Los Angeles Clippers vs. Utah Jazz
November 3, 2014
7:30 p.m. PST
FOX Prime Ticket
Video of the Day
Need to get pumped up for a Monday night, early-season game against the Jazz? Quin Snyder’s got you covered.
1. True or false: New Jazz coach Quin Snyder is an upgrade on Ty Corbin.
Justin Evans: True, but coaching performance, even more than player performance, depends on context. Corbin was clearly wrong for that team and the young bigs didn’t develop. Snyder was great at Missouri. He also worked in player development for the Sixers team that took Evan Turner second overall.
Ben Mesirow: True. It’s still early, but Utah has looked like a different team thus far under Quin Snyder. They’re shooting more threes and playing better D, and it looks like Snyder has the chops to help Utah’s talented kids realize their potential.
Jovan Buha, (@jovanbuha): True. Granted, I think almost anyone would be an upgrade over Ty Corbin. He never played his young guys enough minutes, and had weird rotations overall—the Jazz were probably better than their record last season. That said, Quin Snyder is a solid coach that is going to experiment and has already added fun wrinkles into their offense, not unlike Mike Budenholzer. Snyder could be the coaching pickup of the offseason, depending on how high you are on Steve Kerr.
2. True or false: The Jazz’s 5-3 preseason proves Utah will outperform expectations this year.
Evans: Utah might do better than many people expect: young players should respond well to any new coach. Burke/Burks/Exum on the one hand, and Favors/Kanter/Gobert on the other, should provide good internal competition. But many people expect them to be a bottom-two team in the West, so outperforming expectations means nothing. Also, “proves” is awfully strong for meaningless preseason games. So, false.
Mesirow: False. Using the preseason, when starters play fewer minutes at a lower intensity level and teams are prone to wacky substitution patterns and experimental lineups, to prove anything definitive is a fool’s errand. That said, it did open eyes around the league to the talent and depth of Utah’s young core, and it raised expectations for Quin Snyder’s maiden voyage.
Buha: True. This Jazz team has grown on me. I still think they’re lacking a go-to option, and if Gordon Hayward is forced to be that guy for them, who’s their second option? Derrick Favors? Trey Burke? Alec Burks? I think they’ll be better this season, and could jump up to the mid-30s in wins, but I don’t see a scenario in which they pull a Phoenix and competitively challenge for the playoffs.
3. True or false: Alec Burks’ extension was fair money.
Evans: Rising salary cap, etc., etc… That aside, I honestly can’t remember Utah signing any free agents ever, so it makes some sense to overpay for potential, especially since Burks has improved over his rookie deal. An interesting wrinkle—do Hayward and Burks give this team enough size on the wings?
Mesirow: True…I think. $42 million over four years is big money, and Burks does have some positional overlap with both Hayward and Exum. Still, wings with Burks’ athleticism, ball-handling, and ability to get to the rim are extremely valuable. Utah obviously projects major growth in Burks’ game, and with the salary cap set to skyrocket I think this isn’t the overpay it might seem.
Buha: False. Is he worth more than J.J. Redick ($7 million) or Wesley Matthews ($7.2 million)? No. Not even close. Even if you think he’s going to improve considerably, which he might, I just still don’t see how he’s worth $10 million. That’s basically committing to him being a top-four player on your team, which he has yet to prove. (Is he going to be better than Burke or Exum?) I think it was a premature decision and one they’ll probably regret.