Recent injuries to Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson have allowed Jazz fans the opportunity to see how this team may look next season without Millsap and Big Al. Against Atlanta, without Millsap, the Jazz played with little energy and lost at home 102-91. With neither big man in the line-up, Utah destroyed the Charlotte Bobcats 98-68 behind Enes Kanter’s 20-20 game. Of course, his and the team’s performances must be taken with a grain of salt because, come on, the Bobcats are terrible. Tonight, in Milwaukee, Jazz fans will have the chance to see how the team would look with Millsap and but no Al Jefferson.
This author believes the re-sign-Millsap-let-Jefferson-go option is the most likely for next season. Al Jefferson is a good scorer and very durable. You know exactly what you will get from him each season. The problem is, as any Jazz fan knows, that Big Al needs the ball in his hands, in his spot to be effective. On the other hand, Paul Millsap can score two points, and be a positive difference maker in the game. As Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks continue to refine their offensive games, the Jazz offense will need to move away from the current model of getting the ball into the post every possession. With those two ball handlers and Derrick Favors and Kanter controlling the inside, the Jazz offense can reach an inside-outside balance they have not had since the Deron Williams trade.
Al Jefferson does not add anything to that future plan, but Millsap can add value in any system. For that reason, Jazz fans, watch carefully tonight and compare this game to last week’s pitiful performance against the Hawks. My guess is that we’ll see more energy and a better look into the bright future of the Utah Jazz organization.