Jazz Wrap Summer League With Loss To 76ers

Aug 17, 2021, 3:36 PM
Utah Jazz guard Macio Teague (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)...
Utah Jazz guard Macio Teague (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz fell to the Philadelphia 76ers 103-98 to finish their Las Vegas Summer League season with a 3-2 record.

Jarell Martin scored 23 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, handed out four assists, and had four steals while Dakota Mathias added 22 points for the Jazz in the loss.

In total, six Jazz players scored in double-digits playing without several familiar faces in the Vegas finale.

No Azubuike, Brantley, or Forrest

The Jazz entered the final game of the Vegas Summer League sitting Udoka Azubuike, Trent Forrest, and Jarrell Brantley after falling out of championship contention with Sunday’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

With both Nate Sestina and Kyle Fogg having left the team on Monday, and Malachi Richardson not playing, the Jazz were extremely shorthanded entering their matchup with the 76ers.

It’s important not to read too much into how the Jazz decided to rest players in the final game in Las Vegas as the team had to have at least eight players available to begin the game, but it’s no coincidence that the Jazz three best summer league players got the day off while Elijah Hughes and MaCio Teague continued to suit up.

Azubuike and Forrest thoroughly dominated summer league while they were on the floor, looking the way second-year players ought to look playing against rosters made up mostly of rookies and fringe NBA player.

Forrest averaged 15.8 points and 6.8 assists, each of which led the Jazz. Azubuike meanwhile averaged  13.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game while shooting a league-leading 84.6 percent from the floor.

Brantley averaged 12.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and handed out 2.0 assists per game, showing off his versatility, though he struggled to shoot the ball throughout summer league.

Those are important showings for guys who the Jazz could reasonably expect to rely on for stretches next season depending on the health of the team’s backcourt, and how Rudy Gay and Hassan Whiteside fit into the Jazz frontcourt.

As a two-way player, Forrest will likely see significant time in the G League, but with no limit on how much time he can spend with the main roster this season, the guard may once against be counted on for emergency minutes.

With only three centers on the roster, the Jazz may also opt to keep Azubuike with the main roster for longer stretches, but if he is needed to step into the team’s everyday rotation at some point throughout the year, a little more seasoning with the Salt Lake City Stars would help.

Teague And Hughes Have Mixed Performances

After Paul White got hurt early in the first half, the Jazz were left with just seven players, providing significant minutes for both Hughes and Teague to show that they could have done more with greater minutes.

While Teague capitalized on the opportunity, Hughes struggled.

Hughes finished with 12 points, three rebounds, an assist, and four turnovers while shooting just 4-12 from the floor and 1-7 from three.

Teague proved he could handle point guard duties which he didn’t do much of over the previous summer league games with Forrest on the roster. He also didn’t get the chance in college playing alongside Jazz draft pick Jared Butler and lottery pick Davion Mitchell.

Teague signed an exhibit-10 contract with the Jazz which is essentially a training camp invite that the team can parlay into an assignment with the Stars this season. However, if he continues to play this way during the team’s open gym and in the preseason, he could earn a two-way contract next to Forrest.

Hughes meanwhile looks like he needs more time with the Stars as he has to continue to find a rhythm to his offensive game playing off the ball, and develop further as a defensive player.

The guard did shoot 36 percent from the three-point line on more than five attempts per game a solid showing for his potential 3-and-D role, but he didn’t offer the same dominance that both Forrest and Azubuike showed.

The Jazz now have the next five weeks off before gathering for training camp at the end of September.

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