This Week in the Utah Jazz
One. Dennis Lindsey on the Jazz’s injuries: This league is about handling injuries and poor play and judgment calls and wins and loss and–losses, and you know, we don’t want to have a hangover coming out of this, and we don’t want to be a victim in our conversations to the media and to our fans. …
No one cares that we’re hurt. So you know, we’ve gotta move past that, again, and compete, and compete if Rodney Hood goes out for a game, or Gordon Hayward goes out for a game, or Derrick [Favors]’s out for a little bit.
You know, we wanna be a no-excuse team, and again, we do not want to be victims whether it be a missed call at the end of the game or injuries. You know, we have enough, and our standards are higher than they were two years ago, and so, everybody should hold us accountable.
Lindsey on the Jazz policy of not releasing information on injuries: I know some are getting frustrated with us being vague, and one, there’s, you know, there’s confidentiality issues, you know, with guys and their health.
But two, more importantly, some of these injuries is, is we don’t know exactly how Jo–George [Hill]’s toe is gonna respond. Is that 24 hours? Is that 48? Is it 72? Is it a week? Again, it’s the same thing with his thumb…Same thing, frankly, happened with Gordon Hayward and his broken finger. The most honest answer is, we didn’t know if it was gonna be four, six, or eight weeks…The same thing with Rodney [Hood].
Two. Quin Snyder on the Jazz’s wing defense after the Rockets game: I told Gordon in front of the team, ’cause I wanted to emphasize how important it is, and I’ll say it again, that when he defends on the level that he’s capable of, our team, you know, benefits in a multiplicity of ways…
If our wings can make [defensive] plays — you know, Gordon at the, you know, first in line — that allows Rudy [Gobert] and George and Dante [Exum] and Shelvin [Mack], whoever’s on the ball, to be even more effective. And to me, that’s a step that our defense is taking, and that’s a crucial, crucial step…
When Gordon internalizes that, and you see him doing that in addition to seeing, I think, George and Rudy, who consistently do that, you know, if Gordon gets to that level too — and it’s just a question of him continuing to stay focused on it, because no one wants to win more than he does.
Dennis Lindsey on the Jazz’s wing defense after the Miami game: We just can’t al–rely on Rudy cleaning up every mistake. If our wings don’t shift and communicate and aren’t in good stances and play with force, it puts Rudy in foul trouble. It makes Rudy and Derrick move over into help positions, and then you get dump-offs. You get offensive rebounds. The same thing with the guards.
And so, we just have to look at ourselves collectively and say, you know, even though that we’ve done very well defensively and even though we were shorthanded last night, our level of competitiveness didn’t meet the level of the game, and the result is the result.
Three. Jerry Sloan, rocking the John Deere shirt.
And while we’re on the subject of Jerry:
Four. Quin Snyder on Rudy Gobert’s play of late: Rudy and I watched some — he and Alex Jensen have a really unique relationship. And Alex has been really hard on him, and demanding of him, but also really supportive of him. And two games ago, I think Rudy only had four shots.
Alex went through and found — I think everybody on our team that, maybe not Jeff Withey, but almost every–e–I wanna s–let’s say seven guys, all our wings, everyone had a turnover trying to throw Rudy the ball. Now, whether it was their fault or his fault or someone made a good play or whatever, the point is they were on rolls to the rim; seals after he rolls; you know, a spinout lob; something in transition.
But we were trying to get him the ball in situations where he could be successful. We just didn’t, weren’t able to make the play. And I think what’s happening is Rudy’s been more precise and more forceful in the things that he does, whether that’s getting position down low or rolling hard, and our guys are learning to find him better. Both to see him and then also to just fundamentally do it, be able to deliver the ball. You know, to put the pass on time and on target.
And if he keeps doing those things, we’ll keep getting better at throwing him the ball. And you know, I, when we watched the other night, just was like, look, you’re, if you keep doing these things, you’re gonna get more attempts. And if you don’t get the attempts, that means someone’s pulled in from the weak side and you basically got someone a wide-open shot.
So, it’s sometimes hard for a guy that, you know, you want to touch the ball and sometimes when you don’t it can get frustrating. But we cont–we’ll continue to look for him and he’s gotta continue to be willing to sacrifice, just like everybody has to be, for the group.
Five. Quin Snyder on the Jazz’s penchant for giving up 20-plus point leads: I think it’s a combination of a couple things. One, it’s the NBA, and it’s a make-or-miss league, and a lot of times you’ll have a stretch where you shoot well or play well and then the other team s–will have a similar stretch. Instead of being back and forth every possession, there’s runs.
I don’t think we’ve always done a good job of, as good a job as managing those runs from a defensive end where you wanna just, if you can get a couple stops during that period, it really mitigates the run. And really, it’s human nature. When you get, you know, when you have some separation sometimes, it’s easier to let down. …
It’s not insignificant too that, you know, Dante Exum had five fouls, early. We lost Rodney Hood for the second half. I mean, there’s some other things that have gone on during these periods that, you know, in a game that are challenging, so it puts even more pressure on each possession.
And you know, we wanna be able to handle that, but there is a reality to the situation too, where I think we’ve played more games than anybody in the league right now, and there’s a fatigue component with all the adversity that this group has faced at this point in the year.
You know, you guys have, you s–the injury thing is a challenge. You know, and tonight we had Gordon have to leave to get, you know, get X-rays, and he’s OK. We had Rodney have to leave to go back, and he’s OK. He’s got a, you know, what, a sore hamstring? So, you know, who knows where all that goes, but I guess what I’m saying is that, you know, it’s, your ability to handle those runs, I think, that’s the most important thing.
Six. Quin Snyder on what could or should have been done to minimize the 29-1 Warriors run: Part of it’s just Golden State. You know, you have to understand that they’re gonna come out like that and there’s gonna be runs during the game.
To try to minimize them — I thought there were a couple offensive possessions where we thought we had a good look and maybe something could go, and when we didn’t score we didn’t transition to defense. We didn’t get to the next play, so to speak.
And you know, y–sometimes you can talk about that, how quickly they go end to end, but until you face it, it catches you off guard. But I didn’t think we got to the next play, just mentally. And they were getting some easy stuff, some layups.
And then on the defensive end, even when we — you know, we had a few breakdowns. They make you break down. It’s not like you can look at it and say, “Hey, this was our mistake.” Sometimes, you know, they make you make mistakes.
But even when we did get a stop, we didn’t get the defensive rebound, and those are deflating plays. So I think both those, those two types of possessions — you know, they’re too good without those, you know, without transition layups and offensive rebound buckets. So, if that’s gonna happen, you’re not gonna be able to minimize anything.
Seven. Draymond Green, asked what he and Kevin Durant were laughing about after he got a technical at the end of the game: We was laughing at Quin Snyder kept calling timeouts. I mean, bro, you down 10 with 6 seconds left. It’s kinda over, my man. Just go to the restaurant, have a good dinner. Just chill, like. So that’s what we were laughing at…That was funny.
Dennis Lindsey on that timeout: Many times, we’re playing games within the game to make sure that Quin understands personnel, strategy, coming out of the timeout, can someone take instruction, execute a play that’s drawn up on the fly. So, we — win or lose, we were trying to compete, one, and two, we were trying to accomplish execution ideals, and you know, we won’t apologize for that.
Eight. Gordon Hayward on injured players sitting out: There’s certain times where it’s not our decision to not play. There are certain times where guys wanna play, and the coaching staff and the training staff feels like it’s in the team’s best interest to not play [and] to recover and to get right so you can be healthier at the end of the season.
So, some of it is just — you know, there’s certain injuries you really can’t play with. You know, so it’s unfortunate what’s happened. I don’t think that’s fair [for current players to be compared to John Stockton and Karl Malone], and I don’t think we have soft guys on the team.
Nine. RIP #TakeNote. From now on, it’ll always be #TakeFnNote. Gobert after the Kings win:
Ten. Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines of the Week (UDQM)
** Matt Harpring on Rudy Gobert: Last year and years prior, he would stand and watch. This year, he’s made himself available. His hands have gotten a lot better…and he’s finishing.
** Harpring on Jazz players: They’re waiting for [James] Harden just to make his move, but not coming early on him. And they’re waiting for a dribble. And then the finish on the other side, nice finish.
** Harpring on coaching: If I’m not totally committed, I can’t get in it.
** Quin Snyder on George Hill’s injury: Those are hard ones, because you rely so much, you know, on that appendage.
** Snyder, asked if Gobert got up to play Karl Anthony-Towns: Trey Lyles was the one who seemed to get up for Towns, his old roommate.
** Craig Bolerjack on Dante Exum fall: Dante hits the hard wood.
** Boler, multiple times a night: Strokes it nice. (H/T @urzishra)
** Boler on a “Where Are You Watching” submission with someone’s kid: I like the little guy down there. I do.
** Boler to Ron Boone on “Where Are You Watching” submission with couple on date night: Booner, you’ve got a hard decision to make before the night’s out. Date night with the wife. Oh ho, don’t disappoint her, Booner. (H/T @5kl)
** Boler on Shelvin Mack: Mack is so good low. (H/T @5kl)
** Harpring on Exum drive: You see him bury his head down and get through the gap.
** Harpring on Rodney Hood injury: You always hold your breath when Hood goes down. And really, any Jazz player.
** Boler on Gordon Hayward: An “oh my” moment, where Hayward now is bent over.
** Boler on Gobert rebound: His length was so evident right there.
** DJ/PK asking Joe Ingles about Christmas carols in Australia: How does that work down there, Joe?
** DJ/PK to Ingles on David Locke: What do the guys on the team think of that little dude?
** Kristen Kenney on Hayward: He said he banged it, and it’s swollen. So, he is dealing with that swelling.