Jazz Zoom Practice Gives Fans Rare Glimpse Behind Scenes

Oct 2, 2021, 2:14 PM | Updated: 2:17 pm
zions bank basketball campus...
Player practice at the Zions Bank Basketball Center (Photo: Ben Anderson)
(Photo: Ben Anderson)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Jazz fans got their first look at the 2021-22 roster during a live practice broadcast over Zoom on Saturday.

The broadcast lasted roughly an hour and didn’t feature a scoreboard or official stats, but did show off how the team operates behind the scenes during non-game days.

Fans were treated to a mic’d up Quin Snyder for the first 10 minutes of the Zoom scrimmage as the Jazz coach served as both a referee and the lead instructor for his team on the floor.

The highlights of Snyder’s time on the mic included applauding second-year wing Elijah Hughes throughout an offensive possession despite the forward missing an open three, and harping on young guards Miye Oni and Trent Forrest for their defensive technique against the team’s more experienced players.

“For the Jazz fans that don’t have an opportunity to see behind the curtain so to speak,” Snyder said, “it gives you a little bit of an idea of what’s going on.”

Rather than a traditional practice where the team would run through unique in-game scenarios with mismatches and off-numbered sets, the team scrimmaged for nearly the entire broadcast.

“I wanted people to see us play more,” Snyder admitted. “I thought that would be more interesting than watching three on two, or two on ones, or some of the more basic drill things.”

Though neither Rudy Gay nor Bojan Bogdanovic played as they work back from injury during the preseason, fans did get to see newcomers Eric Paschall, Jared Butler, and Hassan Whiteside take the floor for the first time.

Butler had perhaps the top highlight of the practice showing off his impressive dribble moves crossing over a defender and getting into the paint for a finish over Rudy Gobert.

Fans also saw some of the small intricacies that separate Gobert and Whiteside on the offensive side of the floor.

“His half roll, his short roll, obviously his floater,” Donovan Mitchell said of Whiteside’s scoring repertoire, “he’s done it against us, he’s done it for his whole career, I think that’s one thing that he brings.”

Whiteside’s ability to pull up from 10-feet is a significant difference from Gobert who functions best getting to the rim where he finishes lobs better than any player in the NBA but also brings an extra defender into the paint.

“It makes the big have to be up a little bit more to kind of respect that,” Mitchell said of the spacing Whiteside creates, “and then I’m able to get by.”

Jazz fans will get a better look at the team Monday night when they travel to San Antonio to face the Spurs in their preseason opener.

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