Editor’s Note: The following was written and submitted by Gerald Playle. Follow and interact with him on Twitter: @TheJerrbear1.
As the season is starting and games are just around the corner, an idea came to mind that I wanted to write about. So, unless you’re a new time Utah Jazz fan or somehow got shipwrecked and living out a real life series of Gilligan’s Island, last year should have got you pumped. For me, last year got me super stimulated. That excitement has only grown over the course of the offseason. It’s like when you’re away from your lady (or dude) and you know you’ll be seeing that person really soon. Yeah…that kind of excited.
So, here my top 10 reasons to be excited for the Utah Jazz this coming season:
*Disclaimer, some of these reasons are from my own powers of prognostication. Granted, I probably should have specialized in Divination, but that’s my own fault if my spells mess up and my “predictions” are wonky.*
- Seeing some basketball again, and seeing our team progress. Now this seems like a no-brainer, but we, as people, tend to just skip over what might be thought as obvious. I’m taking time to be grateful for the upcoming season in general.
- Seeing the Jazz’s offense pick up from last season. We only had middle of the pack offensive rating last season, and with Rodney and Alec more in the mix, for what we can hope as the full season, they can help Hayward pick up the offense while spreading the court and moving the ball. That would help out our big guys, even more, than last year.
- Rodney and Alec battle. Don’t get me wrong, I think both will see a lot of time on the court. Both of them are probably better than our point guard lineup and the backup wings, but they have their own battle. Granted, their battle would only be exemplified if a certain wonder-from-down-under hadn’t received a boo-boo, but it will still be there. This is really considering next season and going forward, but this season will be the beginning. Their battle will be mitigated because I honestly think both should be in the starting lineup, (or at the least playing a huge chunk of minutes) unless one of our points proves to be better, overall, for on court production.
- To piggy-back from reason 8 – to see how much Rodney and Alec have progressed as players. I’m a fan of them both, but I’m certainly on the bandit wagon of the “Hooded” kind. Even still, I hope Alec and Rodney both significantly improve. Their improvement alone is something that will mean greatly to this team and to Hayward, in my personal opinion.
- Our two foreign unknowns, Neto and Pleiß. We didn’t acquire them like we did Exum (I have tears every time I mention him) but they are ours, and I’m excited to see who they are and what they can become for themselves and for this team. There are unknowns about them, but if Lindsey has confidence in them…lets trust in that.
- Derrick Favors. This guy rocked last year, and I think he’ll hit the hardwood even better this year. As one of the tandems of our, down low, defensive front, he’s started to expand his offensive game more last year. From what I’ve read and heard over the summer, he’s been working on his offensive game even more. Supposedly he has developed a new secret weapon, a special move. Could it be an offensive weapon?
- “Stifle Tower,” “French Rejection,” “Gobzilla,” your very own, Utah Jazz fans, RUDY GOBERT! If you don’t Gobert, then you can GO HOME! This man killed it for France over the summer during Euro basketball. Got taller? Check. Got longer? Check. Got bigger? Check. I think he has improved. Although, more importantly, did he learn and add fuel to his fire? CHECK! I think Bronze was a spit in the face for Gobert. Third year now, and on a mission. (Is it alright to mention pants stiffening?) All aboard?!!
- NOPE! Not going to do it. Not going to type his ridiculous nickname. Hate it. So stupid. So I’ll go with the White Mamba. I have so much love for Derrick and Rudy, and Gordon is part of this triumvirate. Our Jazz leader, I think we all, including himself, expect more out of him this coming season. Not even the notion of messing up a perfect hair-do will be a distraction. Take on Lebron? Check. Take on Melo? Check. Another power night against Golden State? YEAH!
- Quin Snyder. You want to talk about another man with mystical powers, this guy has it. Soul-stealing stares, reading minds and haunting dreams, and another man with hypnotic hair. If I talk about him too much, he’ll attempt curse me to become one of the undead. So I’m going to stick to the good stuff. Seriously though, this man is smart. Helped change our defense into something that I actually do think can be sustainable, helped our main guys improved, and seen what it was we had in Rudy and the rest of the team. (I really think that was part of the whole thing with Enes…Oops did I just say something wrong?) After our nightmare of a coach, Ty, (I just said something wrong again, yes?) Quin is like seeing the sunrise after a cold, dark night. Who wasn’t impressed with what he did with D-League guys? Seriously!
- Our 50+ win season, playoff return. Yes, you read that correctly. Other articles over the summer mentioned/hinted at this idea, but I mentioned this idea on twitter right after the season ended. I said that this Jazz will win 50+ games. Did I think our Aussie will be there? Yes, but still. I think we can win 50+ games, and my powers say we will.
So there you have it – My Top 10. Do you have one? Even if you don’t, what are you excited about for this upcoming season?