35. Three Jazz Players After The Olympics
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz open their season on October 20, just 36 days from today. With the clock ticking, we look at 50 things for Jazz fans to be excited about leading up to the 2021-22 NBA season. Coming in at number 35, how Jazz players who played in the Olympics return to the court.
Three Jazz Players After The Olympics
The Jazz had three Olympians travel to Tokyo to compete for medals and impressively, both Rudy Gobert and Joe Ingles came home with the silver and bronze.
Miye Oni was impressive in his own right, helping Nigeria qualify for the Olympics while finding a spot in the rotation among several more proven NBA players.
Now the question becomes how do these Olympic Jazz players who had heavier loads during the offseason return to the NBA floor?
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) September 8, 2021
For Gobert and Ingles, the question may be one of exhaustion after each Jazzman played significant minutes during the runs to the medal rounds. Gobert played the 10th most minutes of any player in the Olympics while competing in all six outings.
Likewise, Ingles played in a full six games after reaching the medal rounds, and played a total of 185 minutes, the third-most of any player at the games.
How will those games, exhibition games, plus practice time and travel factor into their fatigue this season?
Additionally, how does the satisfaction of winning a bronze medal for Australia change Ingles outlook on his future as a professional basketball player heading into the final season of his contract? And, is Gobert motivated by falling just short of Olympic gold?
After winning a silver medal in #Tokyo2020 I asked @rudygobert27 what he hopes to take away from his Olympic experience. He shared this which gives great perspective on the sacrifice made by Olympic athletes. @kslsports @utahjazz #TakeNote pic.twitter.com/K1HhpJr3oM
— Jeremiah Jensen (@JJSportsBeat) August 8, 2021
On the flip side, how might the experience of getting significant time while playing among fellow NBA players and against some of the best players boost Oni’s talent and confidence?
Oni averaged over 21 minutes per game during group play, and while the sample size was limited, averaged 6.7 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 1.7 assists while shooting an impressive 46 percent from the three-point line on 4.3 attempts per game.
With Georges Niang leaving the Jazz for the Philadelphia 76ers, the bench unit has lost its second-best three-point shooter behind Ingles. If Oni can keep up his hot shooting from the Olympics while continuing to develop his terrific 6-foot-6, with a 6-foot-9 wingspan frame, he could be a valuable 3-and-D option for the Jazz off the bench.
Well ok Miye Oni. pic.twitter.com/IrdpOvHLSE
— Steve Jones Jr. (@stevejones20) July 11, 2021
While all eyes will be on the Jazz progressing through the season, it’s the minutes and experience from the Olympics behind them that could change the outcome of the Jazz season.
With 35 days left to go, the Jazz three Olympic stars post-Tokyo play is one of the 50 storylines to monitor heading into opening night.
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