And here’s your weekly Utah Jazz wrapup
As of right this second…
One. Tom Thibodeau ♥ Quin Snyder, as told by Jeff Van Gundy: I love Quin. I, you know, Thibodeau was out there watching practice…He absolutely raved about the work habits of both the coaching staff and the players. He said they were a phenomenal practice team. He said Quin Snyder is as good as it gets. He said it was fantastic watching him work and watching a hard-driving, intense work environment that they’ve established.
So, I don’t know Quin — like, I know him, but I don’t know him know him.* But when I watch his team play, I see the habits that will go into a team consistently improving throughout the year. And I think when you have a younger team, that’s exactly what you’re striving for.
* UDQM, H/T layneandkenz.
Two. Van Gundy, asked why should Jazz fans should believe in what Dennis Lindsey is doing: I think he absolutely knows what goes into winning and what goes into losing in the NBA. So, I’ll tell you, that’s number one. I think he’s got a clear vision for what wins and what loses.
I think secondarily, he’s exceptionally bright.
Third, I think he understands that you have to surround yourself with good people, and I think he’s done that with Quin. He’s in lockstep with Quin. Instead of fighting his coach, he’s joined at the hip with his coach, and that’s how you develop synergy.
And then you got to get the right players, right, and he made a bold decision last year to trade Enes Kanter*, who puts up great numbers, and you know, he got a big contract from Oklahoma City. But Dennis had this belief in Rudy Gobert as a foundational piece of a turnaround. And he was right. And I think [Derrick] Favors can play on a really good team.
Now, look. They would be better served, as would everybody, with a star of stars on the offensive end, right? So, if you have Kevin Durant, right, you’re gonna be able to score on most nights. Utah doesn’t have that, but they do have a great system of play. Offensively, I think they’re gonna keep improving, and I think that goes directly to Dennis’ leadership ability…
I believe in the Utah Jazz, ’cause I believe in Dennis and I believe in Quin Snyder. (1280)
* People calling Enes Kanter “Ee-nis”: Jeff Van Gundy
Three. Haven’t played this game in so long…Guess That Ass!
Four. Quin Snyder on the Jazz’s offense: Our spacing’s different than a lot of teams. It creates more mid-range jump shots because of the way people play us. But we’re gonna win games by defending, you know, and taking care of the basketball, and scoring opportunistically. …
I like what we’ve been doing offensively. You know, I like — there’s a lot of things you’d like to do more. You know, you’d like to shoot more threes, you, know, but, same th–it’s like, you know, if you’re not a passing team, you know, you run the ball and you run it well. You don’t, you know, you just don’t start throwing the ball because everybody says you have to throw the ball, if you’re not good at it.
I think we’re better at shooting threes and we’ll continue to. You know, I wanna see that. But I don’t wanna see us just — I wanna see us play the right way and evaluate what we’re doing when we’re playing. And I think we’re getting more comfortable with each other, with some of our execution. Things are getting better, and we are taking care of the ball more. So, those two things to me, are the biggest things.
Five. Loved this random little moment.
Six. Joe Ingles on basketball in Europe: In Europe, there’s some pretty brutal places. A lot of the — I won’t say names or anything, but you get abused and you get, it’s just, it’s different over there. It’s kind of all they’ve got, really, in terms of, you know, of sport.
They’ve got their football, their soccer teams and their basketball teams, and they kind of live and die for them, so it is a little different. They’re a bit more aggressive with their supporting over there. …
You kind of get used to just dodging things as you play. And, but I mean, I never had anything. My coach had a glass of, like, a cup of beer thrown at him in a timeout, which was pretty funny ’cause I wasn’t a big fan of the coach, so that was good.
One of my teammates got a big coin, like, in the middle of his head and split his head open. Can’t remember where that was. That was a little American kid from Queens, so he w–he thought he was a bit thugged out from that, so.
Ingles had three coaches in Europe: Trifon Poch at Granada, Xavier Pascual at Barcelona and David Blatt at Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Seven. Interesting comments from Deron Williams (H/T @dianaallen):
The biggest knock on Williams is that he’s had trouble staying completely healthy and completely engaged. He’s played for six coaches in the last five seasons, and some have said that he’s partly to blame for that.
But really, Williams never had a problem with his first coach, who remains the one under whom he had his most productive seasons. Jerry Sloan eventually retired midway through the 2010-11 season, just days before Williams was traded to the New Jersey Nets, who later moved to Brooklyn.
Williams and Sloan got into a heated argument at halftime of a game in February 2011. They met with the owner after the game. The next day, Sloan gave up the coaching post he’d been in for more than two decades. A couple weeks later, Williams was traded.
And yet, the time in Utah served him very well.
“I definitely felt fortunate to be the third draft pick to a team that had a lot of talent and a Hall of Fame coach,” Williams said. “I learned a lot from him — just about how to work and how to be a professional. His lessons went beyond the court. How to treat people. He was big on cleaning up after yourself. Just little things that you wouldn’t think a coach would care about.
“There definitely were some things I could have done differently. He’s probably the best coach I’ve played with to this day. I had a great 51/2 years there. It was overshadowed by one incident, and it’s hung over my head since then.” (Dallas News)
Eight. From the “Where Is He Now?” files: the Ronnie Brewer edition.
It’s now time to get to know Brewer all over again; this time, as the newest member of the defending D-League champion Santa Cruz Warriors.
The truth is, he did something quite admirable, as it relates to this generation of NBA players, last season.
“I sat out last year. I didn’t get invited to training camp. People thought I was hurt or whatnot. I was working out and staying in shape, but I started taking online classes. I got to the point where I was two classes away before I could graduate since I [initially] left school for the NBA Draft,” Brewer explained to RidiculousUpside.com. “I still have the desire to play basketball. I wanted to give this another shot. There’s a lot of great talent in the D-League, and the Warriors are a great organization. I’m blessed.”
Brewer asserted that he’s obviously hoping for a call-up as the season progresses, but guiding his younger teammates and helping the team win games appeared to be higher on his priority list as he gets back into game shape. Ironically enough, such an unselfish mentality is something that will help the 30 year old endear himself to more NBA teams at the same time. …
“It’s very important. It builds great team chemistry and camaraderie. I think that will create great success in the D-League. I can talk to these guys about my experience,” Brewer said about embracing such a role at this level. “At 30 years old, I’m a little bit older than a lot of these guys. But they see me coming in early, making my free-throws, staying late, watching video with Coach [Casey Hill], and taking care of my body. That’s the way you have to do it.” (Ridiculous Upside)
Nine. Quin Snyder on Mike Conley: He’s a terrific player. I mean, like, on a personal level, he’s, like, one of my favorite players. Maybe you’re not supposed to say that, but you know, I just love the way he plays and the way he leads.
If you’re keeping track at home, the list of Snyder’s favorite non-Jazz players now has two names: Draymond Green and Mike Conley.
Ten. Quin Snyder, Unintentional Dirty Machine of the Week: Derrick and Rudy, and Book as well with his activity, did a great job, you know, making it hard. (H/T @Texas)