NBA 2018-19: Season Preview for Utah Jazz
- The Jazz defied expectations to reach the Western Conference Semifinals last season. Can they repeat their heroics this time around?
While the Warriors and the Rockets were the favorites for reaching the Western Conference Finals since the start of the season there was one team which created a lot of ripples for its dominance and exciting play in the early rounds, and that distinction goes to the Utah Jazz.
Led by close Rookie of the Year competitor Donovan Mitchell, the Jazz completely outplayed the more fancied Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder before losing to a more solid Houston team. While the team was disappointed, the run, albeit brief, has left the fans excited with what the future beholds, and how this young but talented group can shine in a very crowded, competitive and celebrated Western Conference
While we wait impatiently for the season to start, it would be a good time to preview what we can look forward to from this young Jazz team in the coming season.
With the steal of the draft last year in Donovan Mitchell, the Jazz were hoping to get someone who could complement the frontcourt of Mitchell and Rubio. In Grayson Allen, the Jazz not only got someone from the program stable of Duke, an alma mater of Snyder but also a decent shooter, workhorse and fierce competitor.
The senior will benefit tremendously under Coach Quinn's program and mentorship of Mitchell. However not adding a veteran/established player will hurt the postseason run for the Jazz, when they face more fancied, talented and experienced teams.
In Rubio and Mitchell, the Jazz has one of the best back-court duos in the history of the club. Following a distinct style difference from Stockton – Rubio and Mitchell bring their own style and flamboyancy to Utah.
Much has already been spoken and written about almost ROY Mitchell and the breakout season the rookie had, however, what has not gone unnoticed is the stellar postseason play from Ricky Rubio, a journeyman from Spain.
Having spent over 6 seasons in Minnesota, Rubio in the run-up to the playoffs and the postseason itself averaged 16 points per game and career highs in shooting percentages for both 2-pointers and the 3-pointers. Barring injury, this duo can on its day give almost all backcourts in the league a run for their money.