Scrimmages Providing Value For Jazz In Orlando

Jul 27, 2020, 3:12 PM | Updated: 3:16 pm
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - NOVEMBER 12: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz shoots the ball against the...
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - NOVEMBER 12: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz shoots the ball against the Brooklyn Nets on November 12, 2019 at vivint.SmartHome Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz have found value in their two scrimmages in the Orlando Disney campus. The team concludes their scrimmage schedule Monday against the Brooklyn Nets before officially reopening the season Thursday. Jazz coach Quin Snyder said the team has used the first two scrimmage, a loss to the Phoenix Suns, and a win over the Miami Heat as learning opportunities.

“The Phoenix game I thought really helped us,” Snyder said. “I don’t think any of us felt like we played as well as we wanted to. But we were put in some situations and we were able to really take a look at and learn from.”

The Jazz were outhustled by the much younger and less talented Suns throughout the 40 minutes scrimmage resulting in a 101-88 loss. The team bounced back with a 101-99 victory over the Heat.

“Then the Miami game,” Snyder continued. “Playing a team that was spaced like they were, having to chase [Duncan] Robinson and [Tyler] Herro and some of those guys off screens. I think we learned a lot from that game.”

Without Bojan Bogdanovic, Snyder has been tasked with rebuilding an offense without the team’s second-leading scorer. While the Jazz struggled offensively against the Suns, they appeared to have remedied several of those issues against Miami.

“I think offensively we’re still figuring it out,” Snyder said. “Our identity as a team and what we’re trying to accomplish is something that we’ll continue to emphasize. And every time we play we get an opportunity to groove that identity.”

Finding Their Shot

One goal for Snyder has been to help the Jazz replace Bogdanovic’s 7.3 three-point attempts per game that are now missing from the roster. The Jazz coach has asked his team to be more willing to take three-point attempts earlier in the shot clock.

“We’ve been mainly a catch and shoot three-point team,” Snyder said of the Jazz before facing Miami. “In order for us to absorb those eight threes and hopefully have more, I think we have to shoot off the dribble more. We have some guys that can do that. Donovan [Mitchell], Mike Conley, Jordan Clarkson, Joe Ingles. So we’ve got some guys that can shoot it.”

But what if the new NBA gyms are less conducive to shot-making than traditional NBA arenas. With no fans or even seating behind the baskets, sightlines within the Orlando campus are considerably different from those the players are used to seeing on an NBA floor. Snyder said it’s an issue he’s considered.

“I’ve wondered that, because you hear that that has been the case,” Snyder said of shooting theory. “The other night, we missed a fair amount of threes early on, but it never really occurred to me that the reason for that could be the smaller gym.”

When asked about shooting in the gyms before the Jazz played their first scrimmage game, Mitchell said he wasn’t concerned about the change in scenery.

“I think we’ve played in pretty much every depth perception I can possibly think of being in the NBA. Different backgrounds and whatnot,” Mitchell said. “So I don’t think it should be too far off.”

Despite the new-look NBA floor, Mitchell said he’s familiar with the arena.

“I played here many, many times a few years ago,” Mitchell said of his AAU days. “But I feel comfortable. I think guys feel comfortable. I think for us it’s just taking the first few shots at warmups and then you’re right into it.”

The Jazz tipoff against the Brooklyn Nets at 3:30 pm MT. The game will be broadcast on AT&T SportsNet.

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Scrimmages Providing Value For Jazz In Orlando