Posted by: Nick Knows All on October 6th, 2012The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
*I apologize beforehand for the length. This is ridiculously long*
There are tons of reasons to be excited right now. We made it through the torturous offseason! Good news has been reported from training camp! The free scrimmage is today! The preseason starts Monday, the first televised game is on the 12th, and the regular season opens on the 31st!
Seems to me like some people, especially on this board, aren’t too optimistic about this season. Me? I think that’s ridiculous. I’m chomping on the bit and foaming at the mouth over here. I think this is going to be the best and most exciting season we’ve had since 2009-2010, where the Fakers knocked us out of the playoffs because we lost Memo during the Denver series.
The Jazz, as always, are going to surprise everybody, and defeat anyone that underestimates us. Here are some reasons to be optimistic:
I talked a lot during the offseason about how it’s going to take a little time for this team to jell. And in all probability, the beginning of this season is going to be rough. We have a lot of road games early.
The good news is, it might not take as long for the team to jell as I feared. Our 3 newest additions, Mo Williams, Marvin Williams, and Randy Foye are already connected to each other and to this team in a variety of ways.
- Mo Williams and Al Jefferson are buddies. They’re from the same state, have worked out with each other, and run a kid’s basketball camp together for the past two summers. Al Jefferson grew up watching Williams play, and “thought he was the best player in the world.”
- Marvin and Al played together as prep All-Americans in high school, and competed against each other as well
- Randy Foye played with Jefferson in Minnesota for 2 seasons
- Mo Williams and Randy Foye played together in LA for 2 seasons
- Mo is already familiar with the Utah Jazz system, having played his rookie season here.
Mo Williams, Marvin Williams and Randy Foye have been in Utah since the first week of September, along with Gordon Hayward, Alec Burks, Demarre Carroll and Enes Kanter. Derrick Favors has also made appearances. They have been going to the gym together, playing ball together, and getting to know each other.
All of these things are sure to cut down on the time it will take for the team to jell!
As amazing of a player as Deron was, his leadership qualities left a lot to be desired. He would mope, complain, and yell at rookies when he made bad passes. He publicly hinted at leaving the team, and had already made plans to do so by the time we traded him.
Mo Williams is a bonafide leader. Reports from training camp indicate that Mo has already made this his team. He has taken the reins and is excited to be the leader of this team. Our guys will finally have a point guard who will make plays and implement the offense, and reset the offense if necessary.
He’s not just a veteran, he’s a veteran who is a natural leader. He has played with some of the best players in the NBA in Chris Paul and Lebron James, and has significant playoff experience. More importantly, Mo WANTS to be here (unlike Deron), and WANTS to be a leader (unlike Deron and Devin).
AL Jefferson (along with Ty Corbin) has been especially enthusiastic about Mo Williams. I really believe that just having Mo around is going to make Jefferson a better player. Jefferson will respond to Williams more than he has to any other point guard he’s played with. Think about being with people you respect—you want to impress them, and push yourself harder than you normally would. You don’t want to let them down.
For the first time since the lockout, our team is going to be organized. No longer will guys be running up and down the court looking confused, being hesitant to pass, and trying to do everything themselves (with the exceptions of Hayward and Millsap, who still managed to get other people involved in the offense).
Devin Harris and Ty Corbin reportedly did not have a great relationship. Devin was kind of a quiet dude, and not a natural leader. Harris wasn’t doing what Corbin wanted him to do on the floor. To be fair, you can’t blame either Corbin or Harris alone. There was no training camp in which to implement a system, and no time between games for extensive practicing.
Mo Williams has talked a lot about “being an extension of the coach on the court.” Doing what the coach actually wants him to do, which reportedly Harris was not doing.
- All members of the Jazz reported to camp very healthy and fit
- Enes Kanter is the Incredible Hulk, and has really come out of his shell. No longer is he shy and reserved. According to Earl Watson, he’s dunking the ball and talking trash as he runs down the court.
- Gordon Hayward has been blowing people away. He’s making every shot he takes.
- Gordon and Marvin Williams have been the best shooters in camp. Marvin has been very impressive.
- Hayward’s confidence is higher than it has ever been.
- There has been a lot of talk about how good Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson are playing
- Millsap has improved his outside shooting even more
- Jefferson is running the floor quicker and has improved his pick and roll defense (I’ll believe it when I see it…)
- Tinsley has also been impressing people (best passer at camp reportedly)
I have only one concern. All of the talk from training camp has been about Hayward, Marvin, Mo, Millsap, and Jefferson. The Jazz have thus far been completely mum on Derrick Favors. Of all the people that I thought we would be hearing about, I thought it would be Favors. This could mean he’s not going to be starting.
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