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The Jazz have gone in the wrong direction so far this season. At just 17-19 they have just the 12th best record in the Western conference. But now here’s the good news: it’s a crowded conference, with lots of teams boasting similar records. They’re only 2.5 games behind the 8-seed Kings, and only 6 games behind the 1-seed Nuggets. There’s plenty of time for them to rise. As for young star Donovan Mitchell, here’s the Salt Lake Tribune reporting:

Once people saw what Mitchell was capable of, they asked for growth — even despite a foot injury that severely hampered what he was able to do this summer. And once NBA opponents saw how Mitchell propelled the Jazz to great heights, they changed their game plans to stop him.

The result has been an inconsistent second season in which Mitchell’s numbers have taken a small step back from the heights of his rookie year. He’s still averaging just over 20 points per game, but taking an extra shot in order to get there. The rebounds, the assists, the 3-point shooting, and the turnovers are all about five percent worse than last season.

By any reasonable standard, Mitchell’s sophomore season has been impressive: second-year players who carry their teams offensively are a rarity in the NBA for good reason. And yet, that rookie season in which he put his stamp on the franchise, the city, even the league itself holds Mitchell to a higher plane.

As for the team as a whole, they remain one of the league’s best defensive teams. But the offense has a lot of work to do.

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert has been fined $15,000 for public criticism of the officiating, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

Gobert made his comments to the media following the Jazz’s 102-100 loss to the Miami Heat on Dec. 2 at AmericanAirlines Arena.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, “Gobert was called for a foul on Heat guard Dwyane Wade with 3.2 seconds left in that game, and the resulting free throws broke a tie and ultimately resulted in Miami’s victory. Gobert asserted that the referees had been making foul calls inconsistently throughout the game, pointing to the lack of a foul call on a Donovan Mitchell drive to the hoop on the prior possession.”

Cavs, Jazz trade Alec Burks, Kyle Korver

The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired guard Alec Burks and two future second round draft picks from the Utah Jazz in exchange for guard Kyle Korver.

The two draft picks that Cleveland is receiving in the deal are Utah’s own 2020 second round pick and a 2021 second round pick from the Washington Wizards via the Jazz.

“Kyle’s on-court accomplishments are well known,” said Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman. “More importantly, though, Kyle is a great person and teammate. He sets an example in everything he does. His work ethic, character and dependability are all at a very special level and something we will always respect and be thankful for. We wish Kyle and his family the best as he continues his career back in Salt Lake City.”

“Alec is a young vet that’s versatile and talented,” said Altman. “We welcome him to Cleveland and we’re looking forward to him getting started with us soon.”

Burks (6-6, 214) has appeared in 17 games for Utah this season, averaging 8.4 points in 15.8 minutes per game. He has scored in double figures on six occasions in 2018-19, including a season-high 22 points in 27 minutes on Nov. 5 versus Toronto. Playing in his ninth NBA season, Burks holds career averages of 9.6 points and 2.9 rebounds in 20.8 minutes per game over 382 career contests (43 starts) with Utah. He also competed in the 2012 and 2018 NBA Playoffs for the Jazz, averaging 8.3 points and 2.7 rebounds in 14.1 minutes per game through 13 contests. The 6-6 guard out of Colorado was originally selected by Utah with the 12th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Currently in his 16th NBA season, Korver (6-7, 212, Creighton) has appeared in 1,120 career games (422 starts) with Philadelphia, Utah, Chicago, Atlanta and Cleveland, owning averages of 9.9 points on 44.4 percent from the field and 43.2 percent from three-point range, 3.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 26.0 minutes per contest. Named an All-Star during the 2014-15 season, the Pella, Iowa native currently ranks fourth all-time in NBA history for three-point field goals made (2,238). Along with Stephen Curry and Ray Allen, Korver is one of only three players in NBA history to hit over 2000 three-point field goals on better than 40 percent from beyond the arc in their career.

Korver appeared in 180 games during his first stint in Utah (2007-10), totaling 1,570 points, 468 rebounds and 294 assists, 95 steals and 65 blocks, also helping the Jazz to the postseason in each of his seasons as a Jazzman. He ranks second in Jazz history in three-point field goal percentage (.416) and third in free-throw percentage (.879). During the 2009-10 season, he shot 53.6 percent from three, which set an NBA single-season three-point field goal accuracy record.

Originally selected in the second round (51st overall pick) by the Nets, Korver won the 2014-15 NBA Sportsmanship Award, as voted on by fellow NBA players.

Jazz guard Raul Neto remains out

Jazz guard Raul Neto remains out

Utah Jazz guard Raul Neto (right hamstring injury) was reevaluated on Thursday by the Utah Jazz medical staff and is showing progress to make a return but remains out. He will be reevaluated in two weeks.

Entering his fourth season with the Jazz, the guard appeared in 41 games last year, owning averages of 4.5 points, 1.8 assists and 1.2 rebounds in 12.1 minutes per contest, also seeing action in eight postseason games.

The Utah Jazz have assigned center Tony Bradley (6-11, 248, North Carolina) to the Salt Lake City Stars, the Jazz’s exclusively owned and operated NBA G League team. This marks Bradley’s first assignment to the Stars this season.

Entering his second season with the Jazz, Bradley saw action in 24 games (all starts) on assignment with the Stars last year, averaging 15.4 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.3 blocks in 29.6 minutes per contest. The 20-year-old also played in nine games with the Jazz in 2017-18, totaling a career-high four points and three rebounds at Oklahoma City on Dec. 20.

The Theme Night Mini-Plan for the 2018-19 season is on sale now, which includes tickets to the following six nights at the Stars: Wizard Night, Princess Night, Star Wars Night, World Record Night, Superhero Night and Fairy Tale Night. The mini-plan also guarantees fans will receive that evening’s giveaway item, with tickets starting at $10 per ticket. To purchase the Theme Night Mini-Plan, call (801) 325-STAR (7827).

When you think of big game-winning plays for the Warriors, Jonas Jerebko probably isn’t the first name you had in mind. But life is unpredictable sometimes. Learn to accept this. And, here’s the Deseret News reporting:

As Jonas Jerebko was out shooting warmup shots 90 minutes before Friday night’s Utah-Golden State game, all eyes were glued to another guy, one Steph Curry.

Jerebko was all business as he fired up shots from every angle, but he couldn’t help but grin when a couple of women near mid-court unfurled a big blue-and-yellow Swedish flag.

A few minutes later, while hordes of fans leaned over the rails to try to get autographs from Curry as he exited the court, only a handful asked for Jerebko’s signature.

A couple of hours later, Jerebko was all smiles as he of all players was the one who broke Jazz players hearts with a tip-in off a Kevin Durant miss with 0.3 seconds remaining to give the Warriors a 124-123 victory in the home opener for Utah.

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Jazz waive center Isaac Haas

The Utah Jazz have waived center Isaac Haas.

Signed by the Jazz on Aug. 16, Haas (7-2, 290, Purdue) appeared in 139 games as a collegian (75 starts), averaging 11.2 points and 4.6 rebounds in 18.0 minutes. In his senior season, Haas was selected to the 2018 All-Big Ten Third Team, while being a finalist for the 2018 Kareem Abdul Jabbar Award.

The Utah Jazz have waived Isaiah Cousins, Stephaun Branch and Jairus Lyles.

Branch (6-5, 208, West Georgia) played last season with the South Bay Lakers of the NBA G League, owning averages of 10.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 50 games (seven starts). The Upland, Calif. native totaled five games with 20-plus points and three double-doubles in his first professional season.

Cousins (6-4, 191, Oklahoma) saw action in three preseason games with Utah, averaging 1.3 points and 1.7 boards. He played with the Jazz’s G League affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars, last season and averaged 13.1 points, 4.4 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 36 games played (25 starts).

Lyles (6-2, 175, UMBC) played in five games for Utah this preseason, also competing for the Jazz entries at the 2018 Utah Jazz Summer League and NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. He finished his last collegiate season at UMBC following 2017-18, appearing in 33 games, owning averages of 20.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.1 steals in 34.9 minutes per game.

The roster now stands at 17 players.

The Utah Jazz have signed guard Stephaun Branch.

Branch (6-5, 208, West Georgia) played last season with the South Bay Lakers of the NBA G League, owning averages of 10.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 50 games (seven starts). The Upland, Calif. native totaled five games with 20-plus points and three double-doubles in his first professional season.

Branch played two seasons at West Georgia (2015-17), appearing in 59 games with averages of 16.4 points, 7.3 boards, 1.9 assists and 1.9 steals. A two-time All-Gulf South Second Team selection (2016, 2017), Branch began his collegiate career at Mt. San Antonio College (2013-15) in Walnut, Calif.

Jazz exercise contract option on center Tony Bradley

The Utah Jazz have exercised their third-year team option on center Tony Bradley for the 2019-20 season.

The-20-year-old Bradley (6-11, 240, North Carolina) was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round (28th overall) of the 2017 NBA Draft, but was acquired by the Jazz in a draft night trade. The Bartow, Fla. native saw action in 24 games (all starts) for the Jazz’s G League affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars, in 2017-18, owning averages of 15.4 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.3 blocks in 29.6 minutes per contest. He appeared in nine games for the Jazz, scoring a career-best four points, also grabbing three rebounds, at Oklahoma City on Dec. 20.

During the 2018 Utah Jazz Summer League, Bradley appeared in three games, averaging 14.7 points, 12.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game, earning a 2018 Utah Jazz Summer League Standout selection. He also posted averages of 16.0 points and 3.5 boards in two contests at the 2018 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

In his sole collegiate season at North Carolina (2016-17), the 6-11 center averaged 7.1 points and 5.1 rebounds in 14.6 minutes per game, helping the Tar Heels to a 2017 NCAA Championship.

Jazz exercise contract option on Donovan Mitchell

In a 100 percent expected move, the Utah Jazz have exercised their third-year team option on guard Donovan Mitchell for the 2019-20 season.

Mitchell (6-3, 215, Louisville) led all rookies last season in scoring at 20.5 points per game and total points (1,616), joining David Robinson (1989-90), Larry Bird (1979-80), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1969-70) and Wilt Chamberlain (1959-60) as one of the last five rookies, and only guard, to lead their team in scoring while their squad won 45-or-more games. During the 2017-18 season, Mitchell was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month four times (December, January, February and March/April), also setting an NBA rookie record for three-pointers made in a single season (187). Following last year’s campaign, Mitchell was unanimously named to the 2017-18 NBA All-Rookie First Team and was dubbed the Breakthrough Athlete of the Year at the 2018 ESPY Awards.

The 2018 NBA Slam Dunk Contest winner averaged 24.4 points over 11 postseason games, becoming the first rookie to average over 20 points in the postseason since Tim Duncan in 1998. He set a Jazz playoff rookie scoring record with 33 points against Oklahoma City on April 23, passing Karl Malone who had 31 points on April 20, 1986 against Dallas and then broke his own rookie record with a 38-point performance against the Thunder on April 27 in Game 6, helping Utah advance to the Western Conference Semifinals.

Jazz center Isaac Haas undergoes knee surgery

Utah Jazz center Isaac Haas underwent right knee arthroscopic surgery and debridement. The procedure was performed by Jazz head orthopaedic team physician Dr. Travis Maak in Salt Lake City this morning. Haas will continue to rehab in Salt Lake City.

Signed by the Jazz on August 16, 7-foot-2, 290-pound Haas was a four year collegiate player at Purdue and averaged 14.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks as a senior, earning 2018 All-Big Ten Third Team honors.

Jazz guard Raul Neto out with hamstring injury

Utah Jazz guard Raul Neto, currently out with a right hamstring injury, was reevaluated on Tuesday by Jazz medical staff. The team says he is showing progress, and will be reevaluated in two weeks.

Entering his fourth season with Utah, Neto played in 41 games last season, and averaged 4.5 points, 1.8 assists and 1.2 rebounds in 12.1 minutes per outing.

Jazz now 4-0 in preseason

Yeah, preseason win-loss records don’t mean anything, but it’s still cool being 4-0. There’s no negative to winning. Feel free to go win things today. Win some things that matter, then win some things that don’t, and you’ll still probably just enjoy the winning.

Here’s the Salt Lake Tribune on the Jazz:

After a lackluster defensive effort in the first half, the Jazz’s bench unit ratcheted up the intensity on both ends in the fourth quarter against the Trail Blazers on Sunday, rallying for a 123-112 victory at the Moda Center in Portland, Ore., to bolster their preseason record to 4-0.

Donovan Mitchell scored a team-high 21 points for Utah, which outscored Portland 39-20 over the final 12 minutes of action.

Joe Ingles and Alec Burks added 12 each for the Jazz.

The end result was a bit deceiving, considering that fourth quarter featured a Jazz lineup of Ekpe Udoh, Royce O’Neale, Grayson Allen, Georges Niang and Burks feasting on the likes of Caleb Swanigan, Meyers Leonard, Nik Stauskas, Anfernee Simons and Wade Baldwin IV.

The Jazz are worth watching this season. If you aren’t a Jazz fan, take this into account and turn your TV on when they play, and turn to that channel. See how we guided you through the process? You’re welcome.

The Jazz led the Perth Wildcats 44-13 after one quarter and 75-34 at the half. This thing wasn’t close. Jazz player stats for this game are on the inflated side. Still, a win is a win, and it was a very impressive career NBA preseason debut by Jazz rookie Grayson Allen, who made it rain from three-point range in impressive fashion.

Here’s the Deseret News reporting:

Allen sank the first five shots he took, including four straight 3-pointers, and by the midpoint of the second quarter, already had 14 points. He cooled off a bit in the second half but still ended up leading all Jazz scorers with 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting and 5 of 9 from long range.

The rookie from Duke said he wasn’t expecting to lead all scorers, but all in all was pleased with his first performance in a Jazz uniform, even if it wasn’t against a real NBA team.

“I was a lot more comfortable after the first three went down,” he said. “It felt good. These guys are really easy to play with. It’s really seamless when you’re jumping in there with a lot of smart basketball players. It makes my job a lot easier.” …

Besides finishing with 19 points, Allen also had three rebounds and an assist. His only real negative was a team-high four turnovers on the night, which Allen mentioned after the game as something to improve on.

A few extra turnovers comes with the territory. It was a nice debut by Allen.

Preseason for the league began Friday.

The Utah Jazz backcourt is crowded

The Utah Jazz are a talent-filled serious Western conference team that won 48 games last season and should only keep getting better. Their backcourt is on the crowded side, however. Which can make it tough on a coach to fully maximize the talent. Here’s the Salt Lake Tribune reporting:

While coach Quin Snyder called it “a good problem to have,” the depth the Jazz have at the guard positions still is a problem.

Just look at the Jazz’s roster and you’ll see seven players with a “G” next to their name: Ricky Rubio, Donovan Mitchell, Dante Exum, Royce O’Neale, Alec Burks, Grayson Allen, and Raul Neto all will make the roster, and all have pretty good cases to earn playing time at their preferred position.

Rubio and Mitchell will take up the lions’ share of the minutes, though. Mitchell, after his meteoric rise, is the Jazz’s best scorer and face of the franchise, it seems reasonable to pencil him in for 35 minutes a night. Rubio has become part of the Jazz’s identity too, and it’d be a shock to see him play significantly less than 30 minutes a night.

Full article

On Rudy Gobert`s offensive development

Rudy Gobert’s defensive ability is widely known, but here’s the Salt Lake Tribune with some insight on his offensive development:

Opponents could really reduce Gobert’s effectiveness in seasons past by preventing him from facing and rolling the rim, but he’s trying to develop counters to that: a quick hook shot if he happens to have his back to the basket, and a not-exactly-deft but still effective floater if he’s stopped short. And yes, if the situation requires, a mid-range jumper to hold up his end of the offensive bargain.

Improving his strength was also a big focus of Gobert’s offseason: bumps impacted Gobert’s lanky frame more than most players, so his effective finishes in practice can become ineffective in game traffic. With more lower body and core strength, he’s hoping to be more sturdy, to be able to handle more contact.

For what it’s worth, he also says that the lower body work he’s done has made him a quicker player on the perimeter, for when the league’s elite role players force the Jazz into a switch.

Full article

Jazz hire Barnett Frank as Director of Performance Science

The Utah Jazz hire Barnett Frank as the Director of Performance Science to its performance healthcare staff.

Frank joins the Jazz most recently from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he earned a PhD in human movement science and worked as a post-doctoral research fellow. During his time in Chapel Hill, Frank worked closely with University of North Carolina athletics, researching and implementing cutting edge technology and techniques to help support their athletes’ performance, recovery and health, coordinated through the school’s Department of Exercise and Sports Science.

Prior to his tenure at North Carolina, the Bethel, Conn. native attended Indiana University, Bloomington where he graduated with a degree in kinesiology, specializing in athletic training.

In his new role as Director of Sports Science with the Jazz, Frank and the team’s performance healthcare staff will work on applying world-class performance science in order to enhance player readiness, recovery and rehabilitation.

Raul Neto out with hamstring injury

Raul Neto out with hamstring injury

Utah Jazz guard Raul Neto has suffered a right hamstring injury. He will be reevaluated in two weeks.

Entering his fourth season with the Jazz, the 6-foot-1, 179-pound guard appeared in 41 games last year, owning averages of 4.5 points, 1.8 assists and 1.2 rebounds in 12.1 minutes per contest, also seeing action in eight postseason games.

According to the Deseret News, “this injury is the latest setback for the Brazilian, who missed half of the 2017-2018 regular season because of a variety of unrelated injuries. He re-signed with Utah over the summer on a two-year, $4.4 million contract.”

Nobody is thinking about 2019 All-Star weekend yet. But when the guy who won the 2018 dunk title is in front of you, it makes sense to ask if he’s thinking of trying to defend it. Here’s the Deseret News reporting on young Jazz star Donovan Mitchell:

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell is certainly focused on reaching new heights in his sophomore campaign, but the rising star hasn’t decided on whether or not he’ll be defending his slam dunk title.

“I don’t know … that’s a good question,” Mitchell said during Monday’s Utah Jazz Media Day. “I don’t know, we’ll see. I’ll leave it there.”

All-Star Weekend 2019 will be played in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Feb. 15-17.

As a rookie, Mitchell reached a new level of popularity after winning the slam dunk crown at Los Angeles’ Staples Center as a late addition.

Full article

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