Jazz Introduce Ilyasova, Enjoy Needed All-Star Break
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz officially welcomed forward Ersan Ilyasova to the roster on Thursday, going through the first full practice of the second half of the season with their newest roster member.
Ilyasova was signed for the remainder of the season on Wednesday and is expected to add extra depth to the frontcourt behind starter Bojan Bogdanovic and backup forward Georges Niang.
In the latest episode of the Jazz Notes Podcast, Ben Anderson discusses the addition of Ilyasova, and how he sees the forward fitting in with the team’s roster. You can listen to the full episode in the player below or subscribe to the podcast at the bottom of the page.
Ilysanva Can Plug And Play Into Jazz System
When introducing Ilyasova, Jazz coach Quin Snyder said that adding a player that had a similar skillset to Bogdanovic and Niang was a positive, rather than looking to find a player who brings a skillset the team doesn’t yet possess.
“Dennis [Lindsey] and Justin [Zanik] and our group wouldn’t have looked at someone you couldn’t plug and play,” Snyder said “I think the one thing we’ve been really conscious of is the chemistry of the team.”
Though Ilyasova is the worst three-point shooter of the Jazz smaller frontcourt options at just 36 percent, his experience in the NBA makes him a safe option to put on the floor if the Jazz find themselves short on bodies.
However, Snyder indicated there was no urgency to push Ilyasova into the lineup in the near future.
“I think he’s anxious to contribute in any way that he can,” Snyder said of the 33-year-old forward. “We don’t expect him to show up and be ready to go right away. That’s not to say that he won’t be in many senses but there’s an adjustment period.”
For his part, Ilyasova said he was familiar with the Jazz organization through Zanik, who was his agent before joining the Jazz in a front-office role.
Even before his first practice with the team, Ilyasova said he watched the Jazz and was familiar with what allowed them to start the season with the NBA’s best record.
“In my first practice today I see it’s a great group of guys, the communication is there, they trust each other,” Ilyasova said. “And I already watched the games even before that, and the way they play, the chemistry is at a high level.”
Jazz Welcomed All-Star Break
Though the Jazz own the best record at the All-Star break, they welcomed the hiatus having lost three of their last four games heading into their nine days off.
“All-Star break is always something that everyone in the league looks forward to,” Snyder said. “I think this year in particular, given the schedule, and the schedule that’s upcoming in the second half of the season, whether it’s physical, psychological, or emotional, all those, being able to take a deep breath is welcome.”
Snyder, along with roster players Mike Conley, Donovan Mitchell, and Rudy Gobert were all participants in the All-Star game, though the Jazz coach said the team is already eyeing the remainder of the regular season.
“We’ve got a second half and we’ve got to be ready to go,” Snyder said. “And we will be to the extent the break can help us with some of the fatigue that always sets in with everybody.”
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