Last year, due to the Lockout season the Jazz played nearly exclusively with Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap as one combination and Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter as the other.
This year Coach Corbin has been able to take a look at new combinations. Here are his comments on how these players match with Al Jefferson.
DERRICK WITH AL
I like our size there. Derrick has gotten better at reading where to be when Al has the ball in the post. He is not afraid to step up in the middle to get the jump shot there. He can dive on the weak side looking for the pass to keep his other guy occupied so that the other big is not locked in on Al. I like the versatility with both guys.
ENES WITH AL
It was short, the way Enes has expanded his game, the way he can run it gives us a little more speed because he is running the floor better, he can rebound the ball well so it gives us an advantage there. I am little worried about perimeter shooting but it may be able to work for us at times.
• The game changed in the 1st quarter when Favors entered and the Lakers started to go to their depleted bench. The Jazz didn’t run early and didn’t set the tempo as they had hoped with the starting line-up. Tinsley instead of Mo makes a big difference. Interestingly, Foye pushed the tempo better than Tinsley tonight.
• The tempo change for the Jazz is incredible. Tyrone has these guys thinking fast break. They get the rebound and they let it rip. It is crazy different than what we are used to watching with the Jazz. Yes, at times they still go to the post with Al Jefferson however, it is often in the last portion of the shot clock after other options have been dismissed. This is a really good option at this point in the shot clock.
• Defensively the Jazz were terrific tonight. They rotated fast. They got to the next step defensively. The system of 2nd man removed looked better tonight then it has at any point in the pre-season. The Jazz are very long and the floor is becoming small for the opponents.
• The Jazz players all had more bounce in their legs. The games are easier than the training camp plus a day off on Sunday and the players all seem to have their legs back.
• The Jazz balance was great again offensively. I asked Tyrone Corbin today at practice if the shot distribution on this team was going to be different than last year and he said that is what just the pre-season. However, the increased tempo seems to be brining Marvin, Mo, Gordon, etc into the game at a different level. This means the shot are going to go to different players at different times in the shot clock.
• Three point shooting was great tonight. This team can shoot. Marvin and Randy dialed it in tonight.
• Paul Millsap tried to take it to Jamison on numerous accounts tonight and wasn’t able to beat him like he thought he would. This was a bit discouraging but it also might be related to some of the time he took off to be with his family.
• Kobe Bryant was awesome – it felt as though he had some score to settle with Gordon Hayward. He played much harder than anyone else on the floor. Interesting to me on a night where it felt like Gordon was having a hard time he had a good box score line.
• Interesting to me that the Jazz were able to switch Marvin and Gordon on and off Kobe. Those two are quite a defensive tandem.
• Alec Burks is playing well.
• Kevin Murphy can shoot. How cool it must have been for Murphy to go against Kobe Bryant who is his childhood hero and hit a jumper over the top of him in the opening moments they went head to head.
• Very solid good night for the Jazz. They are making progress and changing how they play the game on offense and defense.
The Utah Jazz waived NBA hopefuls Trey Gilder and Brian Butch today, bringing the roster total to 17, which is two above the maximum allotted for the regular season.
Disgruntled guard Raja Bell remains on the roster — and is set to make $3.5 million this season. Unless that situation is resolved prior to the beginning of the Oct. 31 season tipoff, the chances of making the team are slim for remaining free agents Chris Quinn and Darnell Jackson.
Over the years, the Jazz have preferred to carry 13 or 14 players, allowing flexibility with the final one or two roster spots. New general manager Dennis Lindsey hasn't revealed whether or not he'll subscribe to that tradition.
This is the second year in a row Gilder has been cut during camp and fallen short of making the team. The 6-9 forward from Northwestern State only played in two of the Jazz's first five preseason games, totaling seven rebounds and two points in 10 minutes.
Butch, a 6-11 center from Wisconsin, also made two brief preseason appearances. He had seven rebounds in 15 minutes. He was scoreless on 0-for-6 shooting.
Utah has the day off after spending the past five days in Southern California, where the Jazz beat the Lakers twice before falling to the Clippers on Wednesday.
The Jazz will practice again on Friday before Saturday's rematch with Blake Griffin and Chris Paul at Energy Solutions Arena. The 7 p.m. game will be televised on ROOT Sports and has been picked up by NBA TV.
» Through five preseason games, the Jazz have outscored opponents 108-62 in fast-break points.
» The Jazz upgraded their roster in the offseason to better fit a fast-paced offense.
» Tyrone Corbin hopes the Jazz’s depth will allow it to play faster late in the season and in the playoffs.
The question for the Jazz has to be, "Can they do it for an entire year?"
Coach Tyrone Corbin and his players are optimistic, Corbin more cautiously so than some of his leaders, that the Jazz’s depth will allow them to play fast throughout the season.
"It’s a marathon," Corbin said. "Pace is how you want to create these opportunities for you, but you don’t want to wear yourself out. There has to be a balance there."
The balance, Mo Williams said, will come naturally once the Jazz identify themselves as a fast-paced team.
"Like any other team, you’re going to be tired," Williams said. "You got to keep pushing, it’s your identity, your way of playing, and that’s what we want to do every night."
After a 3-2 start through five preseason games, the Jazz have outscored opponents 108-62 in fast-break points, including 30-9 against the Lakers in Anaheim on Tuesday.
With their depth and the altitude at home it certainly makes sense to push the tempo.
But pace isn’t just scoring on the fast break.
The Jazz can thank changes to their personnel for the boost. Mo Williams, Marvin Williams and Randy Foye are all better suited to push the tempo better than the guys they replaced.
CJ could push the tempo.
As Corbin evaluated his roster, led by Mo Williams, he saw a team that he felt could keep it going.
"It depends on the age and stage of the team," Corbin said. "Younger teams tend to be able to do it for longer stretches, middle-aged teams can do it going back and forth, and older teams don’t do it."
That Corbin said, is what makes the San Antonio Spurs so interesting.
"The way they could push the ball consistently with the ages they had," Corbin said, "was tremendous."
That also leads to the point that tempo doesn’t only mean converting in the open floor and scoring on fast breaks.
"We want pace to get it down the floor quickly," Corbin said. "To search for the early, easy opportunities and if we don’t have that now we get into our half-court sets with 16, 17 seconds to get into our offense."
The Jazz have a rotation that could easily go 12-deep, although that won’t be realistic for Corbin as he manages minutes in the early stages. That may be the team’s saving grace when it comes time to push the ball late in games late in the season or in the playoffs.
"We’ve got a lot of guys to come in if somebody needs a blow," forward Paul Millsap said. "We’ve got a lot of guys to come in and fill that position. We’re going to continue to play that way."
• Veteran point guard Jamaal Tinsley attended shootaround after having a wisdom tooth pulled on Thursday, but was sent home early. He is expected to be a game-time decision. At least one Jazz player can commiserate with Tinsley.
"I had mine out in 2009," Al Jefferson said. "But mine wasn't that bad. I got them out and I kind of recovered the next day. But Jamaal, it affects different people in different ways, that's all."
• Mo Williams and Derrick Favors will play against the Clippers, after sitting out Wednesday's game in Los Angeles. The two are not listed on the team's injury report and have been at full speed for the Jazz each of the last two days of practice.
"I want to play every game," Williams said. "I actually wanted to play that game [Wednesday] and we decided collectively to sit out one more game. I want to play every game. I don't like missing games. It's tough to watch and know you can't do anything."
After months of negotiations, Raja Bell and the Utah Jazz have moved past contract buyout talks and are now weighing trade scenarios, agent Herb Rudoy told RealGM on Tuesday afternoon. While RealGM reported last month that both sides had resumed buyout discussions with the expectation of reaching agreement, none of those conversations are taking place at this stage. RealGM
Be interesting to see what kind of trade they get for him. Part of a Jefferson package later on? Hopefully with Watson too.
You got to wonder if Raja has had 2nd thoughts. He was starting for the Jazz. Now no one wants his worthless ass. What the hell was he complaining about?
Watson for Nolan Smith would make a lot of sense to me for both teams. Jazz get a young pg with potential and get rid of Watson before he starts whining about playing time again. Portland gets a vet to back-up Lilliard(other than Ronnie Price) and play with their young 2nd unit. He has an expiring contract as well. Smith will too if they don't pick up his option which I'm guessing they won't. Jazz could pick it up if they like him. I'd guess contract wise it probably works? could throw in picks/Tomic rights/cash/etc. if need be.
Hayward has consistently said that he spent the summer trying to improve his game overall, rather than any one aspect.
"I said that at the beginning of the season, and that’s probably what I’ll probably continue to say all season," he said.
However, he acknowledged Monday that if there was one area of emphasis, it was working on his game in the post. At 6-foot-8, he is among the tallest shooting guards in the NBA, and Corbin said he would like to see Hayward use his size against smaller two-guards and when point guards switch onto him.
Ultimately, Hayward didn’t get to test his skills as much with the select team as he would have liked.
Makes sense. He should have the height advantage over almost every two in the game. Kind of figured his ouside shooting would be the main focus though.
Everything is trending for a big step for Hayward. He finished the year on a tear. His numbers are all headed in the correct direction.
I am big believer that the players that were really hurt by the lock-out were year 2 players who lost the off-season, summer league and training camp after learning what the league really was.
Hayward’ three point shooting percentage dipped in year 2 from 47% to 35%. His career average is 39% and I would suspect he is around that number this year if not a notch higher. His overall field goal percentage dipped from 48.5% TO 45.6% again I believe much of this is due to the lockout.
Most importantly, Hayward went from using 18% of his possession to shot a three to 20% while at the same time increasing the amount of possession he went to the line from 10.5% to 12.8%. If Hayward becomes a player who uses 20% of his possessions from three and 13% of his possessions from the line he would be one of only 6 NBA regulars that achieve that. Those players are Harden, Kevin Love, Danilo Gallinari, Chauncey Billups, Eric Gordon and Lou Williams.