"There are going to be a lot of games that at the end come down to a few plays.
As long as you insist on playing the line-ups you are.
We had our shots."
After Hayward's go-ahead bucket, Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson put Detroit back on top with 17 seconds left on the clock. From there, Burks missed an open look that would have given Utah a one-point lead. And Jazz shooting guard Rodney Hood had his arm hit by Detroit's Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as he released a 3-pointer to tie the game, but no foul was called.
"I've been a part of them plays a lot," said Hood, who had 12 points but went 0-for-7 from 3-point territory on the night. "It could go either way. He contested the shot. They won the game. … I felt contact, but it's up to the referee to make that call. I guess, you know, they decided to go the opposite way."
Derrick Favors was a bright spot for the Jazz in a losing effort. The power forward had looked out of sync during his final two preseason tuneups, but Favors put it all together when it started to count. The sixth-year forward scored a game-high 26 points and hauled in six rebounds.
"I just took my time," Favors said. "I was patient in the post. I was patient when they passed me the ball, and I just made plays."
But even as Favors thrived and the Jazz shot 46 percent from the floor, they couldn't hold onto a lead.
Detroit center Andre Drummond scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Pistons improved to 2-0. Detroit out-rebounded the Jazz 43-38, attempting 13 more foul shots on the night and hitting five more 3s.
Utah trailed by nine points, its biggest deficit of the night, early in the fourth quarter. But after Hayward split a pair of free throws with 2:38 on the clock, the Detroit lead sat at 5.
That's when the Jazz — the top defense in the NBA after the All-Star break last season — started to lock things down.
They forced a shot-clock violation and a turnover off a bad pass.
Burks, meanwhile, scored back-to-back buckets to cut the deficit to one. The shooting guard finished with 18 points off the bench.
On the next possession, Gobert blocked Pistons' forward Marcus Morris and Hayward gave the Jazz their first lead of the quarter.
Then things fell apart.
It took the Pistons point guard Jackson, who finished the night with a team-high 19 points, six seconds to get to the rim for the bucket that put Detroit ahead for good.
"We can't do nothing but learn from this," Favors said.
Down one, Burks missed an open look that would have put the Jazz back on top and Hood missed a contested 3-point shot to tie it.
"We had a couple of big stops to get right there," Snyder said. "We just couldn't get one at the end."
The Utah Jazz didn’t use the three-wing lineup they experimented with this preseason very much in Wednesday’s season-opener, but that group played well together in the short time it was assembled.
Because of Raul Neto’s injury situation, the Jazz might have no other option than to give extended minutes to the effective combo that includes multiple playmakers but no actual point guards.
Neto is a pg and 4 of their wings fit the description better than Trey.
Neto did not practice with the team at Temple University on Thursday and is questionable for Friday night’s road game against the Philadelphia 76ers because of a deep knee contusion.
The Brazilian rookie hobbled to the locker room shortly after hurting his left knee late in the first half in the 92-87 loss to the Pistons. He returned for the second half wearing a knee wrap.
Although he might miss this contest against the Sixers, the Jazz were relieved Neto’s injury wasn’t more severe as it seemed it might be as he grasped his knee in pain on the court for a moment.
“It is great news. I was a little nervous because we need him,” Jazz power forward Derrick Favors said after his team-high 26-point outing. “We need Trey (Burke).
He's the last thing they need.
We’re kind of shorthanded with point guards. I was a little nervous, but thank God he’s OK.”
If Neto doesn’t go, Burke would get the start for the Jazz. The third-year point guard had a strange game Wednesday, going scoreless and only playing for three minutes in the second half.
The coach said that or you are assuming? I'd go with Ingles.
The really bizarre part about that disappearing act — on his part while on the court and then his coach’s part in only playing him for 16 minutes — is the fact that Burke had played so well in the preseason. He led the Jazz in scoring with 15.5 points on 50 percent shooting in exhibition play.
It's bizarre unless you've been paying attention the past 3 years as you'd think a beat writer would have been.
“There’s no one who had a better preseason than Trey Burke,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said in his pregame remarks Wednesday night. “He’s been one of our best players. The thing that’s exciting — one, he’s done it defensively as well.
I might have to rank him behind Frank Layden if he keeps this up. Maybe they think they can get some other team to bite if they keep talking him up?
The second thing is he’s all in. His whole perspective has been about our club and how he can help us.”
While Burke would likely get the most minutes in Neto’s absence, the Jazz will have to alter their rotations if he doesn’t play. Shooting guard Alec Burks, who had 18 points off the bench against the Pistons, will probably assume the role of backup point guard in that scenario.
Burks provided an offensive spark down the stretch while paired with starting shooting guard Rodney Hood and small forward Gordon Hayward as the Jazz went on a 7-0 run to take a one-point lead with 23 seconds remaining in their loss.
“Alec Burks was going good. I think that for us that’s really where we are. We’ve got some guys that can create,” Snyder said. “Rodney Hood didn’t shoot the ball well from three (0-7), but he was six for eight from the field other than that, got in the paint, shot over people.”
Hood sees some advantage to being teamed up with the explosive Burks and the all-around versatile Hayward.
The advantage is that your best players are on the floor and not your shitty ones.
“We’re just playing, flowing, it’s hard to guard us,” Hood said. “It connects us more on the defensive end because I think we need each other more because we’re smaller. We just go out and run and make things happen.”
“We have a number of options,” Snyder added.
The Jazz also benefited Wednesday from Favors’ strong play, although the power forward only scored two points in the fourth quarter and took just one shot after putting up 24 on 10-of-14 shooting in the first three quarters.
The Jazz could use another big game from Favors as they take on a Sixers squad that got big games from big men Jahlil Okafor (26 points) and Nerlens Noel (14 points, 12 rebounds) in Philly’s 112-95 loss at Boston on Wednesday.
“He’s been close. It’s just his timing. I think he was affected by a little bit of the layoff and started to find his rhythm (Wednesday),” Snyder said of Favors, who didn’t quite look himself in the preseason. “Guys did a good job of finding him. He was poised. That was one of the things that he’s really improved on is just his poise in the post.”
JAZZ NOTES: Backup power forward Trevor Booker will make his season debut Friday night after missing Wednesday’s game. He was suspended for slapping Lakers center Roy Hibbert in the preseason. … Booker won’t be wearing the face mask he wore during the exhibition to protect his nose, which suffered a surgery-requiring fracture a couple of weeks before training camp started. … If you go by plus-minus ratings, the Jazz’s best lineups Wednesday night were the combos of Burks/Hood/Hayward/Favors/Rudy Gobert (1.5 minutes) and Neto/Hood/Joe Ingles/Hayward/Favors (3.2 minutes). Those combos each registered a plus-five.
In 2013, Trey Burke was considered by many Utah Jazz fans the steal of the draft
Really? He wasn't a whole lot better then.
, but it took just one game in 2015, 16 minutes really, to begin the "Trey Burke is not the answer" conversation.
It took last season for me.
Utah Jazz fans don’t hate Trey Burke.
Hate is a strong word but it's going to be hard not to if they keep playing him.
They hate themselves. Maybe that’s too harsh. They hate that they were wrong.
As Tyrone Corbin led a mishmash of young up-and-coming players and aging could- and should-have-beens to ninth in the West, Trey Burke was becoming a household name by taking the Michigan Wolverines to the NCAA Final, becoming the South Regional Most Outstanding Player, part of the NCAA Final Four all-tournament team and the Finals’ leading scorer.
Everyone in Utah was thinking: Here he is. The answer.
After the Deron Williams trade, Jazz fans endured starting lineups including Devin Harris, Mo Williams, Earl Watson and Jamaal Tinsley. Gone were the days of dominating point guards, the only thing most Jazz fans had ever known.
Mo would sure look good now!
With the 14th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, most of the top projected point guards would be gone. I had my sights set on Lucas Nogueira a hulk-smash-dunking Brazilian — last seen playing for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. I was wrong.
Some had a sliver of hope that the predictable, pat-standing Jazz would make a move to address a dire need — a return to point guard power — but even the hopeful didn’t expect to see the 2013 Naismith College Player of the Year in Jazz blue and yellow.
And then it happened.
Despite ESPN’s David Thorpe suggesting Burke could be or should be the No. 1 pick in the draft
, the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Burke at No. 9. Buzz began to build leading up to Utah’s pick. The Jazz grabbed Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng before revealing that they were part of a deal with the Timberwolves. How many jumped from their couches to slap hands or fall to their knees? It was highway robbery
Indeed it was. Minnesota with a great deal.
, and Dennis Lindsey earned the collective trust of Jazz fans for eternity.
This off-season should have his head on the chopping block.
Then Burke shot 24 percent through his first summer league. Still, most were content with giving him time to transition to the NBA game — one year.
He started 68 of the 70 games he played his first season. He averaged 12.8 points and 5.7 assists per game. He also turned the ball over three times a game and shot .380 from the field
His turnovers were much lower
— still good enough to earn an invitation to the Rising Stars Challenge during the All-Star break
And all-rookie team. Weak class obviously but mostly getting minutes on a crappy team.
and an invite to practice with the USA Basketball National Select Team the following summer.
They took that away this summer! Don't forget he was in photos with Maxi and Favors as part of their big 3!
By the time the 2014 Draft came along, most Jazz fans started to doubt that Burke was the answer. Maybe he is too short. Maybe he can’t play defense.
Maybe he can't shoot but thinks he's AI.
They cheered as Utah used its fifth pick to select the young, unknown Dante Exum.
Mostly because he wasn't supposed to be there and they're probably wishing he wasn't.
Burke started half of the 2014 season before giving way to Exum. Burke finished with a PER of 12.8 while Exum finished at 5.7. Burke shot .368 to Exum’s .349. In order to defend Exum starting over Burke, many adapted murkily-quantifiable “defense” or “development” narratives.
Exum’s injury during the 2015 summer league pushed Burke back into the starting position until Quin Snyder announced the day of the Jazz’s season opener against Detroit that Raul Neto would start with the first unit.
Burke came off the bench for 16 minutes in Detroit. He missed two field goals and finished with a rebound, an assist and a turnover. Burke didn’t look great defensively. Time’s up.
Twitter responded and so did Burke’s parents, and then Twitter did its thing.
Burke is not an all-star point guard. Nobody is quite sure what Burke is or isn’t or what he’s going to become. But he isn’t John Stockton. He isn’t Deron Williams.
He isn’t what we hoped for.
Might be a 3rd pg if he's lucky.
And as we always seem to do, we look back with disgust at our naiveté, the things we thought we were right about — our bowl cuts, our lower back tattoos, our poetry phases, our ex-lovers. And instead of shaking our heads and saying quietly, “We were wrong,” we clench our fists and shake them at the thing we were wrong about.
If this season opener was any indicator, the 2015-16 Utah Jazz campaign should be one exciting, eventful season.
Going to be frustrating.
In a back-and-forth battle, the Detroit Pistons held off the visiting Jazz in the closing seconds.
If this season opener was any indicator, the 2015-16 Utah Jazz campaign should be one exciting, eventful season. With the Jazz visiting the Detroit Pistons, the game featured two teams looking to change their long-term fortunes. In a hard fought game, the Pistons came out on top 92-87.
Why the Jazz lost: Utah managed to stay right with Detroit for much of the evening on the road. But in a tight game, the little things stick out a bit more. The Jazz struggled from the perimeter, missed some crucial free throws and committed some defensive mistakes. Detroit made some key plays in the fourth quarter, capitalizing on Utah’s foibles.
Turning point: With 3:31 remaining, the Pistons held a solid 86-80 lead. Utah swingmen Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks made things interesting, teaming up to score seven unanswered points. Hayward’s aggressive lay-in with 23 seconds left provided Utah with an 87-86 lead. That is when Detroit took over. Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson used his speed to get the go-ahead lay-up. Detroit then had some solid defensive stops and its defense helped lead to poor execution by Utah's offense.
What it means: This Jazz team is still learning on the job, which Snyder recently emphasized following a preseason loss. Utah's players have a lot of work ahead of them if the goal of making the playoffs is to come to fruition.
front office and coaches even more work ahead.
Sitting as the fourth-youngest team in the league, Utah will have its fair share of ups and downs — something exemplified Wednesday night. With a road-heavy schedule to start the season, the Jazz’s mettle will be tested early.
Grading the performance: The Jazz had a few spells where the offense was simply sputtering. The lack of outside shooting, both inside and beyond the 3-point line, was glaring.
Even so, there were some positives. Big men Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert were tough inside, with the former tallying a game-high 26 points. Rookie point guard Raul Neto was solid in his debut, showing good poise. Hayward seemed off, Rodney Hood’s shot was not falling and Trey Burke had a +/- mark of -15 in 16 scoreless minutes.
Utah Jazz grade: C+
Way to go Trey!
With Stan Van Gundy in his second year at the helm, Detroit is ushering in a new era of basketball. The Pistons look to be more offensive-minded with a desire to play with more pace and spacing. Their offseason acquisitions fit that style. Newcomers Ersan Ilyasova, Marcus Morris, Steve Blake and rookie Stanley Johnson all helped Detroit come away with the victory. Andre Drummond was tough inside while the backcourt of Reggie Jackson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope looks quite improved.
Detroit Pistons grade: B
Three telling stats:
— The Jazz committed five more fouls than the Pistons, contributing to a 34-21 free throw attempt advantage for the home team. As a result, Detroit was +10 points from the charity stripe.
— It was not the most fluid game, reflected in the two teams assisting on only 31 of their combined 65 field goals — just 47.7 percent. Utah assisted on only 15 of its 35 made baskets.
— With the Jazz connecting on just two of 12 3-point attempts, the Pistons were a +15 points from downtown.
Up next: In an interesting scheduling twist, the Jazz find themselves on the road for the first three games of the season. Utah takes on the Philadelphia 76ers Friday evening. Philadelphia’s rebuilding plan, which many deem as tanking, is one of the NBA’s great lightning rod topics. After several seasons of losing, the Sixers do not appear to be ready to change that pattern any time soon. However, they are a scrappy team that works hard.
Only difference between them and the Jazz is Rudy.
They were competitive on the road for four quarters in front of a charged-up crowd at the famous Palace of Auburn Hills.
Against an east lottery team.
Their defense looked as strong as it did at the end of last season.
Was good. Not close to the end of last year.
They even rallied past a physical Detroit team to take the lead late in the game.
All that was missing for the Utah Jazz in their 2015-16 season opener?
One stop, another make or two and ... a win.
Better minute distribution from the coach would have made a huge difference.
Some would argue a late foul call was missed, too.
In a game that wasn’t decided until five seconds remained, the Pistons won for the second night in a row by edging the Jazz 92-87 on Wednesday night.
“It was a good game,” Jazz power forward Derrick Favors said. “Detroit, they came out. It was their opening night (at home), so they come out with a lot of energy. We can’t do anything but learn from this.”
“It’s frustrating,” Jazz center Rudy Gobert added, “especially when you know we had the game.”
Favors played better than he had all preseason, leading the Jazz with 26 points and six rebounds. Shooting guard Alec Burks began the season in a reserve role — as did Trey Burke — and finished with 18 points off the bench.
“I think we played a team that’s really playing well and playing with a lot of confidence in their home opener,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said of Detroit, which was coming off of a 106-94 win at Atlanta the previous night. “I thought we played well enough to win. There’s going to be a lot of games in the end that come down to a few plays.”
The Jazz trailed by six points with three and a half minutes remaining after a Reggie Jackson 3-pointer, and it seemed like Detroit was on the verge of closing out a second win in as many nights.
But Jazz coach Quin Snyder went with his three-wing lineup, inserting Rodney Hood in for rookie Raul Neto for the stretch run.
With wings Hood, Alec Burks and Gordon Hayward on the court along with Favors and Gobert, the Jazz defensive intensity revved up like a Detroit-made muscle car. At the same time, Burks got a hot hand as Utah went on a 7-0 spurt to take a one-point lead with 23 seconds remaining.
Though he had a quiet night overall, Hayward put the Jazz up 87-86 after dribbling around the horn and then making a strong drive before dropping in a floater over Pistons big man Andre Drummond.
The Jazz won’t love watching the final 23 seconds in their next film session.
The 6-foot-3 Jackson, who led Detroit with 19 points, didn’t waste any time in attacking the basket after a Pistons timeout. His driving layup caught Gobert and Hood out of position, and he easily gave the home team the lead for good with a layup.
“That was just a miscommunication,” Gobert explained. “I thought Rodney was back in front and I was going back on Andre for the rebound. He just stepped through and I should have been there.”
Burks had a good look to regain the lead, but his 13-foot jumper was off with 9.4 seconds remaining.
After two Kentavious Caldwell-Pope free throws, the Jazz had one last try to force overtime with a 3-pointer.
Hood seemed to have an open shot from beyond the arc, but the quick Caldwell-Pope zipped in and challenged the second-year Jazz shooting guard’s 3-pointer.
Others might use the description that Caldwell-Hope fouled Hood by smacking his forearm on the release. The referees, however, didn’t call a foul and that official blocked shot and two Jackson free throws put Utah in the loss column to begin the season.
Nobody in the Jazz locker room was about to get a fine for complaining about the late non-call.
“We got a shot. You know, I’ve been a part of them plays a lot … (and) it will go either way. He contested the shot and they won the game,” Hood said. “I felt contact, but it’s up to the referee to make that call. They decided to go the opposite way.”
Snyder, who probably would’ve thrown the challenge flag if the NBA had them, said he couldn’t tell about the contact.
“Everybody always wants everything to go their way,” he said. “The referees did a great job controlling the whole game. It was a tough game to officiate with the size and the shot-blocking. It’s on us to get stops.”
Rookie point guard Raul Neto started his first NBA game, finishing with eight points and three assists. He left the game after injuring his left knee in the first half, but he returned with a knee wrap on and played in the second half after giving the Jazz a scare.
Hayward finished with 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting but had four turnovers to go with four rebounds and one assist. Hood also started in the backcourt. He was brilliant inside of the arc, scoring 12 points, but missed all seven 3-point attempts.
“To get back in the game and they got a lay-in, that was tough,” Hood said. “But we just learn from it and move on.”
JAZZ NOTES: The Jazz traveled to Philadelphia after Wednesday’s loss and will practice there on Thursday before playing the Sixers on Friday. … Backup power forward Trevor Booker missed the game while serving a one-game suspension for slapping Lakers center Roy Hibbert in the preseason. … Rookie Trey Lyles made his NBA debut, going scoreless in eight minutes. First-year player Tibor Pleiss did not play.
It doesn't. Seems like the same pathetic Jazz organization I've had to put up with for the past 35 years.
We asked top Jazz contributors to explain what they're most looking forward to this season. Stifle Tower/French Rejection
Last season, Rudy Gobert was inserted into the starting lineup after the Enes Kanter trade, and Gobert and the Jazz took off. Led by the “Stifle Tower/French Rejection,” the Jazz sported the league’s best defense for the last two months of the season. They held opponents to a shockingly low 94.8 points per game and a 19-10 record.
Gobert showed the Jazz and fans that he could be a franchise-changing player. But last season there was no pressure on him. This season, expectations are as high as ever.
8th seed is pretty low after last year's finish if you ask me
Plus, the rest of the NBA took notice of Gobert’s performance and had an offseason to prepare for him. How Gobert handles the expectations amidst the newfound attention will be the most intriguing aspect of this upcoming Jazz season.
I’m most excited to see what Quin Snyder does during his second year at the helm. In his first season, he turned the basketball court into a chessboard, employing tactics that held opponents to 89 points per game — the lowest average in the league — after the All-Star break.
Can he replicate that dominance across the entire 2015-16 campaign? Also, does he have the X’s-and-O’s game to help the Jazz compensate for their potential point guard problems? In 2014-15, Utah produced a PER (Player Efficiency Rating) of 10.3 at the position per 82 games. That’s nearly five points below league average. If the answer is yes to just one of those questions, don’t be surprised if the Jazz slalom through the rigorous, obstacle-filled course that is the Western Conference to clinch its first playoff berth in four years.
— Jared Bray
Don't count on the president of Burke's fan club to do anything special.
Finally talking about this season
As a Jazz fan, over the past few years I have been constantly bombarded by comments about the next season. The prevailing attitude has consistently been that the Jazz lose a lot this season, get a high draft pick, let the younger players develop alongside the new pick and be a bit better next season. Next season rolls around and it’s the same story; they win a bit more, miss the playoffs and all the talk is focused on next season.
same story again. Tanking with one of the best teams in the league. Is this a first?
Last season, Jazz Nation witnessed Snyder wrestle control of an energetic team and give it direction: Gordon Hayward achieved career numbers; the ascension of the Stifle Tower; the Jazz became a defensive presence to be reckoned with.
We witnessed the hunger of a team that wants to be playing past mid-April.
No longer do I hear whisperings of an uninspiring season now for better seasons later. Fans got a taste for the pure talent this team holds, and is ready to test it out for 82 games. We are ready to watch an impassioned team make the return to the postseason.
Jazz fans, finally, yes finally, it’s time to be excited for this season.
This season already feels different in Salt Lake City.
Hayward and Derrick Favors going into their sixth season in the league and are both perennial All-Stars.
Favors averaged 16 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per game last season along with 1.7 blocks per game last season. Hayward is the team's No. 1 option this season and was one of just a few players last season to average at least 19 points, 4.0 assists, and 4.0 rebounds per game. Both will be hoping to make the leap from snubs to all-stars.
from perennial to snubs?
In the backcourt, Trey Burke has gotten his mind and body right and after a less-than-great start to his career, he will be hoping to become the point guard and scorer he was hyped to be coming out of Michigan.
Alec Burks is coming back from a shoulder injury and after playing just a mere 27 games last season, he will be hoping to make a huge impact this year. He will share time at the point guard position and will help take some of the scoring load off of Hayward and Favors.
This will be the year that the Jazz are once again relevant, and the rest of the NBA needs to be on the lookout.
— Sam Gillies Developing from within
One of the most exciting story lines this upcoming Utah Jazz season will be internal development. Dennis Lindsey, Snyder and company based the franchise’s offseason on this premise, hoping each of the cogs in the Jazz machine make some solid strides this season.
This starts at the top with leaders Hayward and Favors. Both are coming off their finest campaigns, but it feels like both are capable of taking things up another notch or two. No one improved more last season that Gobert, and he will be central to Utah’s defensive presence. Burke had a fine preseason as did the Burks. Both guards will be relied upon for backcourt scoring. Likewise, Rodney Hood looks poised to have a fine sophomore season, providing another scoring option on the wings. It will be interesting to see how rookies Neto, Trey Lyles and Tibor Pleiss fit in. Neto, in particular, will be baptized by fire, potentially in a starting role.
Not to be lost in all this talk of improvement is Snyder. On the heels of a very promising rookie season at the helm, Snyder is easily one of the top up-and-coming coaches in the NBA. His unique ability to motivate and coax more of his guys was evident last year, especially following the All-Star break. His candid assessment last week set the tone: He is realistic and knows the team has its work cut out for it, but he also reaffirmed that he feels it is capable of doing so. He is the right man for the job, and we will see his growth this year as well.
— David J. Smith
His love of Trey has given me serious doubts about him.
If the Utah Jazz are going to win their first game of the season on their current road trip, tonight presents their best chance. Utah takes on the Philadelphia 76ers in the Wells Fargo Center at 5 p.m. MDT.
Fire the GM and coach if they don't beat the joke that is Philly!
It helps that the Jazz will be at full strength (not counting Dante Exum’s knee injury, of course). Starting point guard Raul Neto participated in Friday’s shootaround after missing Thursday’s practice.
They can't afford to lose abny of the 8 NBA players they have. It cost them last game.
The Brazilian rookie has been upgraded from questionable to probable after incurring a deep contusion in his left knee during Wednesday’s 92-87 season-opening loss at Detroit.
“I just feel sore a little bit,” Neto said after trainer Brian Zettler wrapped his left knee with plastic and ice. “But nothing like that’s going to bother me playing.”
Neto said he felt his leg twist a bit when he planted late in the first half against the Pistons. Initially, he feared the worst-case scenario, but when he got up and started walking after a moment on the court he realized “it wasn’t too bad.”
Neto said he was more sore Thursday, forcing him to miss the team’s practice at Temple University.
More short shots from shootaround:
— Like the Jazz, the Sixers lost their season-opener on the road Wednesday night. Philly suffered a 112-95 loss to the Celtics in Boston on the same night Utah fell at Detroit, 92-87.
The Sixers are coming off of an 18-64, but their opener offered hope for the future as No. 3 pick Jahlil Okafor (6-11) exploded for 26 points in this NBA debut. Second-year big man Nerlens Noel (6-11) added 14 points and 12 rebounds in the loss.
Time for Favors to show what a great defender is like we we've been hearing for so long. Rudy can't cover everyone.
“(They have) the two guys down low that are formidable in their own way,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said after Friday morning’s shootaround at the arena. “Okafor obviously is a post presence. He’s unique. And then Noel, especially defensively, anchoring the defense.”
— Snyder described the Sixers as being a transition team that likes to run.
“You always talk about it and then you get out there and the team’s that fast, you’ve got to adjust,” he said. “Hopefully the adjustment is a small one if you’re more prepared for it. … When it happens, you’re usually knocked back a little bit.”
Even with their style, Philly only totaled seven fast-break points against the Celtics, who had 26. Both teams scored 52 points in the paint.
— Snyder explained his decision to only play a backup point guard three minutes in the second half of Wednesday’s game.
“It’s just the way the game went.
Like to hear that. Always hated Jerry and his substitutions of the same players at the same time of the game no matter what or letting the other team dictate what moves he made.
You saw Alec (Burks) got it going in the second half. Rodney (Hood), though he didn’t make a lot of threes, was putting the ball in the basket and was playing with a lot of force. “
Snyder opted to have the 6-foot-8 Hood guard the 6-foot-3 Reggie Jackson down the stretch, too, to give the Jazz a defensive advantage. Unfortunately for the Jazz, Jackson still maintained to beat Hood for the game-winning bucket with 17 seconds remaining.
“Getting a bigger guy on Jackson also was important I think down the stretch,” Snyder said. “Even though he made that basket, we were able to contain him by putting Rodney on him.”
— Backup power forward Trevor Booker will play against the Sixers after missing Wednesday’s game. The sixth-year big man was suspended by the NBA for one game for slapping Lakers center Roy Hibbert in the face during the preseason.
— Shooting guard Nik Stauskas is listed as probable for the Sixers after missing the Boston game. He’s been bothered by back spasms and a stress reaction in his right tibia.
— Jazz rookies Raul Neto, Trey Lyles and Tibor Pleiss sang "Happy Birthday" to their coach, Quin Snyder, at shootaround. Snyder turned 49 years old.
"They did a nice job," Snyder said.
“I don’t usually sing happy birthday or whatever," the Brazilian Neto said, "so I’ve gotta work on it.”
four of the Jazz’s eight five-man lineups had negative plus/minus numbers.
The four that did not:
• Burks, Hood, Hayward, Favors, Gobert (+5 in 3.2 minutes)
• Neto, Burks, Ingles, Millsap, Gobert (+4 in 2.4 minutes)
• Neto, Burks, Ingles, Hayward, Gobert (+2 in 1.5 minutes)
• Burks, Hood, Millsap, Ingles, Gobert (0 in .7 minutes)
All with the 7 guys I've mentioned! None of the other guys. So which line-ups had Burke, Lyles and Millsap?
That lineup with Burks, Hood and Hayward helped the Jazz key a late run to take the lead with 23 seconds left.
"Those are three good players is really what it comes down to," Snyder said. "They can play together and they were efficient. It’s not a lineup that’s traditional in that sense. But I think at certain points at the end of the game it has size and those guys can take some pressure off each other handling the ball."
Why just the end of the game. You need your top players out there as much of possible thanks to your thin roster.
Hood, who had 12 points on Wednesday, has liked the feel so far.
"I think when we’re out there, we’re just playing," he said. "Regardless of what wings are out there, we’re just playing, flowing and it’s hard to guard us. And I think it connects us more on the defense end because I think we need each other more because we’re smaller."
Ingles thought there were some miscues and mistakes that came from some of those three-wing lineups simply because it’s still a new look for the them at this point in the year.
"There were a few breakdowns that are going to happen," he said. "It’s just playing together. We played with three wings a lot. We went small without Book. There are just things to learn. I thought we did a lot of good things down the stretch. I think we’ll be in a lot of games like that, so executing down the stretch is something we’re going to get better and better at."
Most games I imagine.
3. That red spot in Rudy Gobert’s right eye is not part of an early Halloween costume. The Jazz center said he was hit in the face by Detroit’s Aron Baynes on Wednesday, but isn’t too bothered by the bloody blemish.
More concerning might be the Sixers two up-and-coming bigs.
"They’re two young, good players," Gobert said of Philadelphia’s Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel.
Okafor had 26 points in his debut the other night against the Celtics. His footwork and skill level at his age makes him a "unique" prospect, Snyder said, and a tough matchup for the Stifle Tower tonight.
"I watched a little bit against Boston," Gobert said. "He’s a good post player. So you’ve just got to be smart and we’ll see what happens."
4. On a very personal note, after yesterday’s lunch in Philly, Jim’s has clearly overtaken the more famous Pat’s and Geno’s on the All-Important Cheesesteak Power Rankings.
Still need to try Tony Luke’s and a few others, but I’m not sure my heart can take anymore for a while. I could definitely use a run.
Trey Burke came off the bench on opening night—just not that often in the second half.
The third-year point guard logged just 2:40 in the third quarter of Wednesday’s loss to the Pistons and did not get back into the game. He finished scoreless with an assist, a rebound and a turnover in 15:40 of action, while rookie Raul Neto logged more than 26 minutes of game time.
But Burke on Thursday said he was not bothered by coach Quin Snyder’s decision to sit him for much of the game.
"No. I mean, my main thing is winning, winning the game," he said after practice. "Coach went with his lineup and that’s what it was. For me, it’s Game 1. I just got to get ready for tomorrow. I can’t let it affect me for tomorrow."
His contract got picked up for next year and he's still in the rotation of what should be a tough team. How can he possibly complain? He should probably be in the D-league with Jimmer.
The night before, however, Burke’s father and agent, Benji Burke, apparently took exception and voiced his frustrations on Twitter.
The coach kept him scoreless? He played 15 minutes. He's supposed to be allowed to shoot the Jazz to losses like we've seen him do so many times before?
Meanwhile, the younger Burke on Thursday said he was unaware of his father’s online complaints.
"I’m not even on Twitter, so I don’t really see what’s going on," he said. "I don’t know what happened or anything. That’s not for me to really pay attention to. My focus is on the season."
In announcing his decision to bring Burke off the bench Wednesday, Snyder said it should not be viewed as a knock against the point guard, whom the coach said had the best preseason performance of anyone on the Jazz’s roster.
Even though he didn't really.
Instead, the coach said, he wanted to see Burke’s scoring punch off the bench to help bolster that unit.
Against the Pistons, playing about an hour’s drive from where he starred in college at Michigan, Burke attempted just one shot.
"I felt like I could have been a little more aggressive," he said. "For me, I wanted to get a feel for the game, let it come to me, not force anything. Being in Detroit, obviously I’ve got a lot of support there. It’s not just an ordinary game for me. So I didn’t want to really force the issue. Just come out there and play my game."
The one good thing about his 15 minutes is that he took one shot. Comments like that from Snyder make me worry.
Snyder on Thursday said he decision to limit Burke’s minutes in the second half was in large part due to other players getting hot.
"Alec [Burks] was playing really good. We’ve talked about that with various guys, where certain combinations or certain players have got it going" and minutes get redistributed," Snyder said. "And those are hard decisions."
— Aaron Falk
Those guys are going to be good and Trey's usually going to be bad. Alec only played 24 minutes which is a joke. He looked like he was ready to be part of a big 4 or 5 and you play him 24 minutes.
The Player Behind the Player of the Game: Derrick Favors
Got to be Rudy doesn't it. He completely took the paint away from them. Funny that they kept trying though!
It’s hard to understand how someone could lead the team with 20 points on top of 12 rebounds, one assist, three steals, and two blocks and be the guy behind the guy. But this was a defensive smack-down, and Rudy Gobert laid the smack.
Gobert’s six blocks and 11 rebounds tell about half the impact he had on the game. His team-leading plus/minus of +34 is more illustrative of what it was like to see him in action. Gobert didn’t prey upon the Sixers’ young and grossly outmatched prospects, Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel; he gobbled them up then, recognized how much he enjoyed it, then vomited them up to eat them alive once more. Anyone who watched the game must have ended the night with exactly the same thought I did: How in all in heaven and earth did Gobert only get six blocks?
For the first time this year, Gobzilla proved he can still rampage across the NBA cityscape, flexing and kicking and swaggering through the key that every soul in the building knew he owned. It was a show!
He did it against Detroit too they are just a better team and didn't keep trying to force it.
As is often the case, it was Derrick Favors stable presence that allowed Gobert to Gob-out as the monster. Favors snatched the rebounds Gobert scared far from any chance at going in, tipped away dribbles and passes when the Frenchman was outflanked, and added two far less demonstrative swats of his own.
Against Detroit and in the preseason, Gobert repeatedly showed frustrated body language when his “kill everything!” approach to defending the paint resulted in easy scores on short interior passes or offensive rebounds due to lack of teammate rotation protecting his back. Experiences like that cause hesitation, such as Gobert’s out-of-character inability to even get a hand up when Reggie Jackson beat the Jazz with an easy layup two nights ago.
Gobert can only be a defensive monster when he isn’t punished for contesting everything, and Favors is security the likes of which no other rim protector in the league has. When Gobert knows he can chase everything within reach, like tonight, its striking just how much really is available to him defensively. But it all depends on that far quieter defensive anchor ready to reinforce him near the hoop.
Favors has looked better defensively not sure he is the best security in the league though. When Rudy isn't in there Favors doesn't look like a great rim protector.
Rodney Hood and Trey Burke both bounced back from discouraging games at Detroit. Hood followed his 0 – 7 performance from three point range with a 3 – 6 return to form, helping him reach team runner-up scoring honors with 17.
Hood shot well otherwise in that game though. He's not doing much else though. Bring him off the bench.
Meanwhile, Burke followed his lost-looking, two-shot enigma against the Pistons with ten points on ten shots and, most important of all, a game-high six assists.
Yeah! I bet he sucks tonight though.
Each of these players will be counted on this season to do what they did tonight.
Are you really counting on this from Trey every night?
Hood is the best shooter on the Jazz.
Remains to be seen. His mid range game is certainly money though.
He can’t hide from deep shots the way others are trying to do so far this season. Burke, on the other hand, is beginning a monumentally challenging transformation from a high usage scoring guard to a balanced orchestrator in a back-up role. Each delivered exactly what is hoped for and needed from them in the thorough trouncing of the Sixers. If these games become the norm for these two, the Jazz will be awfully hard to beat.
It was the norm for Hood after the all-star break so I'd expect him to just get better and better. Inconsistency has been the norm for Trey and I would expect it to continue.
Be Patient, Hayward (and with Hayward)
Favors is looking like a franchise centerpiece,
He might be for the Sixers yes. The Jazz have one centerpiece and it isn't him.
Gobert joined Hood and Burke with breakout games,
Come on! Hood and Rudy played well in the first game. The end of their bench sucked. If Booker plays they win that one. If the front office was doing their job they win that one. If Snyder was playing his best players big minutes they win that one.
Raul Neto is still perfect from the three point line after another 2 – 2 night,
And unlike the rest of the team he can't shoot!
Burks is playing like a 6th man star,
As he did two years ago. He looked like a star period in the pre-season. I'd trade him and Hood out especially with the way Maxi G is playing.
Booker bounced back into the fray with a highlight dunk, and Tibor Pleiss even garnered his first NBA points on a smooth little lefty hook from a few feet out.
Booker adds a lot with his energy. He was missed. The hook was nice. If Rudy could ever get something like that down he'd be scary.
The only significant Jazz contributor yet to find his groove is the team’s captain and possible best player, Gordon Hayward. And it’s clear that while he’s handling it well, he isn’t happy about it.
To be clear, Hayward hasn’t been bad. 13 points (on 11 shots), 4 rebounds, 1 assist, a steal, and a block each against Detroit is genuine contribution. But three of six shooting from the free throw line and large stretches of invisibility in a game that went down to the wire isn’t what anyone has come to expect from the Jazz captain.
Instead of a breakout, Hayward delivered another steady game tonight: 12 points (on 12 shots), seven rebounds, four assists, and a steal. And of course, the team didn’t need him to go into a phone booth against the overmatched Sixers.
Yet two games in, he’s shooting 35% from the field, 20% from three, and 67% from the line.
His shot is off.
He’s being outshot by Hood, outscored by Burks and Hood, out-assisted by Burke and Hood, and is appearing merely useful while Favors and Gobert reinforce their indispensability. The offense once rested fully on Hayward’s ever broadening shoulders; now, he isn’t sure where he fits inside it.
The irritation is clear in small gestures and expressions, but overall the captain has managed to keep it under control. This is vital as the team grows into a more diverse and (hopefully) more potent offense. Hayward is as good as he’s ever been. He needs to trust that and stay patient, and so do Jazz fans. Clint Johnson
Have to get the last one and tonight as far as I'm concerned. Should have won every game before Memphis and Cleveland.
and the Jazz did in commanding fashion. Home opener, early in the year, seemed like a night where the Sixers could give a fight and it was over in a hurry.
• The defense was terrific. They had a solid game plan on Okafor and Noel. It prevented either of the them from getting any type of rhythm during the game. The Jazz sent a strong dig at Okafor and knew he would immediately revert to playing straight up basketball rather than post ball. Noel has no game outside 5 feet and the Jazz took advantage of that in numerous ways.
• It was great if someone got by Gobert Favors was waiting and vice versa. The Wasatch Front is imposing.
• One of the first plays of the game Okafor got into the body of Rudy and power through him. Rudy never allowed that to happen again and caused Okafor a lot of troubles.
Cooley gave him trouble to start the summer league!
• Rudy Gobert had 6 blocks and Favors had 2.
• Trey Burke had a really nice night off the bench. He found open guys. Made a nice weakside pass to a corner 3 for Alec Burks. Defensively he got beat the first few possesions and then adjusted and didn’t have troubles again after that.
• Philadelphia is really awful.
And have been for years. Without Rudy the Jazz are the wests version though.
• Derrick was a beast again with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Add 3 steals and 2 blocks and that is an all around performance.
Didn't shoot well.
• The defense shut down the Sixers and held the to 20 or fewer points every quarter. They sagged off Noel and clogged all the lanes so the Sixers couldn’t get anything to the basket.
• Raul Neto is a pest. 3 steals but neither Isaiah Canaan or TJ McConnell are NBA caliber point guards right now
• Rodney Hood took 6 threes. He has taken 13 in 2 games – AWESOME. High volume three point shooters are crazy important in this league.
He's yet to show he's the great shooter he's been hyped to be though. He's unstoppable in the mid range though.
• 15 points and 7 rebounds from Alec off the bench in 27 minutes is big time production. He had 15 points and 8 shot attempts. Rebounding guards are one of the most underrated things in the NBA. Every really good team has them. If Burks and Hayward rebound well enough Jazz might be able to play a small line-up.
They need to. Hood isn't giving them any! Burks needs to play as much as anyone on the team.
• The small line-up gives Favors rolls to the basket a lot of room and makes him a tough guard.
• Jazz got the offensive rebounding back tonight with 13 offensive rebounds in 44 chances. 29.5% right back at the league leading level of last year. Jazz had 23 2nd chance points on 8 of 13 shooting. Jazz were #1 in the NBA in offensive rebounding and putback percentage last year.
6 by Rudy!
• Rudy and Okafor had a nice battle. It got heated. Rudy got the best of him.
As he has everyone.
• Gordon Hayward’s off night is now 12 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal.
• Jazz shot distrubtion thru two games is off. Tonight Favors had 17, Hood 14, Hayward 12, Burke 10 and Burks 8. The offense can have all the movement but the right guys have to get the shots at the end if your offense is going to be good. In two games, Favors has taken 32 shots, Hood 29, Hawyard 23, Burks 22 and Burke 12. This will rectify itself.
Yeah I'm afraid it will and Burke will move up the list.
• The Jazz are still learning and this team will improve as time goes on. Indiana would be a good win. 2-1 would be a super trip.
Be disappointing really. This is the east. Need to win most of them.
Trey Burke's Michigan homecoming was a disappointment. In Detroit, not far from where he was a college star, the Jazz point guard found himself scoreless and stuck to the bench for much of the Jazz's season-opener. But the third-year pro brushed it off and bounced back on Friday night, scoring 10 points and handing out six assists to help the Jazz beat the 76ers 99-71.
"He didn't have a good game [in Detroit] obviously," said Jazz coach Quin Snyder, who played Burke just 2:40 in the second half of that one. "To see him come in with that level of focus and be able to move to the next play, as they say, and not let that bother him says a lot about who he is right now."
Says they were playing a crappy team.
After subbing in for starter Raul Neto, Burke knocked down his first shot and finished 5 for 10 from the floor.
"My teammates and Coach just told me to be aggressive," he said. "Just be myself.
Being tourself is a scary thought!
Raul did a great job really hounding the ball and making it hard on the other guard. I wanted to pick up there defensively and offensively be aggressive."
Burke said he was "obviously" motivated by his second-half benching Wednesday.
"But I think that's how I should play every night," he said. "Coach felt like I didn't have the same energy Wendesday night and he did what he did with the lineups. But I felt like tonight … is how I have to be every night."
You have to keep talking like that every night I guess anyway.
Neto is OK
With the image of Danté Exum's torn ACL still too fresh in their minds, everybody in Jazz land had to gasp a little when the rookie point guard Neto was holding his knee in pain Wednesday night.
Count Neto among them.
"Yeah. I thought it was something worse because of how I fell and how I feel my knee," he said after the Jazz's Friday morning shootaround. "That hurts really bad right after the moment, but when I start walking I saw it was nothing too bad."
Neto fell to the ground and landed awkwardly, badly bruising his knee in the second quarter of Wednesday's opening. The injury kept him out of practice Thursday, but he was back on the a day later, scoring seven points and nothing three assists against the 76ers.
Got banged up again last night too on his incredible no look lob as he went out of bounds.
Swallowing the whistle
Jazz shooting guard Rodney Hood thought the referees could have gone either way. When Pistons guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope contested what would have a been Hood's game-tying 3-pointer late Wednesday, the Jazz guard said he felt contact on his follow through.
But in reviewing the officials' calls over the final two minutes of that 92-87 loss for the Jazz, the NBA said the refs were correct not to call a foul and that Caldwell-Pope had blocked the shot cleanly.
The NBA D-League's draft is Saturday and the Jazz's affiliate, the Idaho Stampede, owns the first overall pick. Among the entrants available for selection are former BYU star Jimmer Fredette, former Oklahoma City Thunder forward Perry Jones and former Jazzman Ronnie Brewer.
At least they ngot the first pick in some draft after all their tanking efforts.