Just a few days away from the All-Star break, the Utah Jazz are looking pretty good. With a record of 34-22 the Jazz have a nice placing in the conference, fifth. But, is that good enough? This Jazz team has similar diversity to the team that took them to the finals two years in a row. So why aren’t we seeing that kind of dominance this time around? Utah has some great talent, and some potential talent too. If you assign each player a role and that player achieves that role and maybe more, well you might be looking at a deep playoff run Utah fans.
The Youth: The Jazz have some great young players, Rodney Hood ,Rudy Gobert, Trey Lyles , Alec Burks , and Gordon Hayward to name a few. But, Quin Snyder needs to realize that these young guys need to take on bigger responsibilities and can handle the pressure.
Hayward is the present and future of this team. He already is leading this team but the others, what do you do with them? Maybe just maybe, put the ball in their hands and let them take charge once in a while.
Rodney Hood has been playing in other peoples’ shadows all of his career. At college, Jabari Parker was in his way. Now it’s Gordon Hayward. But every once and awhile no one is in his way and he looks like a super star. So what this all means is that if you give Rodney Hood a chance, one day he might just become a franchise player.
Alec Burks just needs to stay healthy. He’s been an injury problem ever since they drafted him. If this continues, the best thing might just be to trade him. Then there’s Rudy. He has been one of the most fun players to watch develop. He has just taken what’s around him and used it. His height, his vertical, and just the entire game of basketball. Just wait, one day he’ll be raising the Defensive Player of the Year award.
The Veterans: Utah has some of the most experienced veterans around. Between George Hill , Boris Diaw , and Joe Johnson these three have played in some pretty big games and been clutch. Joe Johnson has at least seven game winning shots in his career. All three of these guys were off-season pickups and they’re doing alright with the team. When Quin Snyder needs a leader, or a player to take the last shot, I
imagine that one of these three players comes to mind.
George Hill is just in his eighth year. On any other team he’d be one of the younger players, but not on the Jazz. This team is extremely young. With
these guys’ experience, they keep the younger players under control. If they could add one or more veteran that’d be helpful. These guys have had so much experience they don’t have much more to prove.
So, the Jazz have all the ingredients to make a killer team. A team that no one wants to play. But they still haven’t found the perfect recipe. They have the young players (and they have a lot of those), they have the veteran experience, and they have a hungry coach, a coach that wants to win as much as his players. Their problem is just that they can’t find a way to combine all these things and make a super team. Figure that out and the Utah Jazz will be scary.