Game 75 of 82: Utah Jazz vs. Denver Nuggets (34-41)
Gobert vs. Confetti
** Quin Snyder on Ian Clark
I mean, I think you have to, for guys that are trying to have a role on teams, a lot of it’s just fortuitous. You know, you need to find a team that, where there’s a good fit, and hopefully that’s the case in Denver. For us, he just, he did everything that we asked of him. Was a professional. I think he got better. At this point for us, with our wing situation, we just needed bigger guys. You know, and I think Ian’s ability to play both positions can help him, and I think he’s gotta continue to be able to master both of those two, where he can — sometimes you can be a combo, a “one” or a “two,” as opposed to a one and a two.
** Trey Burke on playing for a coach who was a point guard
He always pulls me to the side, and even during games, to tell me, he tells me, you know, I’m doing a lot of good things out there. You know, just to continue to be aggressive. The one thing he’s been, we’ve been watching a lot of film on is just the way I’ve been able to get in the paint and attack, and you know, how that opens up things for everybody else.
Has your relationship with Quin Snyder grown as the season’s progressed?
Yeah, definitely. You know, we, when, we had a pretty good relationship once, from the time he came in, and you know, we talked on the phone from time to time, you know, a lot about, you know, things on the court, and then, as well as things off the court. So, I think that makes me more comfortable with him.
** Quin Snyder on Rudy Gobert’s offense
He’s working at it, you know? I think the key thing for him is just, there’s a level of patience. I don’t think we annoint him at any point in time…He’s, clearly, you know, people are captivated by him, ’cause we talk about him, you know, a lot, which he’s des–and deservedly so. I think he’s a little further along offensively maybe than people realize, and that’s because he’s worked at it. You know, you look at him at the free throw line. To me, that’s the thing that I really like, is that when he gets fouled, he makes you pay…He can make a 15-foot jump shot, and he’s getting better at, you know, finishing around the rim, especially when he doesn’t dribble. You know, Alex, he and Alex Jensen are tireless, as far as the amount of time he’s putting in. So, it’s showing.
** Snyder on Dante Exum’s performance tonight
I feel like it’s in his DNA [to be aggressive]. It’s just, he’s gotta let, just, be, not be worried about making mistakes. And it was appropriate that it happened tonight. I’m really happy. I wasn’t surprised as much as I was pleased, ’cause we’ve seen flashes like that. He’s such a conscientious kid, he doesn’t want to make a mistake sometimes. And there’s some plays that he made tonight that he’s seen before, he just hasn’t made the play. And tonight, he was, the game slowed down a little bit more for him. It was really good to see.
** Snyder on the combination of Gobert and Exum tonight
Yeah, I think, you know, they’re starting to get, everybody really, but Dante in particular tonight, starting to get more comfortable kind of knowing where to be able to throw the ball with Rudy. You can’t always lob it, but you know, there’s a good chance you can put it somewhere where only he can get it. But when those opportunities aren’t there — you know, Rudy did a better job of rolling…And Dante was making, you know, the right decision in terms of reading that third defender. You know, not just reading his man and Rudy’s man, but reading that third player usually coming out of the corner.
** Snyder on Derrick Favors’ impact on the Jazz
He’s such a good finisher, I think when, you know, when you get the ball around the rim, he usually gets something out of it, so there aren’t many empty possessions when he touches it near the basket. And then defensively, you know, he makes so many plays. You know, it’s not just protecting the rim. It’s playing pick-and-roll defense; it’s rotating; it’s a defensive rebound. I think, really, it’s more about his versatility and his ability to make lots of different types of plays than necessarily one thing.
** Snyder, asked what are some of the things he’s pleased with with the team at this time
I like our connectedness. You know, I think that as a group — we had a possession tonight where, I think there was a breakdown between, maybe, first it was Rudy and [Trevor] Book[er], and then it was Book and Dante, and pretty soon there were, like, three or four guys that were telling each other they screwed up. And I was, tha–this is pretty good, you know? We’ve got that many guys that are willing to get on each other and talk things out and that’s the right direction as far as having a team that’s, that, they’re close enough and there’s enough respect for one another, they can talk to each other…We’ve really become a unit and been through some things together in order to have that happen. I’d like to see us keep passing the ball better. I mean, that to me, just keeps glaring. And I also think we’ve really improved our passing, but I think that will really help us take a step forward offensively.
** Derrick Favors on finishing the season the right way
Just wanna finish it strong. You know, just wanna come out, keep playing hard, keep playing the way we been playing, and just keep improving…We just need to realize what we can do out there on the court. How to prepare for games; how to, you know, work hard in practice; and at, during the games whether we get down some points or be up, just learn how to continue to play hard and keep the lead or just fight back.
** Gordon Hayward on the game
Yeah, I mean, we came out a little flat, but it’s been a long, you know, tough stretch for us, of recent. And guys are banged up a little bit, and it’s just kinda that part of the season. I think we found it in ourselves just to get more aggressive. We stuck to our absolutes, and we forced them to take tough shots, and you know, that in turn helps us run the break, gets easy looks, gets the guys threes, and we kinda just, you know, ran from there.
Said absolutes, fantastically listed with Roman numerals via @5kl:
** Dante Exum on his 12 assists (career-high and new Jazz season-high)
I just tried to get in the paint, and you know, once I got in there, and just slow down and j–try and find open guys…You know, D-Fav was, you know, excellent. You know, got me probably, like, seven or nine assists. So you know, (raises voice) mad respect for him!
Favors in the background: Probably got you 10 assists, Ex. I mean, 12. Twelve. My bad, 12.
** Exum, asked how important it’s been to stay patient with himself
You know, it’s been one of the biggest things. I’ve always been on teams where I’m the first option, and you know, coming into this situation, it’s been a bit different for me. But, you know, I’ve be–I’ve learned to, you know, find my, you know, areas where I can, you know, attack and you know, shoot the ball, and the patience is one of the key things with this, so.
** Exum on Rudy Gobert’s offensive progression
You know, I think once he gets a bit stronger, he’s gonna be able to get even more and-1s, and you know, be stronger going to the basket. You know, he’s improving every day with the games, and you know, can’t wait ’til next season and how he works in the off-season.
** Rudy Gobert on Dante Exum’s progression
I know he was very tired lately, but…I feel like he’s been getting way better. And I tell him to be more aggressive, and I think this summer gonna be very important for him. He’s gonna get stronger, and he’s gonna have more aggressive mindset next year.
** Joe Ingles on his four 3-pointers
I might be the best shooter in the league.
** Jack Cooley on his block at the end of the game
I saw the way [Gary Harris] was trying to attack the rim, and I mean, I’m not gonna let up on an open dunk like that. And he was going really aggressive, and it flashed in my head: If I don’t get high enough on this, I might be on the wrong end of the SportsCenter highlight. But I made sure I got up there, and I made the play.
Have you ever watched pro wrestling before?
I have watched pro wrestling before, and the end of that play may or may not have been worthy of that. It was never intentional. He’s a great kid. I didn’t mean to do that, but our arms got locked up a little bit.
Other than that, it was all ball.
It was all ball. I looked at the ref afterwards, and he was like, “You got him at the end.” I was like, “Yeah, but I don’t get many of those, man. You gotta give me that.”
** Cooley on the Jazz taking every defensive possession personally
Yeah, I mean, we’re trying to build here something special going into the next season, and you can’t, I mean, you gotta make teams respect you. And we’re starting to earn that, but we need to continue to do it and make teams earn us, and I me–respect us, and I mean, especially at the end of the game, you gotta make sure teams continue to respect everybody on the team. We’re all part of the Jazz, so I can’t let that falter a little bit.
** Cooley on what he wants to accomplish in the remainder of the season
I mean, I really just want to help this team win any way I can. The things this team is doing is building extreme momentum for next season. I think everybody can see that. I mean, the media’s finally starting to catch on that special things are happening here, and I just really want try to prove that I can be a part of that and really help this team continue that momentum into next season.
Random Stuff, etc.
** Why did Melvin Hunt get a rare post-game sideline hug from Quin Snyder? (I have not yet completed my exclusive and comprehensive study of which/how many opposing coaches get post-game hugs and which/how many get cross-court point/waves, but a 35-game sample suggests the ratio is around 1 hug:5 point/waves.)
Anyway, a cursory search turned up no connections between Hunt and Snyder but they do have a mutual friend: Dennis Lindsey.
Lindsey and Hunt were teammates at Baylor (where they were roommates, per @tribjazz), and then worked together on the Houston Rockets staff for several years around the turn of the century. Lindsey also almost hired Hunt last year. More from the Denver Post here.
** Jerry Sloan and former Jazzman (with no dog in the in-state rivalry, that’s all he is to me ha) Larry Krystkowiak:
Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines of the Night (UDQM)
** Quin Snyder on Alec Burks
When you’re away from it and you’re hungry to get back to it, one of the ways that you can touch it is to watch it and think about it and study it.
** Snyder on length in the pick and roll
When you’re trying to chase guys down from behind, those late rear-contests, where that length kinda makes people, they can feel you back there a little bit more.
** Snyder on Trey Burke’s length
Trey’s not as tall. Trey’s got great length. So, I mean, getting him to kinda see himself that way, instead of, you know, kind of, I’m just, you know, like, no, if you’re long, and out, and, you can really — and sometimes length is better than height because you, it’s harder for you to mind or factor it in. You know, you’re used to a guy measuring this. All of a sudden, it’s like, gah. It takes a little time.
** Craig Bolerjack on Derrick Favors’ foul trouble: Favors goes down, uh, sits down… (H/T @timebomb801)
** Boler on Rudy Gobert: That is just another skillset that very few have at 7-1. A little inside, outside wiggle, goes in, keeps the body under control. (H/T @ @Mark_R_Pereira)
** Boler, after Matt Harpring says we haven’t seen the salute in a while: It’s gotta come with feel, though, Matt.
Harpring: I agree.
Boler: Gotta come with the feel.
** Steve Brown to Gobert, post-game: You just sucked the life out of this Denver team.
** Quin Snyder on what happens when Gobert rolls to the basket: Either someone’s gonna come and take him, or you’re gonna have someone open over the top, or they’re not gonna come and he’s gonna have an opportunity.
** Jack Cooley on his block on Gary Harris: I’m a pretty big weight, and he felt that pretty good.
Red denotes most recent game.
Thanks to @AllThatAmar and @davidjsmith1232 for the assist on the W-L record tonight.