Jazz Embrace Extra Day Off, Exum Nears Return
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz are trying something new this season — taking an extra day off.
For the first time this year, the Jazz had two days off between games, after playing seven games in 12 days to begin the year.
The Jazz are one of nine teams to play seven games through the first week and a half of the season. The Detroit Pistons have played eight.
However, just because the team had the day off, that doesn’t mean players didn’t take the day to work on their game at the Zions Bank Basketball Center.
“I came in. A lot of us came in,” Donovan Mitchell said, “There will be days in the season when you don’t want to see this place.”
Mitchell’s willingness to continue to work through the off day will be appreciated by fans, but may go against his coach’s best wishes.
“There are times when you want guys to literally stay out of the gym,” Quin Snyder said, “Sometimes you can get more done just taking a deep breath and recharging.”
The Jazz have had just three practices since the season opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The team has skipped three shoot-around opportunities on game day due to the rigorous early schedule.
What is the advantage of keeping players out of the gym for a day?
“You end up with a more productive practice.,” Snyder said, “It gives guys a chance to reconnect with their families, and get a little sleep.”
New Jazzman Bojan Bogdanovic agreed.
“We had a day off yesterday,” Bogdanovic said, “and a great practice today.”
Exum Nearing Return
The Jazz reported that Dante Exum a full participant at practice today for the Jazz, his first so far this season.
Exum has missed all of this season, and the final 19 games of last season including the playoffs after suffering a torn patellar tendon in his right knee against Minnesota in March.
Emmanuel Mudiay who missed the Jazz previous game against the Los Angeles Clippers went through portions of practice with the team.
Ed Davis who is out for the next four weeks after fracturing his fibula was at practice, and not in a cast. Davis was working with assistant coach DeSagana Diop on non contact shooting drills.