Jazz GM: Adding Shooters Will Be Key
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey began his end of season media availability by calling the 2018-19 campaign an “interesting season.”
Fresh off the Jazz’s first round exit from the playoffs after a loss to the Houston Rockets in Game 5, Lindsey admitted that he still had to move past the emotion of the season ending.
In recapping the recently-ended season, Lindsey said the challenges this season for Utah truly began at the end of last season. Rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell suffered a toe injury in the playoffs and as a result didn’t have the kind of offseason work that he and the team were hoping to have, which may have explained his slow start to his second season.
— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) April 25, 2019
Mitchell, to his credit, improved greatly as the season went on. In fact, the whole team made as they worked through a rigorous schedule to begin the season.
Still, the Jazz were in a tough spot early on and made it through the difficult times due to the decision made to bring back basically the same group from the year before according to Lindsey.
“That tough start put us behind the 8-ball – character and fight and fight-back, the continuity of the group showed through the early trials,” said Lindsey.
Other challenges, including several difficult moments also encapsulated a “unique” season for the Jazz in Lindsey’s mind. He cited things like forward Joe Ingles’ son, Jacob, being diagnosed with autism and the incident between the Jazz fan and Russell Westbrook in March as examples.
Even with those unique obstacles and a disappointing loss in the playoffs, Lindsey was happy with the group that filled the Jazz locker room.
For showing up, tuning in, wearing our jerseys, having our back and giving us your heart—
⁰Thank you, Jazz fans ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Zv2Xp31Q7Z
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) April 25, 2019
“I’ll be frank, sometimes you have a 50-win team that you don’t like very much,” said Lindsey. “Sometimes you have a team that’s more challenged but you really enjoy the personalities. We sit up here today, while disappointed, not defeated and very grateful in attitude towards the season that we had.”
Heading into an important offseason full of tough decisions for the Jazz, Lindsey commented that adding shot-makers will be a major priority. While the Jazz were in top half of the league in 3-point shooting percentage, Lindsey remarked that the team never felt like they were shooting the ball well during the year. Against Houston in the playoffs, that inability to make open looks was devastating and a key reason why the Jazz were quickly eliminated in five games by the Rockets.
“We’re certainly going to have to make at a higher clip, than we did, consistently all year long,” said Lindsey.
Houston Was Better
In the end, the Jazz’s season was filled with interesting moments that came to an end at the end of a superior team and Lindsey gave credit to the Rockets for outplaying the Jazz.
“Every season, it’s a book but it’s a book of short stories, so there were a lot of cool things in particular where the team came together off the court and we faced a team that was better than us,” said Lindsey to summarize the year.
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