UTAH JAZZ

Bogdanovic Turns Into Big Time Playmaker In Jazz Win

Jan 11, 2020, 3:14 PM | Updated: 3:18 pm
Bojan Bogdanovic - Utah Jazz - Charlotte Hornets...
Bojan Bogdanovic #44 of the Utah Jazz celebrates a play during a game against the Charlotte Hornets at Vivint Smart Home Arena on January 10, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Bojan Bogdanovic looked a little different in the Jazz’s 109-92 win over the Charlotte Hornets.

It definitely was a good different. The team’s second-leading scorer who also leads the team in three-point attempts, three-point field goals, and three-point field goal percentage turned into the master facilitator in the first quarter.

This is the same Bogey who didn’t have an assist against New Orleans on Monday. He was looking to pass against the Hornets and also make some baskets.

The possession after Bogdanovic made his first three-pointer, he drove to the right of the free throw line and whipped a pass to Rudy Gobert under the basket. Gobert missed the shot, but Utah kept possession.  Bogey then threw a lob to Rudy which The Stifle Tower missed.

Bogdanovic was undeterred, driving and passing out to Joe Ingles for a three-pointer. It was his first assist of the night. After a turnover in which he got caught in the air, Bogey drove baseline and hit Royce O’Neale for another three-pointer that dropped right before the shot clock expired.

The Croatian sensation kept making smart passes, shoveling one to Rudy who was rolling to the basket which led to Gobert getting fouled. On another possession, he drove to his left, drawing two guys with him before stopping and slinging a pass to Georges Niang who was wide open at the top of the key.  Niang’s swished the shot and Bogdanovic had his third assist of the first quarter.

Bogdanovic ended up scoring 16 points, making 4-8 from behind the arc and didn’t get another assist the rest of the evening even though he had a few other smart passes in the game. Some fans might say to themselves, “Big deal! It’s only three assists.” T’s really bigger than the statistic.

For Bogdanovic and his teammates to be great, he needs to be able to create for his teammates. When you are as good a shooter as Bojan, opponents are going to stay close to you the entire game, which means that other guys are open. He took advantage of those opportunities in this game.

“I’ve been working on my footwork a lot last couple of days,” said Bogdanovic. “I’m trying to make the right play. (The Hornets) kind of jumped on us on on the pick-and-roll tonight so we had wide-open corner threes. We all kind of shared the ball pretty well.”

“It’s kind of ironic, we’ve been on him to shoot,” said Snyder. “I think he’s reading (the floor better) before he gets the ball. So his decision of whether to shoot, pass or drive has just become clearer for him. You know, maybe one of the biggest things in addition to space is our guys have really taken ownership of making accurate passes.”

Those accurate passed lead to 28 assists on 40 field goals. It’s also beneficial that the majority of the team has now played 38 games together.

“We had some issues facing us earlier in the year, we just didn’t kind of have an idea of how to be in the right spot. For one another.  And, you know, to me, that’s the biggest part of our connectivity. Guys are in their space where they can be available for a pass,” said Snyder.

“The more we know each other the spacing is getting better,” added Bogdanovic. “We are getting more familiar with the set plays that coach (Snyder) is trying to run. Then just the unselfishness that we have in this in this room is amazing.”

Snyder likes that his team continues to play like a team.

“I think everybody right now… (is) making each other better.”

It also helps when your best shooter turns into one of your better playmakers and his name is not Joe Ingles or Donovan Mitchell.

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