Los Angeles Clippers at Utah Jazz
6:00 p.m. PST
November 29, 2014
FOX Prime Ticket
Video of the Day
Yes, we used this video last time the Clippers played the Jazz.
Do we care? No.
Why? Because Quin Snyder has us that pumped.
1. How is Gordon Hayward’s four-year max contract looking right about now?
Andy Larsen, Salt City Hoops, (@andyblarsen): It’s looking quite good. Hayward’s thriving in Quin Snyder’s motion offense, making significant efficiency improvements over last year. The Jazz look completely punchless when Hayward’s not on the floor; they rely so much on Hayward’s excellent playmaking abilities. Once you take into account the rising salary cap and the shortage of wing players, Hayward looks like he’ll at least earn his contract.
Jovan Buha, (@jovanbuha): It’s looking like a steal. Hayward struggled with efficiency as the Jazz’s primary offensive option last season (he shot just 41.3 percent), but this season he’s grown into the role nicely, posting career-highs in true shooting percentage (.588), PER (20.4), and usage rate (24.9). He’s Utah’s best player by a decent margin, and when factoring in the salary-cap jump in the near future, it’s obvious Hayward’s worth every penny.
Fred Katz, (@FredKatz): Pretty darn good. Hayward’s numbers are up across the board, and he seems a perfect fit under Snyder. Of course, whenever talking about a big contract, there are two words which always have to come up: “TV money.” Once the NBA’s new TV deal kicks in for the 2016 season, the cap is going to rise remarkably. So, Hayward’s contract will probably look even better a couple years down the line.
2. How about Alec Burks’ extension?
Larsen: On the other hand, Alec Burks has underperformed his extension, without a doubt. While his elite ability is getting to the line, Burks has looked reluctant to drive at times this season. Worse, he seems to be over-relying on circus finishes (“Houdini” finishes, according to Jazz play-by-play man), lowering his efficiency further.
Buha: After a bump in efficiency last season, Burks has regressed and is making his recent extension look like a slight overpay. He’s posting career-lows in PER (11.0), true shooting percentage (.502), usage percentage (20.7), and turnover percentage (15.0). Burks is still a valuable piece for his ability to get to the free throw line, as well as his underrated 3-point shooting and passing, but the Jazz might be regretting this deal in a few months.
Katz: It’s looking fine. Remember the TV money. The Jazz are merely trying to keep together a solid nucleus. Clearly, they want Burks as part of it. Burks’ numbers may be down, but he’s still just 23 years old. This deal wasn’t based on current production, but projected ability, considering how well Burks has gotten to the line and scored efficiently during his first few seasons. 16 subpar games shouldn’t change that.
3. Is it safe to say Quin Snyder is an upgrade on Tyrone Corbin?
Larsen: I don’t know if it’s “safe” to say: this year’s Jazz are on pace for 25.625 wins, nearly exactly last year’s 25 win total. But they certainly are much more fun to watch, and Quin Snyder’s quotes indicate that he has much more of a long term outlook than Ty Corbin, who always somewhat resented the Jazz’s youth-first plan.
Buha: Yes. I was in the camp that felt Corbin was one of the worst coaches in the league, and I think Snyder’s performance has only further confirmed that. He promotes a modern, entertaining offensive brand of basketball, and isn’t focused on wins and losses in the short term. Synder clearly has his own governing principles and ideologies, and wants to instill them in his young squad properly. It may not show up in the win column, but the Jazz are headed in the right direction.
Katz: Yes. Without a doubt. Snyder’s long-term thought process, his motion offense, his implemented ball-movement and off-ball cutting, his concentration on turning guys into shooters all scream, “This is a Spurs guy!” Snyder was the coach of San Antonio’s D-League team before he left to become an assistant in Atlanta, whose coach and general manager at the time both came from the best organization in basketball. Snyder is a Spurs guy. He’s worked around Spurs people. Now, he’s using many of their principles on his own. Jazz fans should be excited about that.