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  1. #31
    NBA Legend and Hall of Famer Xiao Yao You's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2021 post season #1 seed in NBA!

    https://kslsports.com/459867/healthy...s-in-game-one/

    While Jazz coach Quin Snyder was non-commital on how many minutes Mitchell would play, he praised the guard’s preparation for the postseason.
    be more concerned if Conley is still on a minutes restriction. They don't Mitchell to beat them. They probably need Mike though

    Second-year star Ja Morant was the key factor in the leap. The guard’s shooting percentage from three climbed to 37 percent per game over the final 24 games of the year after shooting just 24 percent from deep over the first 37 games of the season.
    that could be big

    Morant meanwhile was successful offensively against the Jazz, despite coming up empty in the win column. The star guard averaged 26.7 points, 7.3 assists, and 2.3 rebounds while shooting 51 percent from the floor and 40 percent from three.
    slow him down and make him work for it and you should win

  2. #32
    NBA Legend and Hall of Famer Xiao Yao You's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2021 post season #1 seed in NBA!

    https://kslsports.com/459849/three-u...and-grizzlies/

    The backup center was a major point of contention last year in the playoffs for the Jazz as any non-Rudy Gobert minutes were a roller coaster ride against the Denver Nuggets. The Jazz tried both Tony Bradley and Juwan Morgan to varying success but decided in the offseason they needed to invest in a more proven option.
    and as we've seen they had a lot of other problems than to blame everything of a couple young guys. Favors hasn't been great

    When free agency opened, the Jazz signed Derrick Favors to a three-year, $30 million deal specifically for his ability to relieve Gobert in high-leverage games. However, the results were mixed.
    nice way of putting it. Not so sure I wouldn't rather have Ersan/Morgan/Brantley taking at least some of those minutes depending of matchups

    Favors was the only Jazz player who didn’t end the season with a triple-digit plus-minus, coming in at just +37 over 68 games played, the next closest was Donovan Mitchell who was +287 in just 53 games.
    He was always overrated even when he was still good. No PF and you replace a cheap, young improving center with a declining and expensive one.

    The most obvious reason Favors didn’t have a better season was that he played the fewest minutes with Gobert who was the league-leader in plus-minus by a significant margin. While every other Jazz player fed off of Gobert’s enormous impact, Favors was left to clean up the minutes when he was off the floor.
    certainly a big part of it but the reason they got him was because they weren't supposed to lose much when he was on the floor which was never the case

    In the Grizzlies’ win over the Golden State Warriors on Friday, Jackson Jr. and Tillman played 38 combined minutes and accounted for 21 points in an overtime game.
    that is certainly something to watch. They are playing much bigger. Ideally Ersan/Morgan/Brantley would be playing but they won't. COTY might go with Favors at the 4 instead though!

    Memphis and the Jazz have similar substitution patterns with their starting centers, as both Gobert and Jonas Valanciunas start games, sub out early in the first quarter, return late in the first, then repeat the process in the second quarter, and second half.
    I'd expect Gobert to play longer stints especially with Mitchell and maybe Conley on minutes restrictions


    Despite Valanciunas having a spectacular under-the-radar year, Gobert was +47 in three games against the Grizzlies this season. But, when Favors was on the floor, the Jazz were -14.
    typical for the year and it only cost them 10 million and a valuable roster spot!

    While Brooks was a rock in the shoe of the Jazz, Grayson Allen might be the most disliked player across the entire NBA. The former Jazzman entered the league with a reputation as a dirty player having had several high-profile tripping incidents while at Duke.
    one of COTY's faves

    It will be easy to leave the series saying Valanciunas outplayed Gobert, even if the Jazz eliminate Mephis in five games.
    the trolls do regardless. Anyone with a clue and watches the games should know otherwise

    After his breakout 35 point performance against the Warriors, the NBA will be hungry to show off their bright young star (especially with Zion Williams missing the playoffs). And truthfully, Morant is worthy of the praise, he’s in the midst of his coming out party much like Donovan Mitchell had against the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2018.
    unlike Mitchell he's carried a team that should be tanking the past couple years

    At this point in his career, Gobert seems to understand the narrative, can fans grow to accept that their superstar center will always be underappreciated?
    underappreciated by his own team, fan base and local media so obviously it won't change

  3. #33
    NBA Legend and Hall of Famer Xiao Yao You's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2021 post season #1 seed in NBA!

    https://www.deseret.com/2021/5/22/22...d-they-are-nba

    The Jazz were going to be without Bojan Bogdanovic through the entirety of the postseason and Mike Conley unexpectedly had to leave Orlando to fly back home to Ohio for the birth of his third child.
    excuses. If COTY plays some of his rookies who actually defend they win

    The continuity and continued chemistry building from last season to this season has been invaluable for the Jazz. It’s not hyperbolic to say that fielding mostly the same team and perfecting what the Jazz were working toward last season, has been the biggest benefit the Jazz have had. And that includes bringing back Derrick Favors, who not only already had chemistry with most of the Jazz roster, but is also a huge upgrade over Bradley at the backup center spot.
    He hasn't been a huge upgrade though. Quit blaming their problems on Bradley

  4. #34
    NBA Legend and Hall of Famer Xiao Yao You's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2021 post season #1 seed in NBA!

    https://www.deseret.com/2021/5/22/22...s-playoffs-nba

    “That adds a different look,” Snyder said of Jackson. “They can go big with he and (Jonas) Valanciunas together, he can play the five, he stretches the floor. So, there’s some things that from the personnel standpoint, when we played them early in the year that are different.”
    him and Tillman and Morant's improved 3's appear to be the things to watch. Too bad COTY won't play Ersan/Morgan/Brantley to match up with them

  5. #35
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    Default Re: 2021 post season #1 seed in NBA!

    https://www.deseret.com/2021/5/22/22...ion-key-player

    If Mitchell is a little bit slow to get back into rhythm, it might be wise for him to play as more of a creator than a scorer.
    would be wise regardless

    The Grizzlies will need to have big performances from center Jonas Valanciunas in order to have a fighting chance against the Jazz. So, not only will Gobert’s league-leading defense be important in the individual matchup with Valanciunas, but he’ll need to be on a swivel, making sure that players like Brooks and Morant don’t punish the Jazz at the rim.
    I wouldn't be worried about Gobert. Mitchell, Bojan, Clarkson and COTY as always will be the ones to watch

    The Grizzlies might have one of the best perimeter defenders in the league in Brooks, but the Jazz consistently have four players on the floor at all times that can be a threat from 3-point range. The Jazz finished the regular season making more 3s than any other team and so long as the Jazz are moving the ball and creating space, they can be deadly from long range.
    will Mitchell and Clarkson move the ball or will COTY bench them if they don't is the question

    The Jazz just match up better against the Grizzlies than the Grizzlies do and they can switch with better results than the Grizzlies can. Valanciunas has been outstanding this season, but Gobert is better. Brooks is a great defender, but the Grizzlies won’t have too many answers for Bojan Bogdanovic, Royce O’Neale, Clarkson and Ingles. Jackson and Kyle Anderson are a couple of options, but they likely won’t be able to win their matchups. Jackson might have a size advantage over O’Neale and Bogdanovic, but will he be able to keep up with them?
    Bojan and Clarkson answer for themselves. Let Clarkson shoot 3's all day and make them and Mitchell and Favors defend at the other end

    When the Jazz aren’t shooting well they’ll have to prove that they can score in other ways. Bogdanovic showed more and more as the season progressed that he’s able to score in multiple ways, and the Jazz will need that from him. If the shots aren’t falling and the Jazz don’t change things up a bit, they could find themselves in trouble.
    play D and they'll be fine. Bojan certainly isn't the answer

    These are all connected and intertwined. Simply put, the Grizzlies are one of the best, if not the best transition team in the league. They force the most turnovers, grab the most steals, lead the league in fast-break points, are third in the NBA in points off turnovers and fourth in the league in defensive rebounding. They like to get out and run and have plenty of players who are faster and more athletic in the open court than those they’re going against. The Jazz will need to execute with precision to keep their turnovers down and maybe choose to get back rather than try for offensive rebounds against the Grizzlies.
    definitely some things that could be issues with the Jazz

    The Grizzlies have seven players that average double-digit points, but they’ll be relying on Morant to be their leading scorer. At 19.1 points per game, Morant will have to really step up and if he isn’t able to, the Grizzlies will be asking a lot from their supporting cast. And, with O’Neale on Morant, the Grizzlies’ young leader will have as hard of a time as anyone on the floor.
    going to need some other guys stepping up

  6. #36
    NBA Legend and Hall of Famer Xiao Yao You's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2021 post season #1 seed in NBA!

    https://www.slcdunk.com/2021/5/23/22...round-game-one

    It didn’t matter if it was Brooks, Desmond Bane, Justise Winslow, or anyone else, Donovan Mitchell cooked them all. If the Jazz get this version of Donovan Mitchell, it may be a quick series.
    should be a quick series regardless

    After watching the Play-In Tournament and the first few games of the Playoffs, one thing has stood out to me above the rest. The referees are letting these games get physical.
    which doesn't really favor the Jazz. Be nice if Ersan played. He doesn't mind mixing it up

    Memphis thrives on physicality. Jonas Valanciunas will be bodying Rudy Gobert up all game. Ja Morant, Dillon Brooks, and the rest of the guards will be swiping at every dribble. The Jazz will be fouled a lot, and they may not get all the calls they want. How will they respond? If Gobert is getting hacked and not getting calls, the Jazz will need him to ignore it and move on. If he hangs back arguing with the officials, things will be ugly for Utah. The Jazz will need to not let the physicality take them out of their game. They will need to just continue to execute regardless of the officiating.
    again Gobert is not the worry. You know Bojan will be crying and not getting back

  7. #37
    NBA Legend and Hall of Famer Xiao Yao You's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2021 post season #1 seed in NBA!

    https://www.slcdunk.com/2021/5/22/22...novan-mitchell


    This is a bit of a cop out, but everyone not named Ja Morant. Valanciunas is criminally underrated and is arguably having his best season as a two-way player of his career. Kyle Anderson has played so well he’s in the mix to be considered a finalist for Grizzlies MVP. Desmond Bane and Xavier Tillman Sr. are “rookies” who both played massive roles in the play-in wins over the Spurs and Warriors. Even Grayson Allen has gone from fringe NBA player to fringe NBA starter on a playoff team in two seasons. That doesn’t even mention last season’s bench mob trio of Tyus Jones, Brandon Clarke, and De’Anthony Melton - who all have at some point fallen out of the Memphis rotation. It takes balance. But these Grizzlies have some serious weapons beyond just the stars.
    Allen was first round pick. Nota exactly a fringe player

    He’s been rusty, with flashes of brilliance. He’s the X Factor in this series. The Grizzlies have terrific depth, but so does Utah - and at this stage of things they’re just physically better. The one guy beyond Ja that is physically capable of taking advantage of his matchups is Jaren. He can force Gobert outside the paint if he’s at the 5. He can attack Bojan Bogdanovic or Royce O’Neal off the dribble on the perimeter. He’s a mismatch nightmare. But he still fouls too much despite his defensive versatility, and his lack of facilitating skill he put the starters in a tough spot at times. If he can get it together and look more like himself from before the injury? Memphis can win this series. But that seems/feels unlikely given how his return has gone so far
    him and Tillman and Morant's improved 3 look like the things to watch
    5. What’s it like having the rookies Utah should have drafted in Desmond Bane and Xavier Tillman?
    unless they went to Duke they would be sitting next Brantley and company. They needed a center. Udoka sounds like the right guy. We'll see

  8. #38
    NBA Legend and Hall of Famer Xiao Yao You's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2021 post season #1 seed in NBA!

    https://thejnotes.com/2021/05/21/uta...-breakthrough/

    Since being traded to the Utah Jazz from the Cleveland Cavaliers in December 2019, the trajectory of Jordan Clarkson’s career has changed dramatically. While the 6-foot-4 playmaker has been a reliable scorer for every team he’s played on, he’s become one of the most important players on a Utah team that has locked up the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
    he's only important because COPTY let's him gun them out of games

    It’s apparent that Snyder has given him the ultimate green light. After all, Clarkson is also averaging a career-high in 3-point attempts with 8.8 per game, marking the sixth-highest 3-point attempts per game across the entire league.
    on a horrible %

    His durability throughout the course of this unusual season has also led to Clarkson having the highest usage rate of his entire career at 29.7 percent. That is the second-highest on the team this season, trailing only Mitchell.
    him and Mitchell's usage will be their downfall

  9. #39
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    Default Re: 2021 post season #1 seed in NBA!

    https://hoopshabit.com/2021/05/21/nb...ot-hardware/2/

    His teammate, Joe Ingles, also makes a strong case for the award. The raw counting stats are not as impressive but the efficiency is on another level. For players logging at least 25 minutes per game, he is fourth in the league in effective field goal percentage (65.2), behind only teammate Rudy Gobert (67.5), Joe Harris (65.4) and Mitchell Robinson (65.3). On the other side of the country, Derrick Rose has made an impact on the New York Knicks like that of Clarkson. With him in the lineup, the Knicks have gone 24-11 and he is averaging 14.9 points and 4.2 assists on shooting splits of .487/.411/.883.
    should be Ingles but won't be

    In similarly impressive fashion, Monty Williams took the Phoenix Suns from a young team with a bright future to within a game of the best record in the league. It was clear the leap was coming in the bubble but riding the momentum (and the trade for Chris Paul) to these heights is still impressive. Quin Snyder is the other finalist as the Utah Jazz have been the best team in the regular season since early in the year and never slowed down. They are elite on both ends of the floor and he completely revamped their offense from a season ago.
    took more 3's. Conley and Niang improving defensively is the big difference though

  10. #40
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    Default Re: 2021 post season #1 seed in NBA!

    https://basketball.realgm.com/analys...n-The-MVP-Race

    huge impact at both ends is all that should matter for the best player on the best team

  11. #41
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    Default Re: 2021 post season #1 seed in NBA!

    Eric Walden: Donovan Mitchell: “I feel good. Always gonna be soreness. I feel good, I’m ready to go tonight. No pain. I’m excited to get going.” Declines to say “for game-planning purposes” if he’s on a minutes restriction.
    – via Twitter tribjazz




    Eric Walden: Donovan Mitchell echoes Quin Snyder’s prior comments about the Jazz going 3-0 vs. Memphis in the regular season: “Throw away what happened [in the 3 games] months ago. Just forget that happened.” Said the Grizzlies seem to have figured a lot of things out in the past few weeks.
    – via Twitter tribjazz

  12. #42
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  13. #43
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    Default Re: 2021 post season #1 seed in NBA!

    https://saltcityhoops.com/lineups-tw...zzlies-series/

    The downside to pulling Gobert early in halves and re-entering him in the 2nd and 4th quarters is that Favors is put out there earlier to defend starting units for a bit. These are typically Utah’s roughest units but they’re still overall positive on the season.
    Gobert and Conley


    Those +/- numbers are totally insane. Interestingly, Clarkson at the other guard spot is Utah’s 8th most-used lineup (215 possessions), and is -0.1 points per 100 possessions, one of Utah’s rare common units that is negative. Add Favors instead of Gobert (163 possessions), and that figure plummets to -23.4. Snyder should avoid these!
    Clarkson sucks. Favors isn't Gobert

    As I mentioned in my Sixth Man of the Year musings, one of Clarkson’s valuable roles was soaking up minutes and shots during tired nights of regular season basketball, even though he was quite inefficient in the process. I don’t think you’ll see as many “dead legs” possessions where the Jazz need Clarkson isolation scoring. That potentially reduces the need for him being out there at all. If the starters’ minutes get stretched, Clarkson’s minutes look to be the first (or second, to Niang) on the chopping block.
    nice idea but I doubt it happens

    The more Clarkson is out there, the more opponents will both (1) target him on defense as Utah’s weakest defender and (2) force the ball into his hands over other, more efficient options.
    not sure he's the weakest defender. Certainly the weakest offensive player

    As opponents similarly shore up their rotation, teams will absolutely play lineups emphasizing speed and shooting to a degree that a very non-traditional center is manning the 5 spot. Think Marcus Morris for the Clippers or Dario Saric for the Suns (side note: Saric at center has been seemingly mothballed by Monty Williams as of late, but was really effective during the season). Gobert can hang with these lineups, but Favors has lost enough of a step that Snyder might match up his own smaller lineups that shoot and pass better than the opponent. Niang has really blossomed as a one-on-one defender this year in that I could see him as the center, or maybe Snyder goes nuts and puts O’Neale at center.
    Ersan or STFU

    If Favors or (gulp) Gobert is out, Utah is incredibly thin behind them. The Jazz don’t have a reasonably capable NBA-quality center on the deep roster, like an Ekpe Udoh or Ed Davis. Not to say those players are great, but if you need to eke out a game or three shorthanded, those guys could fit the bill. This year, Utah is left with Ersan Ilyasova (short and slow shooter who takes eleventy billion charges but doesn’t have the same rebounding edge as in his prime), Morgan (woefully undersized but knows the role and screens well), and Udoka Azubuike (athletic rookie who will foul a ton and struggle to keep up). All are bad options.
    Morgan has good size and length for small ball center as does Brantley. Along with Ersan they are good options


    However, this team construct is not dissimilar to Utah’s 2017 playoff squad against the Clippers, in which Gobert missed 2 games. Instead of playing (very bad) bench center Jeff Withey, Snyder usually just rolled with Boris Diaw at center to give Favors a break. I could see Snyder trusting Ilyasova a bit for spacing and guile, probably more than Morgan and definitely more than Azubuike. Snyder could also just try the center-less lineups described above. I don’t trust Azubuike either, and he has only recently returned from an ankle injury that sidelined his development for several months, but I like the idea of the variance he can provide as a wild young colt going after bench units. If the opponent has a big bench center that will simply overwhelm Ilyasova, Morgan, or Niang (like Ivica Zubac for the Clippers), I wouldn’t be afraid to let Azubuike go commit shitload of fouls in order to retain a critical rim protecting and rebounding edge.
    Whitey wasn't bad. Diaw was at that point. Udoka isn't playing


    Miye Oni will not play if the team is fully healthy, but he is the only capable defender that fits size-wise between Utah’s undersized starters in Mitchell and Conley and its forward rotation. O’Neale and Ingles are solid defenders but can struggle against quicker, smaller, skilled ballhandlers (see, e.g., 2020 Jamal Murray). Snyder can be stubborn in this respect and trust his regular defenders (especially with Gobert behind them), but Snyder has also surprised us this season by slotting Oni to defend the highest-tier talent of the NBA whenever he got minutes. Oni’s mild ascension in this regard is partly why the Jazz decided to cut ace defender Shaq Harrison. Oni fouled a ton, partially due to officials going on reputation, partly due to…Oni genuinely fouling a ton. If Oni is needed, he’ll be put squarely in the spotlight as a premier defender.
    Brantley and Forrest defend with size


    The issues faced by the Favors-Gobert frontcourt in the past were a little overblown, mainly due to the Jazz defense being incredible when the two shared the floor. Favors’ declining athleticism, the league’s continued downsizing, and the dominant offense with O’Neale and Bogdanovic at forward means Utah has essentially scrapped the Favors-Gobert combo for the entire season. Favors also needs to be kept on ice to be productive in his short stints. This is probably a Lakers-only card and the end of the day; if the Lakers insist on playing Anthony Davis with a traditional center pairing (Andre Drummond or Marc Gasol), and are successful against Utah to a great degree, Snyder might dust off this pairing for a few minutes.
    we better not see it but probably will

    Neither of Brantley or Morgan will see the floor unless there are injuries. However, both fit as 2/3/4 tweeners (with Morgan also capable at center). Brantley has more variance, talent, and athleticism, but Morgan is exceptionally bright and aware for a young player. If Utah faces a paucity of healthy forwards, look to see who Snyder trusts first in light of Brantley’s relative improvement against Morgan’s wit and previous playoff experience.
    both could help but when you got Forrest around why would they!

  14. #44
    NBA Legend and Hall of Famer Xiao Yao You's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2021 post season #1 seed in NBA!

    https://www.ksl.com/article/50172249...hs-game-1-loss

    "It was a big surprise," Gobert said. "I try to stay out on this; it's just gonna give me a headache. Hopefully he's good for next game; that's what I'm worried about. Obviously when you wake up you get ready for a game and you find out that your star player is not going to play, it throws you off a little bit. But at the end of the day, as long as he's healthy and ready for the next game, that's what matters."
    what matters is that he's 100% and it doesn't linger. They should win this round regardless

    "He is our leader and best player, but I don't think that played a big role because we played the last 20 games without him and without Mike, and we were playing great," Bogdanovic said. "Of course we missed him, especially in the playoffs — we all know how good he is. I don't know what happened, honestly, with the decision for him and medical staff to keep him out so you should ask him."

  15. #45
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    Default Re: 2021 post season #1 seed in NBA!

    https://www.ksl.com/article/50172196...-1-of-playoffs

    "Turnovers. We gave them way too many easy points in transition," said Rudy Gobert, who had 11 points and 15 rebounds. "When they have to play against our half-court defense, it's a different story."

    Especially when Gobert, himself, was back there. Due to foul trouble, however, he only played 25 minutes. with 9:03 left in the third quarter, Gobert went to the bench with his third foul; he eventually fouled out midway through the fourth quarter.
    yep everything was fine despite Bojan and Clarkson until he got his 2nd foul

    "I thought Mike's foul trouble hurt us during that one stretch where he was out because he controls the game for us," Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said.
    he and Gobert were out was the bigger problem. They are a lottery team without them

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