Better, for the AIS coaches, meant three early targets of focus for Ingles: individual defensive footwork, shooting and physical development.
2 of 3 isn't bad!
Dellavedova’s Milwaukee Bucks teammate Thon Maker, who will make his Australian debut this summer, went to dinner with Ingles when the team were in Utah last season, and the three will often grab food at Dellavedova’s house when the Jazz come through Wisconsin.
Once Ingles had proven he could stay on the floor defensively, he had to make sure he was nailing the thing he knew best on the other end: shooting. Perfecting that would be a challenge. Goriss and Clarke noticed that Ingles dipped the ball down after he caught it - something he still has today in Utah, but less obviously - and a low shot release.
Shooting was Joe's problem not D like when he first came to the Jazz!
Yes, the Jazz added Grayson Allen to the roster, but using the drafting of Allen as the only barometer of how well the Jazz will do next year ignores the hurdles the Jazz overcame last season that they won’t have to this year.
Favors, Rubio and Exum are still on the team. Same hurdles as far as I can see
The Jazz will have the opportunity to play with a healthy Rudy Gobert, something they didn’t have for almost half of last season.
And if he's not? They've yet to show they can even be mediocre without him
Ricky Rubio will start the season familiar, and comfortable, within the offense.
Until his mental issues hit again
They’ll have an improved bench with Royce O’neale and Dante Exum getting significant minutes against 2nd units.
The bench isn't better with Exum until he actually proves it. The Jazz paying him doesn't prove it
They’ll also have returning veterans in Thabo Sefolosha and Jae Crowder with more time in the offense .
More time than Snyder's brilliant platoon of a year ago?
When the Jazz traded for Ricky Rubio on July 1 last season, nobody really knew what to expect. It was a move made to replace an outgoing George Hill, who had played the point guard position for the Jazz the prior season and was an excellent fit when healthy. It was a move intended to help convince Gordon Hayward to stay in Utah. Obviously, it didn’t fulfill that mission. Once Hill and Hayward signed with their respective teams elsewhere, the Jazz were left with Rubio as their starting point guard, and nobody really knew how the fit was going to be.
Who could have imagined Ricky spotting up in the corner or behind his man on D or throwing beautiful passes to the other team and crowd. Makes even less sense now than it did
It is a fairly safe to assume that this season is the most important basketball year of Ricky Rubio’s life. Rubio is entering the final year in his four-year, $55 Million contract. He is set to make just under $15 Million this season, which is the third-highest salary the Jazz will carry. Rubio will turn 28 years old this October, entering his 8th NBA season. Rubio had the best season of his career last year, capping it off with an incredible end to the regular season and high performance in the playoffs before getting injured. Rubio showed that he can be a integral piece of a winning basketball team, but what is his true value? Is he worth throwing $17-20 Million a year at? Rubio will have an entire season to prove to Dennis Lindsey and the rest of the Jazz front office that he is.
Hopefully they'll move on with Mitchel, Exum, O'Neale and Allen and this painful chapter will be over and I'll just have Exum to cry about.
Ricky Rubio deserves to play on a winning basketball team. He deserves this Jazz fanbase. He deserves to play alongside guys like Rudy Gobert, Joe Ingles, and Donovan Mitchell. He deserves the Utah Jazz. But his future in Utah will ultimately be decided by his play this upcoming season, and how much Dennis Lindsey truly believe he ‘deserves’.
Is he ready to come off the bench? No team is winning big with Ricky starting for them! The guy is a joke.
The Utah Jazz did fine without Dante Exum last season. But if they want to reach an elite echelon, they’ll need him to be a vital piece of their team.
They've already thrown away this year. Only two more years for the kid to show he belongs. Ideally he will one day be able to hit an open shot or at least look at the rim and earn his 9-11 million dollars. Almost everyone on the roster is better than him. Probably everyone actually. Vital?
Then disaster struck. Exum suffered a serious shoulder injury during a preseason contest against the Phoenix Suns that would sideline him for nearly the entire year. When he did come back to action, he had limited opportunities as he worked to shake off the dust and get back into NBA shape.
However, by the time the playoffs rolled around, Dante was starting to get into a groove which he showcased quite plainly, particularly in an impressive Game 2 win over the Houston Rockets where he locked down James Harden while also adding nine points of his own, finishing with a 3-point percentage of 66.7 percent and a plus/minus of plus-10.
He looked ok when he came back. Was unplayable against OKC because he wouldn't even look at the rim to go along with his usually missed lay-ups, TO's and bricks. This was just a few months ago. Why not tell it how it actually was?
It was one of those stirring performances that showed just how important Exum could potentially be to this Jazz team. Make no mistake about it, had he not been present for that game, it’s entirely possible that the Jazz would have been defeated by the Rockets, falling to 0-2 in the series and likely suffering an eventual sweep.
He was horrible at the other end. They lost because of their offense. They have other guys to step up defensively. He is an offensive liability!
Just as Dante showed in that Game 2 bout against the Houston Rockets, I believe this year he will prove himself as an indispensable part of this Jazz team.
A new big 3 of Mitchell, Favors and Exum!
Exum has had a lot of time to work on his game and for his desire to excel to brew within him. If he can hit the ground running heading into this upcoming season with much of his potential coming together, he could be an absolute force to be reckoned with.
And if he continues to be nothing but a defensive specialist he belongs at the end of the bench!
I’ve said it before about Exum, but I’ll say it again. He has all the tools to be an amazing player. His lightning-fast first step, his crafty ability to get to the rim, his length and his defensive aptitudes are all incredible. If he can transform those into even more meaningful skills by improving his finishing ability, adding a more reliable jump shot and gaining more discipline on defense, he could very well still be the star the Jazz hoped they were getting when they drafted him fifth overall in 2014.
He can't shoot. Can't hold on to the ball. Can't make a lay-up. All the tools?
The Jazz don’t need Dante Exum in order to be successful next season. But they desperately need him if they are to become elite.
They already have better versions of him in O'Neale and Allen. Desperate?
Dante’s career hasn’t gotten off to the start that he envisioned. However, with concerns about a contract well behind him due to the lucrative deal he was signed to this summer, and an extensive opportunity to thrive, this may very well be the year that he breaks onto the scene in statement fashion.
You sure about that? He skipped college so he wouldn't get exposed and he is going to have 7 years of big money. He envisioned more?
Point guards and centers were closer in height last year than they’ve ever been, separated by an average of just 8.3 inches — down 21 percent from the 10.5 inches or so that stood between them during the mid-to-late 1990s, according to data from Basketball-Reference.com.
But who cares? What's the difference in length and standing reach. Wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't greater now. Doubt the Jazz ever had as much length even with Eaton.
Overall, the Jazz are very fit to compete in this new age of basketball. Dennis Lindsey, Quin Snyder, and Co. have done a great job getting guys into the organization that fit well and help build up the squad. It’s things like this that help us believe that one day, somehow, the Jazz might be able to grind out a championship no matter how unlikely it may seem.
They aren't going to win anything without guys that can put it in the basket. GS is great at both ends not just one
The Swagger. Ricky Rubio has a confidence and swagger like few possess. He may have gotten off to a rough start, but wow was the ending worth it. He was crucial in leading the team to an unexpected comeback last season. He became more comfortable with his 3 point shooting, despite the odds saying that would never happen. The Spanish Samari has the flare necessary to receive the Han Solo comp.
He has mental issues. Confident?
The Sidekick. Much like Boba Fett, Raul has become quite the fan favorite despite not playing a very big role. Is it the looks? Is it his rookie season where he surprisingly started 53 and played pretty well. Is it his bromance with Rudy Gobert? Who knows, but I’m glad he’s coming back to the Jazz again next year.
Never gotten the impression that he's a favorite of anyone. It's all about Dante!
Still, in his limited regular season action and especially in an incredible Game 2 performance in the second round of the playoffs against the Houston Rockets, he showed just what a force he can be. If he remains healthy, as he finds his groove and establishes a role on this Jazz team, I expect him to take major strides throughout the season, growing into a dominant force for the Utah bench.
A guy that has never even shown flashes of being dominant outside of Summer League will be dominant? Why not start a little lower like just being a non liability at the offensive end by taking and making some 3's?
I recently wrote about how the Jazz don’t necessarily need Exum in order to be a good team. But if they hope to be an exceptional team, they’ll need him to come up big in 2018-19.
Too be exceptional they need roster changes and Exum at the end of the bench
The Jazz have seen major improvements out of guys even when they’re older (such as Joe Ingles) so it’s within reason to expect Rubio’s shooting to continue to improve, making him a solid floor general and a daunting threat on the offensive end.
More reasonable to expect the 32% of the playoffs though.
In the playoffs, Mitchell upped his personal ranking to second on the team, averaging 4.2 assists per game.
He needs to be first. The ball should be in his hands and running pick and roll with Gobert with shooters around them. Be unstoppable!
In other words, opposing teams can try to pressure one of Mitchell, Rubio and Ingles, but if Mitchell improves as a facilitator, they’re likely leaving the lane open for a drive or a lob, or an open 3-pointer. This isn’t unique to the Jazz, but it will allow Utah to be more methodical on offense.
Ricky will pretty much always be wide open from 3 as will Favors and Exum. Mitchell, Gobert and Ingles will be covered by multiple guys. Good luck with that strategy. Playing right into the other teams game plan
Adam Johnson: Because some have inquired re: Bazley, he MUST go through the G League Draft to play in the upcoming NBAGL season. He cannot sit out and wait to sign in until a team of his choice sits atop the waiver order. This rule applies to all players who have not been through NBA Draft. – via Twitter AdamJ_NBAGL
If Hill had been able to stay healthy and show some of the defensive prowess he’s been known for throughout his career or had he been more amenable during extension talks, maybe he’s still on the team now.
Let's be real. It was a typical Jazz penny pinching move. Hill fit perfect. Rubio doesn't fit at all!
Morris will always be remembered for “raising the roof” and being a role player on the best teams in Jazz history, and rightfully so, but thanks to a confluence of factors, fans rarely got to see the player that got them excited in ’95.
Sloan didn't like him. When he played he was good. See Alec Burks!
Marshall deserves a lot of credit though — he was great during his short stint in Utah. In his second year with the team, he put up 15 points, eight boards, a block and a steal every night. He played at small forward for the Jazz but, in many ways, he was the prototypical playmaking big man every team covets today.
He was their best low post threat. Another penny pinching move. They could have signed Harpring and Marshall and they would have been a really interesting team.
When Boozer, an All-Star in his own right, went down with injury during the 2008-09 season, then head coach Jerry Sloan looked to a young Millsap to carry the load in his absence and the third-year big man pretty much crushed it. He would start 38 games that year and averaged 16 points, 10 rebounds, one block and one steal with the first five.
Should have traded Boozer than
It’s hard to fault Sloan and Co. for not getting the most out of Millsap when they already had another star four-man in his prime. But I for one still wonder what might have been.
It's easy to blame them and even moreso Lindsey. Favors and Kanter will never be the player Millsap is.