.

Harrison (6-4, 189, Tulsa) appeared in 17 games with the Jazz in 2020-21, averaging 1.0 points in 3.3 minutes per contest.

The Jazz are 26-6 this season, which is the best record in the NBA. They’ve been the surprise of the league. Coming into the season they were expected to be a very good team, and certainly a playoff team, but they have exceeded all expectations.

Quin Snyder will coach Team LeBron in 2021 NBA All-Star Game

Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder and his staff will coach Team LeBron in the 2021 NBA All-Star Game, which will take place on Sunday, March 7 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.

Guiding the Jazz to a 24-5 record through Feb. 18, the best start in franchise history, Snyder earned the right to coach the Western Conference All-Star Team by virtue of having the best record in the conference.

The Jazz currently have the best net rating in the NBA (9.5) and are the only team that rank in the top five in offensive rating (116.5) and defensive rating (106.9). The team is off to a historic three-point shooting season, having knocked down 482, the most by any team in NBA history through 29 games. Utah is also the best rebounding team in the NBA, pulling down 48.7 boards per contest and this season have posted separate win streaks of 11 (Jan. 8 – Jan. 29) and nine (Feb. 2 – pres.), also having currently won 20 of their last 21 games.

The Mercer Island, Wash., native is in his seventh season as head coach of the Utah Jazz, owning an all-time record of 295-216 (.577). He’s helped guide Utah to four-straight postseasons and over the past five seasons (2016 – pres.), the team is 217-130 (.625), which is the sixth best record in the NBA and third-best in the West during that stretch.

On Jan. 27, Snyder helped Utah to a 116-104 win over Dallas in his 500th game as Utah’s head coach and also passed Frank Layden for the second most all-time wins in franchise history on Jan. 12 with a 117-87 victory at Cleveland and is now only five wins away from his 300th career win.

Snyder is the second-ever Jazz head coach to earn Western Conference All-Star Coaching duties, joining Frank Layden who coached in the 1984 All-Star Game.

Examining possible NBA MVP candidates from the Jazz

Through yesterday’s games, the Jazz have the best record in the NBA. But do they have an NBA MVP candidate? Or two? Via the Salt Lake Tribune:

Donovan Mitchell is certainly the Jazz’s highest-profile player. He averages 24 points per game, has the Adidas shoe deal and ranks fourth in the Western Conference guards in All-Star votes — the only Jazzman to appear in the top 10. He’s unquestionably the Jazz’s offensive leader, and even as a younger player, is the most important player voice in the Jazz’s locker room. Over the course of the winning streak, he’s been terrific in multiple facets: scoring, playmaking, rebounding, you name it, he’s done it…

Rudy Gobert is another plausible candidate. He leads Las Vegas’ odds as the most likely player to be named Defensive Player of the Year, which would be the third of his career. He has taken yet another defensive leap this season, getting more blocks per minute than he’s had since his rookie year.
He’s being increasingly recognized for his offensive contributions, too.

The best records in the league through yesterday’s games belong, in order, to the Jazz, Lakers, Sixers, Clippers, Bucks and Suns. Those squads have .600 or better records. And if you’re going to pick out MVP candidates from that list, both Mitchell and Gobert do at least deserve consideration.

Doc Rivers, Quin Snyder named NBA Coaches of Month

Philadelphia 76ers Head Coach Doc Rivers was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month and Utah Jazz Head Coach Quin Snyder was named the Western Conference Coach of the Month for games played in December and January.

It’s Rivers’ 12th career Coach of the Month award and his first since Nov. 2018. The only coach who has received the award more often than Rivers is San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich, who has earned Coach of the Month honors 17 times since the NBA first began awarding Coach of the Month by conference in 2002-03. Phil Jackson, George Karl and Pat Riley were each named Coach of the Month on 12 occasions.

Rivers has coached the 76ers to an Eastern Conference-leading 15-6 start through the first 21 games of the season, including a 20-point comeback victory at Indiana last night. Rivers’ 76ers lead the league in blocks and fast-break points per game, while also ranking in the top five in steals per game, free throws made and attempted per game and opponent field-goal percentage.

Philadelphia’s 106.8 defensive rating is the best in the Eastern Conference, third in the NBA, while the team is 9-1 on the season when holding its opponent to fewer than 110 points. The team’s starting five – Danny Green, Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid, Seth Curry and Ben Simmons – is a perfect 11-0 when playing together. The unit’s 13.8 net rating is the best in the Eastern Conference among lineups that have played at least 200 minutes together, while holding opponents to .444 shooting from the field.

The 76ers earned 14 wins within their first 20 games for the first time since 2000 and led the East through 20 contests for the first time since 2000-01. Philadelphia sports the best home record in the NBA at 10-1. The team swept three of the four two-game series it played in over the first month-plus of the season.

Rivers joins Brett Brown, Larry Brown, Jim Lynam and Billy Cunningham as 76ers coaches to capture a Coach of the Month award.

The award is Snyder’s second career Coach of the Month award, previously garnering the accolade for games played in March and April of 2017-18.

Snyder helped the Jazz to a 15-5 (.750) record to start the 2020-21 season, the second-best record in the NBA. The team posted an NBA season-best 11-game winning streak from Jan. 8 to Jan. 29. The streak marked the eighth time in team history that the Jazz have won 11-straight games and is the second such streak during Snyder’s tenure as head coach (Jan. 24, 2018 – Feb. 14, 2018).

During the month of January, the team set an NBA record for the most threes ever made in a calendar month, knocking down 285 three-point field goals during the month. The team currently leads the NBA in threes made per contest (17.0) and rebounds per game (49.4). Utah has connected on 15 threes in 10-straight games, which ties an NBA record, also knocking down a franchise-record 25 threes in a 131-118 win at Milwaukee on Jan. 8

Over the course of Utah’s 11-game win streak, the team outscored their opponents 117.0 – 101.4, while also knocking down 18.5 threes per contest on 41.9 percent from beyond the arc, holding opponents to 42.8 percent from the field and 30.7 from three-point range.

Snyder is the third coach in Jazz history to win multiple Coach of the Month honors, along with Frank Layden (twice) and Jerry Sloan (10 times).

Jazz assign Udoka Azubuike to Salt Lake City Stars in G League

The Utah Jazz have assigned center Udoka Azubuike to the Salt Lake City Stars, the Jazz’s exclusively owned and operated NBA G League team.

Azubuike (7-0, 270, Kansas) has appeared in 12 games with the Jazz this season, averaging 1.0 points and 1.1 rebounds in 4.1 minutes per game.

The Stars will begin their season on Wednesday, Feb. 10 against the Erie BayHawks at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.

Jazz vs. Wizards game scheduled for January 13, 2021 is postponed

The National Basketball Association game scheduled for tomorrow between the Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena has been postponed in accordance with the league’s Health and Safety Protocols.

Because of ongoing contact tracing with the Wizards, the team does not have the league-required eight available players to proceed with tomorrow’s game against the Jazz.

Jazz off to modest 4-4 start this NBA season

The NBA season is little over two weeks old, so it’s a bit early to jump to big conclusions. But it’s perfectly reasonable to start what’s happened so far, which is, the Jazz aren’t off to a great start this season.

The Salt Lake Tribune:

Is a 4-4 Jazz record a disappointment? Is it familiar? Is it… both?

2021′s slow start to the season has brought down the spirits of Jazz fans, and that’s understandable: the loss side of the ledger has seen some disappointing defeats. Utah’s loss to Phoenix is more acceptable given that they rank first in the conference right now, sure. But losses to Brooklyn (sans Kevin Durant), the New York Knicks, and worst of all, the Minnesota Timberwolves, have made for some disappointing nights.

And yet, this isn’t anything new for Jazz fans. In the Quin Snyder era, the Jazz have always started at least somewhat below expectations. Then, they surge on to have a solid remainder of the season, and end up with a quality record.

The Deseret News:

In [Donovan] Mitchell’s rookie season, the Jazz started out 5-5 on the year before racking up quite a few losses and then bouncing back at the end of the season and finishing off the year with a 29-6 run. They were bounced in the second round of the playoffs.

In Mitchell’s second year, the Jazz started with a 4-6 record and played pretty up and down throughout the season before they were knocked out of the playoffs in the first round.

Last season, the Jazz started out with a 6-4 record and racked up most of their losses toward the end of the season. Again, they only survived a single playoff round.

Leading the Jazz in scoring through eight games are Mitchell at 21.3 points per game, Mike Conley at 17.4 PPG, Jordan Clarkson off the bench at 15.5 PPG, Rudy Gobert at 13.9 PPG, Bojan Bogdanovic at 11.8 PPG, and Joe Ingles off the bench at 10.0 PPG.

The team’s offense and defense has been close to the league average this season thus far.

Their upcoming opponents are the Bucks, Pistons, Cavs and Wizards.

Mike Conley steps up for Jazz in win over Clippers

The Jazz beat the Clippers 106-100 Friday night. And Jazz point guard Mike Conley did serious work. Via the Salt Lake Tribune:

The Jazz are gonna need Donovan Mitchell and Bojan Bogdanovic to perform offensively at the level they’re capable of. Neither is right now, but on Friday, it didn’t matter so much with Mike Conley playing arguably his best game in a Jazz uniform.

He didn’t grab the game by the throat — he just let it come to him, making the smart, patient reads he talked about after the Phoenix loss. When he needed to swing the ball, he did. When he needed to let it fly, he did. The former earned him six assists. And when it was the latter, he was incredibly efficient: 33 points on 11-for-20 shooting, including 7 of 14 from deep.

After Conley’s 33, the second-leading Jazz scorer was Donovan Mitchell with a modest 15 points on 14 shots.

In the loss for the Clippers, Paul George had 25 points on 22 shots, plus eight rebounds, four assists, six steals and five turnovers, while Kawhi Leonard had 20 points on 19 shots, plus 16 rebounds, nine assists and three blocks.

Utah Jazz waive Yogi Ferrell and Malcolm Miller

The Utah Jazz have waived guard Yogi Ferrell and forward Malcolm Miller.

Ferrell (6-0, 178, Indiana) has four years of NBA experience with the Brooklyn Nets, Dallas Mavericks and Sacramento Kings, owning career averages of 7.8 points, 2.3 assists and 2.1 assists in 20.4 minutes per contest. In 2019-20 he saw action in 50 games for the Kings, averaging 4.4 points, 1.4 assists and 1.0 rebounds in 10.6 minutes per contests.

Miller (6-7, 210, Holy Cross) has played in three NBA seasons with the Toronto Raptors, where he’s averaged 2.0 points on 43.4 percent from the field in 55 career contests (five starts). The Gaithersburg, MD., native has appeared in 97 games (79 starts) in the G League with the Maine Red Claws and Toronto 905, owning career averages of 12.1 points on 46.2 percent from the field, 4.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.0 blocks in 29.9 minutes per game.