Should be a frenzy in Los Angeles tonight… at least leading up to tip time for the Jazz and Lakers. After that, I’m not quite sure what to see in this affair. I still keep thinking blowout, because of the last game these two played in Utah, resulted in a 48 point drubbing for the Jazz in Salt Lake City. I’d like to think the Jazz finish this game off the right way and at least end up 41-41 on the NBA regular season. Sure, it might not mean a playoff berth, with the win. Let’s be honest, it won’t be playoff berth tonight for the Utah Jazz. Unless, Houston drops a game to Sacramento, who happens to be sitting: DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo, Marco Belinelli and Darren Collison. Is there any shot the Kings top 85 points tonight?! I’m thinking not, but stranger things have happened and it wasn’t that long ago that the Rockets lost a home game to the Phoenix Suns. In fact, it was last Thursday. However, I think the Rockets close it out strong, but if any team in the NBA could suffer a letdown of monumental proportions, it seems Houston would be the ideal candidate.
So even though it’s more than likely a season that falls just short of the playoffs, I guess you can say, at least, you see the progression with this young Utah Jazz team. I don’t like using the “young card”, but when the facts are the facts, there isn’t much you can say on that matter. Is it time this team takes the next step?! Yes. Of course. However, this team has been taking steps forward since Quin Snyder became the Jazz’ head coach. It might not be to Jazz fans liking, but going into next season, I don’t think it’s far-fetched to say this Jazz team wins between 46-50 games next season.
This is an NBA club that missed both their big men(Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors) for extended parts, during the early part of the season. Yet, this Jazz team stayed afloat. Does it mean that injuries won’t happen next season?! Certainly not! However, the progression with this Jazz team and the players who come in next season, mainly Dante Exum, should propel this club. Exum is still unproven, but I think he showed enough in his rookie season, to prove to me that he would’ve been the best PG on the team this season. Not to take away from Shelvin Mack and Raul Neto, but Exum has the edge. His defense is better, and his driving capabilities seem to supersede Mack and Neto and Exum still has plenty of growth, as well. Neto fits that category too, but I think Exum just has the intangibles that the other two don’t. Though the tandem of Mack and Neto would make a great second and third PG option on this team. Which leads me to the next step for Utah… Depth!
Depth is key for any team, in any league, but for the Jazz, the depth isn’t quite there yet. Some players are taking advantage of their situation on this Jazz team because of the lack of depth, namely a Joe Ingles type, but in order for the Jazz to fully commit to the playoffs, depth behind Favors and Gobert has to be the big step for the 2016-17 season. I trust what Dennis Lindsey and the front office can do to bolster their lineup, because believe me, if I’m saying this team needs depth, I’m sure Lindsey’s been saying it/thinking it before the season started. We do know that Lindsey and Snyder have said this is only just the beginning to the building blocks of the Utah Jazz. Let’s see if next season displays that type of necessary progression. Jazz fans are waiting with bated breathe.
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