Archive for the ‘ Utah Jazz Blog ’ Category

Utah Jazz coaching staff update

The Utah Jazz announced today an update to its coaching staff with Antonio Lang being promoted to the front of the bench starting in the 2018-19 season.

Known for his keen player development ability, Lang concluded his fourth year with the Jazz in 2017-18, following back-to-back Western Conference Semifinals appearances. One of Head Coach Quin Snyder’s original hires in the summer of 2014, Lang has an array of domestic and international experience as both a player and coach.

Prior to joining the Jazz, he served as head coach of the Mitsubishi Diamond Dolphins in Japan’s National Basketball League (NBL). Lang coached the Dolphins for four seasons, guiding them to the 2014 playoffs and previously served as an assistant coach with the franchise from 2006-10.

A member of the winningest graduating class in NCAA history, Lang played four seasons for Mike Krzyzewski at Duke University from 1990-94, appearing in three Final Fours and winning back-to-back national championships in 1991 and 1992. Lang was then selected by the Phoenix Suns with the 29th overall pick of the 1994 NBA Draft, and enjoyed a six-year NBA career with Phoenix, Cleveland, Miami, Toronto and Philadelphia. He also played professionally in the American Basketball Association (ABA), Continental Basketball Association (CBA), International Basketball League (IBL) as well as time overseas in the Philippines and Japan. Lang is fluent in Japanese.

Guarding James Harden is extremely difficult. He’s awesome in one-on-one situations. He can hit three-pointers in a defender’s face. And when he drives, the result is often an assist or free throws for Harden. Here’s Jazz backup guard Dante Exum discussing it, in the Houston Chronicle:

Though much has been made about Jazz reserve Dante Exum’s success when defending James Harden in Wednesday’s Game 2, Exum said it was about studying enough video to know what to expect and simply staying in front of Harden often enough to frustrate the Rockets’ star.

“It’s definitely about watching film and knowing his tendencies,” Exum said. “Everybody has tendencies and like to get to a certain place. He goes left and likes to step back. It’s just knowing when he’s doing that and what I can do to stop that.

“It’s just about me staying in front of him. I’m not going to get that charge call every time which you saw in the second half (of Game 2). As long as I stay in front of him, it’s just going to frustrate him. He’s used to getting by guys or stepping back and getting an open shot. As much as possible, I have to stay in front of him and remind him that I’m there.”

Full article

During Game 5 on Wednesday, Gobert picked up his fourth shooting foul on Carmelo Anthony early in the third quarter, which led to OKC’s 32-7 run to end the period after the Thunder trailed by 25 points.

“When Rudy went out, that impacted us. But that said, I thought our struggles on the offensive end impacted our defense too much,” said Jazz coach Quin Snyder. “We’ve known during the year if we struggle offensively that our defense has to stay solid.

“But I thought when they did start making plays and Rudy went out that we were fighting it, but we didn’t execute as well as we needed to offensively against the switch, got some good looks, missed them, and then the biggest thing is 37 points in the third quarter, just kind of back in the game and they had confidence and life, and we didn’t do what we needed to do.”

Gobert’s defensive presence was certainly missed as Westbrook went off for 20 of his 45 points in the third and Paul George also dropped 12 of his 34 during that stretch. With Gobert on the court, Utah’s defensive rating was 89.9, but it jumped to 133.5 with him off the court, according to NBA Advanced Stats.

Deseret News

Despite having blown a 25-point lead in Game 5 of their playoff series Wednesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder on the road, the Utah Jazz still had a chance to come away with the win even if all the momentum had shifted to the Thunder.

Nevertheless, Oklahoma City made the necessary plays down the stretch to claim the victory. In particular, a 10-2 run from the home team in the middle of the fourth quarter did the Jazz in.

Following a Rudy Gobert putback dunk with 6:40 remaining, the Jazz led by a point, 91-90. Russell Westbrook, however, responded 30 seconds later with his fifth 3-pointer of the second half to give the Thunder the 93-91 edge.

Deseret News

The Jazz lead the Thunder 2-1 in their first round playoff series. Jazz center Rudy Gobert’s defense has been key for the Jazz as long as he’s been on the team, and of course stakes get even bigger in the postseason. Here’s the Oklahoman reporting:

Donovan Mitchell doesn’t let opponents dribble past him on purpose. But sometimes, the Utah Jazz rookie doesn’t mind when they do.

Even when the likes of Russell Westbrook get past Mitchell, he’s not too concerned. “I’m like, ‘OK, try it,’” Mitchell thinks to himself. “I’ve tried it, and it doesn’t work.”

Utah’s 7-foot-1 Rudy Gobert protects the basket like few players in NBA history. It’s not just his shot-blocking or the threat of shot blocking. It’s his quick reactions and 7-foot-9 wingspan, which makes Gobert a horizontal enforcer as much as a vertical enforcer.

The Thunder is down two games to one in this Western Conference playoff series, and Gobert is the reason why. For a full decade, the Thunder offense has revolved around Westbrook’s assaults on the basket. He’s been scared by neither man nor beast. Not by Tim Duncan. Not by DeAndre Jordan. Not by Marc Gasol. Westbrook would go where others dared not trod.

Full article

Now this is fun. Jazz point guard Ricky Rubio has a monster game Game 3 in his team’s win against the Thunder. Russell Westbrook struggled. And Westbrook was quite vocal that Game 4 will be a totally different story. Here’s the Deseret News with Rubio’s reaction to what Russ said:

So, when Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook ended Saturday’s press conference with his ballsy statement, Utah Jazz guard Ricky Rubio was certainly aware of the comments.

“He made some shots,” Westbrook said of Rubio. “Too comfortable, but I’ma shut that (expletive) off next game, though. Guarantee that.”

However, the Spanish floor general is focused on the team for Game 4, not any individual matchups with the reigning MVP. Tonight’s game is set for 8:30 p.m. on TNT.

“He makes a big deal,” Rubio said. “Of course, they lost Game 2 and Game 3, of course they’re going to come ready, not just him, we expect the whole team to come ready back and be physical, and we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing in the last couple games. We made adjustments and go for the game.”

Full article

Jazz enjoying great recent success

The Jazz have been a hot team for a big chunk of the season, and today a bunch of league awards confirmed recognition of that fact. Here’s the Deseret News reporting:

The NBA announced Thursday that Quin Snyder and Donovan Mitchell have been named the Western Conference Coach and Rookie of the Month for games played in March and April.

The honors came one day after the Jazz finished the regular season 48-34 to earn the fifth seed in the Western Conference versus the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the playoffs. Action is set to begin Sunday, April 15 at 4:30 p.m. MT.

Utah went 17-4 under Snyder’s guidance in March and April — tying the Houston Rockets for the Western Conference’s best mark.

The Jazz also led the league in net rating (13.2), defensive rating (95.9), opponents’ scoring (95.4) and opponents’ field goal percentage (42.5) throughout that stretch.

Full article

The Utah Jazz today signed guard David Stockton for the remainder of the season.

Stockton has appeared in three games for the Jazz, averaging 3.3 points on 66.7 percent from the field in 3.0 minutes per contest.

Prior to his stint in Utah, Stockton played for the NBA G League’s Reno Bighorns, where he appeared in 39 games (15 starts), averaging 16.3 points, 5.2 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals in 28.2 minutes per game this season. He was also selected to the official 12-member 2017 USA Men’s World Cup Qualifying Team, coached by Jeff Van Gundy, where he saw action in two wins against Cuba and Puerto Rico, owning averages of 8.5 points, 3.5 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 18.4 minutes per game.

The Spokane, Wash., native has additional NBA experience, signing a 10-day contract with the Kings on Feb. 20, 2015, and then to a multi-year contract by Sacramento on April 12, 2015. During his stint with the team, he saw action in three contests with averages of 2.7 points and 3.0 assists in 11.0 minutes.

Stockton has played in the NBA G League the past four seasons with the Reno Bighorns (2014-18), having averaged 18.0 points, 7.1 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 142 career games (106 starts). He was named to the 2015 All NBA D-League Rookie Second Team following his first professional season.

He has also competed internationally, having played with the New Zealand Breakers of Australia’s National Basketball League (2016-17), appearing in 10 games (six starts), averaging 8.3 points, 5.2 assists and 2.7 rebounds and Cedevita Zagreb of the Croatian ABA League (2016), where he averaged 13.8 points, 6.0 assists, 2.8 boards and 2.3 steals in league play.

Stockton was a four-year collegiate player at Gonzaga, appearing in 138 career games (39 starts), posting averages of 4.8 points, 3.1 assists, 1.6 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 19.9 minutes per game. In his senior season, he averaged 7.4 points, 4.2 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 27.8 minutes per game. He helped Gonzaga to four-straight NCAA Tournaments and earned 2014 All-WCC Tournament Team honors, helping the squad to a 2014 WCC Tournament Championship.

The Utah Jazz have signed guard David Stockton to a second 10-day contract.

Stockton has appeared in one game for the Jazz this season, tallying two points in three minutes at Golden State on March 25.

Prior to signing two 10-day contracts with the Jazz, Stockton played for the NBA G League’s Reno Bighorns, where he appeared in 39 games (15 starts), averaging 16.3 points, 5.2 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals in 28.2 minutes per game this season. He was also selected to the official 12-member 2017 USA Men’s World Cup Qualifying Team, coached by Jeff Van Gundy, where he saw action in two wins against Cuba and Puerto Rico, owning averages of 8.5 points, 3.5 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 18.4 minutes per game.

The Spokane, Wash., native has additional NBA experience, signing a 10-day contract with the Kings on Feb. 20, 2015, and then to a multi-year contract by Sacramento on April 12, 2015. During his stint with the team, he saw action in three contests with averages of 2.7 points and 3.0 assists in 11.0 minutes.

Stockton has played in the NBA G League the past four seasons with the Reno Bighorns (2014-18), having averaged 18.0 points, 7.1 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 142 career games (106 starts). He was named to the 2015 All NBA D-League Rookie Second Team following his first professional season.

He has also competed internationally, having played with the New Zealand Breakers of Australia’s National Basketball League (2016-17), appearing in 10 games (six starts), averaging 8.3 points, 5.2 assists and 2.7 rebounds and Cedevita Zagreb of the Croatian ABA League (2016), where he averaged 13.8 points, 6.0 assists, 2.8 boards and 2.3 steals in league play.

Stockton was a four-year collegiate player at Gonzaga, appearing in 138 career games (39 starts), posting averages of 4.8 points, 3.1 assists, 1.6 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 19.9 minutes per game. In his senior season, he averaged 7.4 points, 4.2 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 27.8 minutes per game. He helped Gonzaga to four-straight NCAA Tournaments and earned 2014 All-WCC Tournament Team honors, helping the squad to a 2014 WCC Tournament Championship.

Derrick Favors out with knee soreness

The Jazz (40-30) have been one of the hottest teams in the league of late, and are on a 9-game winning streak. Starting power forward Derrick Favors is contributing 12.0 points and 7.2 rebounds per game this season. The Jazz should be fine without his services against the lowly Hawks. Still, better that he be healthy, of course. Here’s the Deseret News reporting:

Atlanta’s own Derrick Favors won’t be facing his hometown Hawks on Tuesday night.

The Utah Jazz forward will miss the game with left knee soreness.

Favors isn’t the only one on Utah’s injury list: Backup point guard Raul Neto won’t be playing for the fourth consecutive game with a left wrist fracture and rookie center Tony Bradley is still in the concussion protocol.

Full article

The Utah Jazz signed guard David Stockton to a 10-day contract today.

Stockton (5-11, 165, Gonzaga) joins the Jazz most recently from the NBA G League’s Reno Bighorns, where he has appeared in 39 games (15 starts), averaging 16.3 points, 5.2 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals in 28.2 minutes per game this season. He was also selected to the official 12-member 2017 USA Men’s World Qualifying Team, coached by Jeff Van Gundy, where he saw action in two wins against Cuba and Puerto Rico, owning averages of 8.5 points, 3.5 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 18.4 minutes per game.

The Spokane, Wash., native has additional NBA experience, signing a 10-day with the Kings on Feb. 20, 2015 and then to a multi-year contract by Sacramento on April 12, 2015. During his stint with the team, he saw action in three contests with averages of 2.7 points and 3.0 assists in 11.0 minutes.

Stockton has played in the NBA G League the past four seasons with the Reno Bighorns (2014-18), having averaged 18.0 points, 7.1 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 142 career games (106 starts). He was named to the 2015 All NBA D-League Rookie Second Team following his first professional season.

He has also competed internationally, having played with the New Zealand Breakers of Australia’s National Basketball League (2016-17), appearing in 10 games (six starts), averaging 8.3 points, 5.2 assists and 2.7 rebounds and Cedevita Zagreb of the Croatian ABA League (2016), where he averaged 13.8 points, 6.0 assists, 2.8 boards and 2.3 steals in league play.

Stockton was a four-year collegiate player at Gonzaga, appearing in 138 career games (39 starts), posting averages of 4.8 points, 3.1 assists, 1.6 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 19.9 minutes per game. In his senior season, he averaged 7.4 points, 4.2 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 27.8 minutes per game. He helped Gonzaga to four-straight NCAA Tournaments and earned 2014 All-WCC Tournament Team honors, helping the squad to a 2014 WCC Tournament Championship.

Stockton will wear No. 5 for the Jazz.

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has signed Naz Mitrou-Long to a second 10-day contract.

Mitrou-Long (6-4, 218, Iowa State) has appeared in 34 games (29 starts) for the Jazz’s exclusively owned and operated G League team, the Salt Lake City Stars, this season averaging 17.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.1 steals in 34.7 minutes per contest. He originally signed his first 10-day on Feb. 11 and before that, a two-way contract with the Jazz on Dec. 23, appearing in one game with Utah, tallying three points against Denver on Dec. 26, before being waived on Jan. 13. Additionally, Mitrou-Long spent training camp with the team this year, playing in two preseason games, averaging 4.0 points and 1.0 assists in 7.0 minutes per contest.

A four-year collegian at Iowa State, he averaged 15.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists during his senior season with the Cyclones, earning 2017 All-Big 12 Second Team honors. The guard also shot 47 percent from the field and led the conference with 2.8 three-point field goals per game, also connecting on a team-high 98 three-point attempts, which was the third highest in a single-season in school history.

Over his four years at Iowa State, Mitrou-Long appeared in 131 games (83 starts) averaging 9.5 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists, helping to lead the Cyclones to three Big 12 Championships. He would finish his collegiate career with 260 three-point field goals, the second most in school history, in addition to becoming just one of 11 players ever for Iowa State to tally 1,200 points, 300 rebounds and 200 assists over his career.

Born in Ontario, Canada, Mitrou-Long played high school basketball at Findlay College Prep in Henderson, Nev.

Ricky Rubio returning to action for Jazz

The Jazz are red-hot and about to get point guard Ricky Rubio back in action. Here’s the Deseret News with the latest:

As the Utah Jazz look to continue their hot streak after the All-Star break, a familiar face will return to the lineup.

After missing the last three games with left hip soreness, point guard Ricky Rubio will return to action tonight at 7 p.m. against the Portland Trail Blazers in Vivint Arena.

Utah (30-28) is looking to extend its win streak to 12 in a row.

“Being out for a couple weeks, I couldn’t do much, so it’s going to be hard for that, but I’ve been doing a pretty good job to stay in shape,” Rubio said. “When you have a good momentum like that, it’s hard to know when to go out there and be aggressive, but I think I just have to be me.”

The Utah Jazz submitted today a formal bid to the NBA to host the 2022 or 2023 NBA All-Star Game. Civic and community partners in the bid include the State of Utah, Salt Lake City and County, Utah Sports Commission, Utah Office of Tourism and Visit Salt Lake.

With a “Game Elevated” theme emphasizing guest experience, innovation, and arts and education, the Jazz submitted an electronic application to the league as well as shipping a custom-made box with an iPad of the presentation.

“On behalf of the State of Utah, we are committed to the hard work of bringing the NBA All-Star Game to Salt Lake City,” said Gov. Gary R. Herbert. “We know this about the Miller family, Utah Jazz organization, and our state — the NBA All-Star Game will be above the rim and the NBA family will fall in love again with the great people of our state.”

“We are very excited and well prepared to bring back the NBA All-Star Game to Vivint Smart Home Arena,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “We are a vibrant, diverse and culturally rich community that knows how to celebrate the experience of sport. Our 2002 Olympic Winter Games remain the standard against which all other Olympic Winter Games are measured.”

The proposed site for the NBA All-Star Game is Vivint Smart Home Arena, the 18,306-seat home of the Utah Jazz, with ancillary events at the Salt Palace Convention Center, Huntsman Center on the University of Utah campus, and The Complex entertainment venue.

Other bid attributes are the availability of 6,000 hotel rooms in the heart of downtown, the billion dollar expansion of the Salt Lake International Airport and the city’s big event experience with the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and annual Sundance Film Festival.

The 2023 All-Star Weekend would be the 30th anniversary of the 1993 game in Salt Lake City when Karl Malone and John Stockton were the co-MVPs.

“The 1993 NBA All-Star Game was memorable for many reasons. Our new arena was just two years old, and we were so proud to welcome the NBA family into our new home,” said Greg Miller, NBA Board of Governors member. “It is with great excitement and anticipation that we now invite the NBA to return this celebration of our sport back to Salt Lake City for a game elevated.”

The Utah Jazz have signed Naz Mitrou-Long to a 10-day contract.

Mitrou-Long (6-4, 218, Iowa State) has appeared in 32 games (27 starts) for the Jazz’s exclusively owned and operated G League team, the Salt Lake City Stars, this season averaging 16.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.2 steals in 34.6 minutes per contest. He originally signed a two-way contract this season with the Jazz on Dec. 23, appearing in one game with Utah, tallying three points against Denver on Dec. 26, before being waived on Jan. 13. Additionally, Mitrou-Long spent training camp with the team this year, playing in two preseason games, averaging 4.0 points and 1.0 assists in 7.0 minutes per contest.

A four-year collegian at Iowa State, he averaged 15.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists during his senior season with the Cyclones, earning 2017 All-Big 12 Second Team honors. The guard also shot 47 percent from the field and led the conference with 2.8 three-point field goals per game, also connecting on a team-high 98 three-point attempts, which was the third highest in a single-season in school history.

Over his four years at Iowa State, Mitrou-Long appeared in 131 games (83 starts) averaging 9.5 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists, helping to lead the Cyclones to three Big 12 Championships. He would finish his collegiate career with 260 three-point field goals, the second most in school history, in addition to becoming just one of 11 players ever for Iowa State to tally 1,200 points, 300 rebounds and 200 assists over his career.

Born in Ontario, Canada, Mitrou-Long played high school basketball at Findlay College Prep in Henderson, Nev.

Jazz waive Derrick Rose

InsideHoops.com

The Utah Jazz on Saturday waived guard Derrick Rose.

Rose (6-3, 190, Memphis), a former NBA MVP, isn’t the player he used to be. He played in 16 games (seven starts) this season for the Cavaliers, averaging 9.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 19.3 minutes per outing.

Over his nine-year NBA career, the 29-year-old Chicago native has averaged 19.2 points, 5.8 assists and 3.6 rebounds in 34.2 minutes through 486 games (476 starts) with the Bulls, Knicks and Cavaliers.

According to the Deseret News, “former Jazzman Joe Johnson was also part of the three-team deal with Rose and was originally sent to Sacramento. However, the veteran scorer will agree to a contract buyout to sign with the Houston Rockets, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.”

The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired guard George Hill from the Sacramento Kings and guard Rodney Hood from the Utah Jazz as part of a three-team trade, Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts. Cleveland has also received the draft rights to Arturas Gudaitis from the Kings. In exchange, the Cavaliers will send guard Iman Shumpert, a 2020 second-round draft pick via Miami and the draft rights to Dimitrios Agravanis to Sacramento, and forward Jae Crowder, guard Derrick Rose and the right to swap second round picks in 2024 to Utah. The Kings will also receive forward Joe Johnson from the Jazz.

“Rodney and George bring passion and strength every game with a strong mix of toughness and ability to play all aspects of the game. George is a great veteran fit with our group as he can play well on and off the ball and is a true two way player. Rodney is a talented, young competitor with great size at his position that can score in many ways and defend,” said Altman.

“We thank Iman, Derrick and Jae for their effort and time here. Especially Iman, who also leaves as a champion and was another part of a special group that earned success at the highest level here. We thank Shump greatly for his contributions and wish he and his family all the best as their basketball and life journey continue.”

Hill (6-3, 188) has appeared in 43 games (36 starts) for the Kings this season, averaging 10.3 points on .469 shooting from the field, including a .453 mark from three-point range, 2.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 26.6 minutes per game. He ranks first in the NBA in three-point percentage and has scored in double figures 24 times in 2017-18. Playing in his 10th season, Hill holds career averages of 11.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 28.8 minutes over 642 games (410 starts) with San Antonio, Indiana, Utah and Sacramento. He has competed in the postseason eight times, appearing in 83 games (72 starts) and averaging 13.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.05 steals in 34.3 minutes. The 6-3 guard from IUPUI was the 26th overall pick by the Spurs in the 2008 NBA Draft.

Hood (6-8, 206) has played in 39 games (12 starts) with Utah in 2017-18, averaging a career-high 16.8 points on .424 shooting and 2.8 rebounds in 27.8 minutes. He is also shooting career highs of .389 from beyond the arc and .876 from the free throw line and has scored in double figures 33 times, including 11 games with 20 points or more and three games with 30 points or more. The 6-8 guard out of Duke was selected by the Jazz with the 23rd overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Shumpert (6-5, 220) has appeared in 182 contests (43 starts) for Cleveland since being acquired by the Cavaliers on Jan. 5, 2016, averaging 6.7 points and 3.3 rebounds in 24.4 minutes. He was also a member of the Cavaliers’ 2016 NBA Championship team. Crowder (6-6, 235), who was acquired by Cleveland on Aug. 22, 2017, played in 53 games (47 starts) with the Cavaliers this season, averaging 8.6 points and 3.3 rebounds in 25.4 minutes. Rose (6-3, 190), who signed with the Cavaliers as a free agent on Aug. 8, 2017, has appeared in 16 contests (7 starts) this season, averaging 9.8 points in 19.3 minutes.

In his sixth NBA season, Crowder (6-6, 235, Marquette) has appeared in 436 career games (233 starts) with Dallas, Boston and Cleveland, owning averages of 8.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 23.5 minutes per contest. On the year with Cleveland, the Villa Rica, Ga., native has averaged 8.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 25.4 minutes per game. Since Crowder entered the NBA in 2012-13, he is one of only 12 forwards in that span to knock down over 500 three-pointers with an effective field goal percentage over 50 percent (515 3FG, .516 eFG%).

Originally selected in the second round (34th overall pick) by Dallas, Crowder played two seasons at Marquette (2010-12), averaging 17.5 points, 8.4 boards, 2.5 steals and 2.1 assists as a senior, earning 2012 Big East Player of the Year and 2012 Associated Press All-America Second Team honors in that season. Crowder’s father, Corey, appeared in 51 games with the Jazz during the 1991-92 season, totaling 120 points, 44 rebounds and 18 assists.

Rose (6-3, 190, Memphis) has seen action in 16 games (seven starts) this year for the Cavaliers, with averages of 9.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 19.3 minutes per contest. Over his nine-year NBA career, the 29-year-old Chicago native has averaged 19.2 points, 5.8 assists and 3.6 rebounds in 34.2 minutes through 486 games (476 starts) with the Bulls, Knicks and Cavaliers.

A seven-time NBA All-Star and veteran of 17 seasons, Johnson has registered 16.2 points (.442 FG%, .372 3pt%, .802 FT%), 4.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 34.9 minutes per contest in 1,253 career games (started 1,090). He averaged 20 or more points for five consecutive campaigns with the Atlanta Hawks (2005-06 – 2009-10), earning four All-Star nods in that span.

Thabo Sefolosha undergoes knee surgery

Utah Jazz swingman Thabo Sefolosha (6-7, 220, Switzerland) had surgery on his right knee to repair an avulsion of the medial collateral ligament (MCL). He suffered the injury on January 12 in a game against the Hornets.

In his 12th NBA season, Sefolosha is averaging 8.2 points, his highest scoring average since 2008-09, on 49.2 percent from the field, 4.2 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 38 games (six starts) for the Jazz on the year.

Sefolosha will continue to rehab in Salt Lake City and will be out indefinitely.

Utah Jazz City Edition uniforms

The Utah Jazz have released their final 2017-18 uniform design today, their “City Edition” uniforms.

The team describes the design as the result of inspiration from the natural beauty and wonders of their home state. And accompanying the new jerseys is a new alternate matching court design.Both the new uniforms and new court design will make their debut on January 30 as the team hosts the Warriors.

“Our family is proud to have the Jazz jersey represent various parts of the state we all love,” said Greg Miller, NBA Board of Governors member for the Utah Jazz. “This year we feature the red rocks and canyon lands of Utah where we have spent so much time as a family.”

The “City Edition” Jazz uniforms are the only ones with the word “UTAH” across the chest. The team says that the color range, including gold and deep burgandy, represent famous rock formations, canyons, vistas, etc. found throughout southern Utah.

Here’s the design:

This week in Utah Jazz history

Dec. 4, 1993: The Jazz retired uniform No. 35 in honor of Darrell Griffith. Griffith, nicknamed “Golden Griff” and Dr. Dunkenstein,” averaged 16.2 points during his career with Utah.

Dec. 5, 2000: Karl Malone converted a finger roll in the lane for two points, moving past Wilt Chamberlain and into second place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list… Malone scored 31 points in Utah’s 98-84 win over Toronto, giving him 31,443 career points, 24 more than Chamberlain’s 31,419 points.

Dec. 7, 1982: The Utah Jazz, in a 137-121 loss at Portland, set an NBA record for free throw percentage in a game, connecting on all 39 of their attempts from the line.

Dec. 9, 1988: Jerry Sloan was named head coach of the Utah Jazz, replacing Frank Layden, who resigned as head coach. Sloan’s coaching tenure was the longest term of service with one team in NBA history. The Jazz retired No. 1 in honor of Frank Layden on December 9, 1988.

Dec. 10, 1981: The Jazz hired Frank Layden as head coach.

- Jazz team notes

NBA Week 8 preview notes

DYNAMIC DONOVAN: As a freshman at Louisville in 2015-16, Donovan Mitchell started five games and averaged 7.4 points for the season. On Dec. 1, the Utah Jazz guard became the first NBA rookie to score at least 40 points in a game since Blake Griffin in 2011. The 6-3 Mitchell has developed rapidly over the last few years, allowing him to make an immediate impact after being selected with the 13th pick in NBA Draft 2017. He is averaging more than 16 points per game and leads all rookies in three-pointers made. With Mitchell sparking the offense, Utah has won five consecutive games to improve to 12-11. Mitchell faces several challenging opponents at shooting guard during Week 8, including a matchup against newly named NBA Western Conference Player of the Week James Harden and the West-leading Houston Rockets on Thursday at 10:30 p.m. ET on TNT.

SECOND HELPING: While Mitchell is one of many rookies making headlines, several talented second-year players are also turning heads this season. Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid and Boston Celtics guard/forward Jaylen Brown have helped fuel strong starts for their respective teams. Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram and Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray have produced big scoring games. Reigning Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon of the Milwaukee Bucks remains a steady contributor, while Chicago Bulls guard Kris Dunn and Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis are finding their groove after offseason trades. Count Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield, San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray and Toronto Raptors big men Jakob Poeltl and Pascal Siakam among the top second-year performers, too. The promising play from the NBA’s first- and second-year players sets the stage for a fantastic Rising Stars Challenge during NBA All-Star 2018 in Los Angeles.

NBA MEXICO CITY GAMES 2017: This week, the NBA will play two regular-season games in Mexico City for the second straight season. The Brooklyn Nets will participate in both games, meeting the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday (10 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass) and the Miami Heat on Saturday (6 p.m. ET, NBA TV) at the Arena Ciudad de Mexico. All three teams will be playing regular-season games in Mexico for the first time. The matchups mark the 25th and 26th games – including the sixth and seventh regular-season games – in Mexico since 1992, the most held in any country outside the United States and Canada. Last season, the Phoenix Suns played two regular-season games in Mexico City, defeating the San Antonio Spurs and losing to the Dallas Mavericks.

– NBA Broadcasters Bulletin

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