Salt City Hoops » ian clark http://saltcityhoops.com The ESPN TrueHoop Utah Jazz Site Tue, 16 Sep 2014 23:12:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 The ESPN TrueHoop Utah Jazz Site Salt City Hoops no The ESPN TrueHoop Utah Jazz Site Salt City Hoops » ian clark http://saltcityhoops.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://saltcityhoops.com Reviewing My 2013-14 Utah Jazz Goals http://saltcityhoops.com/reviewing-my-2013-14-utah-jazz-goals/ http://saltcityhoops.com/reviewing-my-2013-14-utah-jazz-goals/#comments Thu, 10 Apr 2014 18:06:47 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=11000 Author information
David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
]]>
Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

It is accountability time. Back in August 2013, I laid out some predictions for the 2013-14 Utah Jazz season. Some were bold, while some were the exact opposite. With four games remaining in the waning season, it’s safe to take a look back and see how accurate or how off these prognostications were.

Gordon Hayward will lead the team in assists: This one was close. The honors go to Trey Burke, whose edged out his back court partner, 5.5 APG to 5.2 APG. If it helps any, Hayward currently has 379 dimes for the year, while Burke has 361.

Hayward will also lead the team in scoring: This fits into the less-than-bold category, but Hayward is indeed pacing the Jazz in scoring at a 16.0 PPG clip. That said, his efficiency is lacking, as the role of go-to scorer does not seem like an exact fit.

Alec Burks, whether he starts or comes off the bench, will finish second: The athletic combo guard is right behind Hayward with 14.0 PPG. Back in August, Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors may be think hard about this one, but I felt Burks ability to slash and get to the line, coupled with a gradually improving jumper, would position him to be a solid scoring threat.

Utah will be represented well at All-Star Weekend: Another safe bet, as Burke represented the franchise in the Rising Stars game, while winning the skills challenge. Jeremy Evans was denied the opportunity to regain his slam dunk crown.

Trey Burke will be the second Jazz player to win the Rookie of the Year award (Darrell Griffith being the first): This will be known in a few weeks. It’s clearly a three-man race between Burke, Victor Oladipo and Michael Carter-Williams. Chances are it will go to MCW, but it will be close.

The Jazz will honor Jerry Sloan this year: Check. And the Jazz did an absolutely masterful job in honoring the one and only Coach Sloan. It was certainly a highlight of this season as it allowed the fans to look back to some glory days with fondness.

The Jazz will be a top three shot-blocking team: Way off. At a collective 4.4 BPG, Utah is just 2oth in the league. I was banking on Favors improving on his gaudy 1.7 BPG in 23.2 MPG mark the previous season. Despite increased playing time, he dipped to 1.5 BPG. This prediction was also based on some solid playing time for Brandon Rush (who was solid his last full season) and Rudy Gobert (0.9 in limited action).

Favors will earn some All-Defensive team mentions, but won’t make it this season: This one could be in jeopardy. While he has had strong individual efforts, being the anchor of one of the NBA’s worst defenses won’t garner many votes, if any.

A lot of teams will be beating themselves over not drafting or signing Ian Clark: Probably a negative at this point. Clark is starting to get a few minutes here and there, but it’s highly unlikely his performance is causing opposing GMs to lose sleep. That said, he could be a very solid find. Clark has a good stroke and gives a lot of effort when on the court.

Dennis Lindsey will orchestrate at least one notable mid-season trade: Sure there were rumors (Richard Jefferson for Andrew Bynum; Marvin Williams for a first-round pick and the implausible Gordon Hayward to Boston rumors), but it was a quiet deadline. This year was less disappointing than the previous one, as the bevy of expiring contracts figured to be potential trade bait.

Despite the growing pains, this will be an exciting team for Jazz fans to rally around: This is a purely subjective prediction. It has absolutely been a season of struggle, ups and downs, highlights and low-lights (great piece the other day by Clint Johnson about this sordid season). There have been some positives, such as Burke’s recent game-winning 3-pointer. For me, it has been exciting, as we caught glimpses of the future.

And lastly, here were my quick hits.

  • To help with the whole Burke and Burks thing, Craig Bolerjack and Matt Harpring will be electrically shocked every time they use the wrong name: Clearly did not happen. Imagine the fun if the Jazz draft Aaron Gordon and Tyler Ennis…Burke and Burks, Enes and Ennis, Gordon and Gordon.
  • Favors will average a double-double. Kanter will not. But watch out the following year, world: Favors leads the team with 8.7 RPG, but many were predicting a few more boards per outing. Kanter has turned it on of late and is averaging that double-double the past six weeks.
  • Gobert will win the rookie dance-off, performing the Snake. The video will go viral that night: Oh, Rudy
  • Biedrins will show he can still be a serviceable back-up big man: I will now cower in the corner, full of shame and embarrassment. Biedrins did earn $3.0M per point scored, so there is that.
  • Hayward will enlighten us with another full slate of Fresh Market ads that will dazzle and entertain. There will be immense rejoicing in the land: Yes, indeed.
  • Jeremy Evans will prove to be more than a highlight dunker. With an improved jump shot, Evans will show he belongs in the league: This has been one of the key developments of the season. At 5.9 PPG and 4.6 RPG, Evans definitely showed that he is a very viable rotation player. He started the year on a torrid pace, tailed off in the middle, but is coming back around. Utah has him locked in for another season at a mere $1.7M–a pittance compared to his productivity and his electric dunks.
  • Tyrone Corbin will finish the season as the head coach: And he will. But we will know soon if he is the head coach moving forward, as Laura Thompson highlighted.
  • Gobert’s wingspan and/or standing reach will be mentioned 7,653 times, most of them by the Jazz broadcasters: We got one right!
  • For the third straight season, Utah fanatics will watch the Golden State situation with eagerness. An injury will curtail the Warriors’ season a bit, but not enough to bring the Jazz a second lottery pick. Late teens would be my guess: This is one that many wish was not accurate. While the Warriors flirted with that elusive ninth place spot in the Western Conference, they seem secure in their postseason positioning and the Jazz will mostly likely be left with the #23 pick. Sadness.
  • Hayward, Favors, Kanter, and Burks will all receive Most Improved Player votes, but none will win it: Burks will probably get the most attention out of this quartet.
  • Kevin O’Connor will sign an extension, but will continue to take a gradually smaller role: He still has an influence on the team, but that seems to be dissipating as Lindsey is clearly at the helm.
  • We will see a sharp increase in Jazz fan Twitter etiquetteTwitter definitely can enhance one’s fan experience and it has for me. That said, there is still a long ways to go here. One day, all of us should just Kumbaya-it out.

Not too great, but not too shabby. How did other Jazz fans fare with their personal crystal balling?Pretty soon it will be time to make some more predictions for what will inevitably be a very eventful offseason for the Utah Jazz.

Author information

David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
]]>
http://saltcityhoops.com/reviewing-my-2013-14-utah-jazz-goals/feed/ 0
Whittling Down the Utah Jazz Roster http://saltcityhoops.com/whittling-down-the-utah-jazz-roster/ http://saltcityhoops.com/whittling-down-the-utah-jazz-roster/#comments Wed, 23 Oct 2013 20:56:50 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=8148 Author information
David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
]]>
5:00 pm. EST on October 28th signifies the deadline for final Opening Day rosters for the 30 NBA franchises. Each passing day, teams are trimming their ranks. Some teams may have already whittled their rosters down and are focusing on rotations, offensive and defensive schemes, and so forth. While veterans are using this time to prepare for the upcoming season, the training camp hopefuls are on pins and needles, waiting to discover their fates. You can only imagine what they might be experiencing as they pursue either one more year in the NBA or their first crack at their dreams

The Utah Jazz still have 19 players suiting up and a lot of questions linger. How are the camp free agents faring? Who has the best chances of sticking? Will the Jazz look elsewhere to fill out the roster? With injuries, will Utah open the year with the maximum 15 players? With just two preseason games remaining, these decisions could come any minute.

First, let’s take a quick look at how each bubble guy is doing.

Ian Clark, guard: 4.6 ppg, 45.5% FGs, 16.7% 3s (1-6), 0.8 rpg, 0.4 apg, 0.8 spg in 11.8 mpg

The rookie guard out of Belmont has been solid, but unspectacular. He has had his moments offensively (did well in the fourth quarter of the tilt with the Lakers) and gives a good effort on defense. Many wanted to know if he could handle spot minutes at point guard, and while it’s preseason, it doesn’t appear that he’s capable yet. He’s had some difficulties getting his shots off, but when he has, he’s connecting a decent clip. He is guaranteed $200,000, so that may give him the edge over others. That said, his job may not be 100% secure just yet.

Brian Cook, forward: 7.8 ppg, 47.8% FGs, 42.9% 3s (6-14), 100% FTs, 1.8 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.5 bpg, 2.8 PF in 11.5 mpg

The nine-year veteran displayed his best skill–shooting–against the Los Angeles Lakers, finishing with a team-high 18 points. Cook is a gun-slinger and does not hesitate to shoot. He is averaging a shot for every two minutes he’s on the court. His abilities as a stretch four could be appealing to a team that needs that nuance. Other than that, he has offered very little. 1.8 rpg in 11.5 mpg is underwhelming. Cook is also second on the team in fouls, even though he is 13th in minutes played. He’s averaging 8.6 fouls/36 minutes. He is, though, outscoring Derrick Favors, Richard Jefferson, and Jeremy Evans in much less playing time.

Mike Harris, forward: 4.0 ppg, 41.2% FGs, 66.7% 3s (2-3), 66.7% FTs, 3.0 rpg, 0.4 apg in 9.8 mpg

The undersized power forward has hustled, but he inevitably appears to be one of the next cuts. Harris started out the preseason with some fairly good stints, but appears to be pressing the past few games–trying to do too much rather than letting the game come to him.

Justin Holiday, swingman: 2.3 ppg, 26.7% FGs, 40% 3s (2-5), 50% FTs, 1.0 rpg, 0.8 apg in 9.8 mpg

Holiday has good athleticism, but his shooting has been cold all preseason. He has a nice looking release, yet the shots simply are not falling. He has only hit 2 of 10 two-point field goals. Furthermore, he plays a position that may be overshadowed by greater roster needs.

Lester Hudson, guard: 4.5 ppg, 31.3% FGs, 50% 3s (4-8), 57.1% FTs, 2.3 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.3 spg in 14.3 mpg 

The three-year veteran played very little the first three games, as it appears fellow guard Scott Machado might have enjoyed the early edge. Then, off the heels of Trey Burke’s injury, he was given the opportunity versus and showed a lot of heart. The brightest spot has been his gritty defense. He plays the passing lanes well (gambles a bit) and gets up on his man. Beyond the arc, he’s been solid; inside it, not so much (1-8).  Hudson does crash the boards from the back court. He has a chance.

Scott Machado, guard, 0.8 ppg, 8.3% FGs, 0% 3s (0-7), 33.3% FTs, 2.8 apg, 1.0 rpg, 0.8 spg in 11.0 mpg

Machado is a pass-first point guard, which is really good since his shooting has been abysmal. That 8.3% FG mark is not a typo. He has fired blanks on all seven three-point attempts. In his favor, Machado does a fine job running the offense and setting teammates up. He is good both in half court sets and when the team runs. He seemed to be the early candidate to assume back-up point guard minutes behind John Lucas III and from Tyrone Corbin’s comments post-Burke’s injury, he was going to be given a long hard look. He has not taken advantage of the opportunity.

Dominic McGuire, forward: 3.0 ppg, 50% FGs, 50% FTs, 1.5 rpg, 0.8 apg, 1.0 spg, 0.8 bpg in 11.8 mpg

McGuire is the classic utility guy who may not excel at anything, but does a lot of things that contributes to a team’s success. His stats do not jump off the board, but he has impressed with his defense and effort to make things happen. McGuire’s experience shows as he doesn’t press much. He is limited offensively. He is a good passer for a big man, having played some point forward in the past. He seems to be the type of guy coaches love. While he played a lot the first three games, he has seen little since–including two DNP-CDs.

All seven guys have had occasions of very good play, but no one has come out to set themselves apart from the competition. In past years, when fringe guys have stuck, they made the overwhelming case to stay (think Wesley Matthews). Given the injuries to Burke, Brandon Rush and Marvin Williams, there seems to be a need for another point guard, a swingman, and a big. Harris and Holiday will most likely be given their walking papers soon. Chances are Clark will nab that swingman spot. So that leaves McGuire and Cook dueling for the big vacancy and Hudson and Machado for the third PG role. If Utah was to go solely off who is here, the case could be made for each of them.

Another avenue could be to watch the waiver wire to see who becomes available. There are some intriguing names that have been jettisoned: center Fab Melo; forwards Brandon Davies, Renaldo Balkman, Devin Ebanks, James Johnson, Corey Maggette, Jarvis Varnado, and Marcus Cousin; and guards Myck Kabongo and Darius Johnson-Odom. Others will be turned loose soon. Perhaps some of these guys may be better fits for Utah. Davies, a former Brigham Young University forward, was someone the Jazz liked during Draft workouts. Johnson is a former first-rounder who was linked to Utah in some September rumors. Kabongo was rated very high a year ago, but ended up going undrafted. He has potential as a nice back-up PG in the NBA.

The Jazz have also been connected to Chicago Bulls guard Marquis Teague and last year’s 32-game starter Jamaal Tinsley.

Author information

David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
]]>
http://saltcityhoops.com/whittling-down-the-utah-jazz-roster/feed/ 0
Utah Jazz Positional Battles: The Bench http://saltcityhoops.com/utah-jazz-positional-battles-the-bench/ http://saltcityhoops.com/utah-jazz-positional-battles-the-bench/#comments Wed, 09 Oct 2013 21:29:28 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=7872 Author information
David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
]]>
Tuesday’s preseason opener against the Golden State Warriors may have shed some light on how the bench positional battles will unfold–at least to start the season. Then again, it was one game and a preseason one at that. Add to the equation two returning-from-injury guys in Marvin Williams and Brandon Rush and thing could get interesting really quickly. We covered the starters, so let’s turn our attention to the bench.

BACK-UP POINT GUARD

Candidates: John Lucas III, Alec Burks. To a much lesser extent: Ian Clark, Scott Machado

This spot has some intrigue to me. Lucas has said all the right things since signing on the dotted line, and it appears that he is eager to serve in the mentor role for Burke. He is not the purest of point guards, but has experience that should suit him fine in Utah. Against the Warriors, Lucas was often the best player on the court. His shot selection was excellent and his hustle and enthusiasm, contagious. It was telling that the Jazz brass sent Burks to Spokane to work with Stockton, as well. He played minutes as the back-up last season, and while he had his moments, his performance was largely unspectacular. That said, the talent is there to be another ball handler and facilitator and he could get some extra PT here. A tandem of Burks and Lucas could be exciting and disruptive on defense. An interesting guy to watch during pre-season will be Ian Clark and whether he can play spot point guard minutes as needed. Machado has a good chance of making the team, but if so, will most likely anchor the bench.

Prediction: John Lucas III

BACK-UP SHOOTING GUARD

Candidates: Alec Burks, Brandon Rush. Outside chance: Ian Clark

Tuesday evening, Burks came off the pine. That said, at least for now, I’ll stick with my prediction that he earns the starting nod. I could indeed see that possibly changing when Rush is fully healthy (in that scenario, I see Hayward starting at small forward and Richard Jefferson moving to a reserve role). Either way, Burks or Rush would be depended upon to provide leadership and scoring in the second unit.

Prediction: Brandon Rush

BACK-UP SMALL FORWARD

Candidates: Richard Jefferson, Marvin Williams, Jeremy Evans. Don’t forget: Dominic McGuire

Again, Jefferson got the opening night nod at the three. This is another situation in which I think health will factor heavily. It makes sense why Tyrone Corbin went this way last evening, especially seeing the results of Burks as the featured scorer off the bench. So, to remain consistent, my money is still on Hayward being the starter and then watching an interesting battle between Williams and Jefferson. Marvin has more to offer at this point in their careers. Jeremy Evans could get spot minutes at the small forward, especially if he continues to show a much-improved jump shot. Dominic McGuire not only has a great chance of making the final roster, but being called upon as a situational player. He does a lot of the small things that coaches love.

Prediction: Marvin Williams

BACK-UP POWER FORWARD

Candidates: Jeremy Evans, Marvin Williams.

Evans has always been wildly productive during the spot minutes he’s played his first three seasons. Against Golden State, he displayed the full repertoire of what he can potentially offer as a rotational player. He hustled, crashed the boards, played solid defense, and showed offensive abilities. While he may still struggle against bulkier opponents in the post, his length and ridiculous leaping ability might more than compensate. This role is his for the taking and Corbin sounds very happy with his progress. Williams could fill the need for a stretch four against teams that employ a big front court.

Prediction: Jeremy Evans

BACK-UP CENTER

Candidates: Andris Biedrins, Rudy Gobert

While Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter will man most of the big man minutes, this will be a battle to watch. Against the Warriors, the veteran Biedrins got the first opportunity, but the young rookie played more minutes. The reports have been positive on both, with Corbin expressing admiration for the growth Gobert has already shown. This one could initially be a toss-up, but I think the French center will earn some minutes in the pivot.

Prediction: Rudy Gobert

Lastly, with 13 players on the roster with contracts (including Clark’s partially guaranteed deal), there could be two more who start the season in a Jazz uniform. Local media has mentioned the possibility of carrying a maximum 15 players–especially with recovering injuries being a factor. Should that be the case, McGuire and Machado might have the edge right now, with swingman Justin Holiday also being in the mix.

Author information

David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
]]>
http://saltcityhoops.com/utah-jazz-positional-battles-the-bench/feed/ 3
How the Jazz Spent Their Summer Vacation at P3 – Part 2 http://saltcityhoops.com/how-the-jazz-spent-their-summer-vacation-at-p3-part-2/ http://saltcityhoops.com/how-the-jazz-spent-their-summer-vacation-at-p3-part-2/#comments Fri, 27 Sep 2013 18:36:49 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=7779 Author information
Scott Stevens
A voice of the everyday Jazz fan. Scott works as a creative writer at an advertising agency in Los Angeles. Sticking it to Laker fans every chance he gets. A former "Jazz Rowdy" and avid interneter with production and writing experience on global sports brands. He has lived everywhere from Texas to DC, and all the way to Thailand. He now happens to live on a boat.
]]>
For the past several years, Jazz players have been spending weeks at a time during the summer training with the Peak Performance Project, or P3, in Santa Barbara. I sat down with several members of the P3 staff at their facility to find out what exactly they do with the Jazz and other NBA players. This is part two of a two-part series. You can read Part 1 here.

 

Over the summer, NBA teams are prohibited from holding “mandatory” workouts, at least as far as the organization is concerned. But that didn’t stop the Jazz from getting the majority of their team together for a stint in Santa Barbara this summer with P3.

The unique relationship that the Jazz organization has developed with P3 goes back to the original days with Paul Millsap and Ronnie Brewer. Ever since those two started the excursions down to sunny, southern California, more and more players have joined in each year. Not all of them were as open to the idea initially. When Deron Williams was still with the team, he was one of the players who needed to be “converted” to their style, as Dr. Marcus Elliott put it. Since workouts are not required, participation is purely based on the players themselves. After learning about P3’s methods, there’s a reason why more and more players are joining the party.

Williams became such a believer, that he has since introduced the Brooklyn organization to P3. In fact, as you look at the complete roster of P3 athletes, many of them have connections back to Utah.

The staff at P3 credited Jazz trainers Gary Briggs and Mark McKown especially for fostering such a fruitful partnership and had nothing but good things to say about the entire organization. This might be the off-season, but Dennis Lindsey, Ty Corbin and even Randy Rigby have all been down for visits.

In order to track the best results, P3 tries to get athletes to their facility first thing after each season, and then again before the start of the next season. That way, they can grade both off-season and in-season improvements.

The Jazz players to attend this summer were Alec Burks, Jeremy Evans, Derrick Favors, Trey Burke, Enes Kanter, John Lucas III, Brandon Rush, Ian Clark, and most recently Gordon Hayward, Rudy Gobert and Andres Biedrins. The latter three were in Santa Barbara as recently as last Thursday and Friday. The only members not to participate were Marvin Williams and Richard Jefferson.

In talking with Dr. Elliott and staff, they were very cautious as to which information they shared with me. Because of relationships with different players and organizations, they stopped themselves several times before sharing confidential test results. Some information they gather could drastically affect contract negotiations for certain athletes. If, for example, they forecasted health issues with a certain player, that information could impact an organization’s desire to sign a particular player. They did have interesting insights about nearly every player though. But who has shown the most improvement?

“Alec [Burks] was the biggest winner,” said Elliott. The staff really admired him for his work over the past couple years. He has apparently improved in a number of areas from hip stability, knee position and trunk strength, all of which affect quickness. They recognize the unique opportunity Burks will have this season to finally get steady minutes, potentially even as a starter. He is considered one of their more “elastic” athletes. He reached a vertical height of 12′ 2.5″ during an approach this summer. When he first arrived in May 2012 he maxed out at 11′ 8.5″. That height is especially worth noting considering that he also weighs 11 more pounds than when he started.

301319_10151159846193864_463407925_n.jpg

The other player they talked most about was Jeremy Evans. Several coaches commented that this is the best he’s ever looked. He was noticeably thicker and displayed better overall strength. Evans is one of the few guys that has shown an increased vertical every year since entering the league. He’s one of the young guys on the team who has been with P3 since he was drafted. In his initial assessment his rookie year, he could touch 12′ 2.5″ on his vertical jump. This past off-season he reached 12’ 7.5”. That is the highest any athlete has ever touched with P3 and means he has increased his vertical five full inches since entering the NBA; he now boasts a 43.5 inch vertical.  While Jeremy has always been exceptional with an approach, his ability to create force from a rested position or without the aid of the stretch shortening cycle has improved considerably. This has been their number one focus with him. He now has much greater jump diversity, as they call it. The fact that he hasn’t peaked and keeps adding inches to his vertical every year is very positive.

evans

Next was Favors. On a few different occasions, the trainers referred to him as a “beast.” Everything about his performance has been improving by their standards. They were excited to see how it translated to the court this year with his added responsibility. I asked their opinion about his “raw” talent as it is often described. Dr. Elliott responded by saying, “Derrick is one of the hardest workers, strong, but it took him way too long to get off the ground.” So they started working on that specifically. His seated jump test was below average in the beginning, but is now number one (!) among NBA big men in terms of speed of jump. Since P3, he tests among the NBA’s best bigs in almost every category. Some trainers noted that he practically moves like a guard.

favors

One of the most interesting stories was that of Ian Clark, as he started his relationship with P3 independent of the Jazz. He worked with them during his pre-draft workouts and went on to, as Dr. Elliott described it, “tear up the Summer League.” Elliott continued by saying, “I don’t think Dennis [Lindsey] will mind if I share this.” After some of his workouts in Santa Barbara, he called Lindsey to give him some of his numbers. He did not comment on the amount this phone call may have influenced the Jazz management to sign Clark, but the timing might suggest such.

Newly drafted Trey Burke didn’t have nearly as much data to pull from as other players. This was his first interaction with P3. They commented that he was “very hard working with solid character.” He hadn’t had significant professional training beforehand, so the staff was confident they would begin to see noticeable improvements. He showed good slide agility, and side to side quickness. The biggest thing they noted was that it was still difficult to see his ceiling as a player.

They were pleasantly surprised with Enes Kanter. His shoulder looks good, per their evaluations, and used the phrase “coming back online” to describe his rehab process. One of the main targets they worked with Kanter on was his force explosion, in essence, getting back up to the basket quicker. They use the force plates to determine these numbers as was described in part one of this series. Kanter is one of the highest force athletes they work with as well as one of the strongest of all the athletes they have tested in the NBA. He currently owns the second best mark, for an NBA player, in their rotational power test. But above all the physical numbers he registered, they were most impressed with his character and perseverance. They shared his story of training in Santa Barbara while simultaneously observing Ramadan. During Ramadan, Muslims will fast from food and liquid from dawn until sunset. To keep up with the demanding training, Kanter would set his alarm twice in the middle of the night to wake up and eat.

John Lucas III came with the rest of the team as a first-timer this summer. He was, according to trainers, “skeptical” of their approach. They noted his old school mentality towards the game, as one who grew up around the sport. By the end, Lucas was a solid convert. After observing the team’s behavior and chemistry together, Dr. Elliott added, “He’s going to be a great part of this team.”

Brandon Rush is another one to join the Jazz this off-season. He was reported to have a “ton of bounce in his body.” P3 didn’t have information on him before his injury, which made it tough to fully evaluate his progress with his injury. He hadn’t had much jump training before, but was still really quick off the ground. The best sign for his rehab was his balance and stability through all of the testing and workouts.

After last week’s workout, Gordon Hayward reportedly looked great. He has improved every off-season in terms of strength, power and agility. According to their roster, he is one of the best agility and lateral speed NBA wings and is also is an above average jumper both from a static position and an approach.

Rudy Gobert also looked good and did not have a number of movement pathologies that they often see in big men. His standing reach of 9′ 9″ is the highest they have recorded.

Overall, the Jazz showed great progress during their time in Santa Barbara. It will be an important growth year for the organization, and having this sort of relationship with one of the leading teams of experts, trainers and doctors on our side will definitely help player development. In my opinion, the Jazz are years ahead of other teams when it comes to off-season training and I was more than impressed with the entire P3 staff.

Here’s a video they posted on their Facebook page highlighting the Jazz’s workouts this summer.

P3 collects hundreds of biomechanical data points with every test, and could have gone into much greater detail athlete but asked that I refrain from sharing specific details about specific players as to respect their contracts with certain players/organizations, especially the Jazz. I respectfully agreed. 

Author information

Scott Stevens
A voice of the everyday Jazz fan. Scott works as a creative writer at an advertising agency in Los Angeles. Sticking it to Laker fans every chance he gets. A former "Jazz Rowdy" and avid interneter with production and writing experience on global sports brands. He has lived everywhere from Texas to DC, and all the way to Thailand. He now happens to live on a boat.
]]>
http://saltcityhoops.com/how-the-jazz-spent-their-summer-vacation-at-p3-part-2/feed/ 3
Can Scott Machado Make the Roster? http://saltcityhoops.com/can-scott-machado-make-the-roster/ http://saltcityhoops.com/can-scott-machado-make-the-roster/#comments Thu, 26 Sep 2013 17:47:15 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=7770 Author information
David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
]]>
There was not that much excitement surrounding the 2012 NBA Draft for Utah Jazz fans. At one point in the season, there was the possibility that the Jazz would have two first-round draft picks: their own and Golden State’s. But due to an interesting series of events, they ended up with neither. On the heels of a torrid finish, the Jazz nabbed the final Playoff berth and forfeited their pick to Minnesota (to finish up the Al Jefferson trade). And Golden State’s 5-22 record to end the season (including starting five rookies in the season finale) kept Utah from a valuable lottery pick.

As a result, Utah was left with just the 47th pick. While they had had some remarkable success with the same pick (Mo Williams in 2003 and Paul Millsap in 2006), there was not the same optimism last year. While not expecting a game-changer, some fans–yours truly included–were clamoring for Utah to opt for Iona point guard Scott Machado. The Jazz ended up drafting shooting guard Kevin Murphy, who saw very little playing time and was underwhelming when he got on the court. He’s, of course, been traded and will spend this year overseas.

Machado, on the other hand, will spend training camp with the Jazz this season. And some are interested to see how he fares. Can he make the roster? While the odds are against him, he will have the chance to stick.

Here are the facts: the Jazz have 13 on roster, including Ian Clark’s partially guaranteed deal. Traditionally, Utah has started the season with 13 or 14, leaving some flexibility should something crop up during the season. That means there may be room for one addition. Then again, given the homework Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey has put into things, if guys impress, they could start with the maximum.

What does Machado bring to the table?  For starters, he is a pass-first point guard, something that might be nice to have as an option off the bench. Beyond Trey Burke, the Jazz have a lot of guys who can play minutes there, but none who could be dubbed pure points. Machado let the NCAA in assists his senior campaign–9.9 apg. BYU fans also remember clearly how he led Iona in the first half of the first-round March Madness match-up. In fact, he was on track to breaking the tourney record for dimes in a game (18), as he registered nine with 5:30 left in the first half. He is a smart player who tries to understand and play to his teammates’ strengths. His AST% has been high in every setting, including his meager NBA minutes.

Machado’s shooting last season, when he split time in the NBA (Houston, Golden State) and the D-League, left a lot to be desired. He only shot 37.6 percent in the D-League and just 32.5 percent from three-point range. That said, he showed his senior year that he has some skills (50% FGs, 40% 3s, 81% FTs, contibuting to a 61% TS% and 56% eFG%). He’ll have to show he can consistently stick the jumper in camp and pre-season play.

While willing, Machado’s defense is pedestrian. He certainly has deficiencies, but perhaps his potentially elite skill of passing and play-making may outweigh those, especially as an end-of-the-bench guy.

Combo guard Jerel McNeal was waived Wednesday. He had worked out a good part of the season in Utah and played on the summer league team, so this was a surprise. He even made a Jazz appearance at a local high school football game last week. Perhaps it was McNeal’s camp who requested the move. Utah did turn around and invite point guard Brandon Fortenberry to camp. Either way, Machado has to be liking his odds should the Jazz want another point. 

Given that he was the first invite to training camp after an expansive group of workouts this summer, it looks like Jazz brass may like what they see in Machado. He could have a chance to earn a spot come October.

Author information

David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
]]>
http://saltcityhoops.com/can-scott-machado-make-the-roster/feed/ 0
Ian Clark: Another Diamond in the Rough for the Jazz? http://saltcityhoops.com/ian-clark-another-diamond-in-the-rough-for-the-jazz/ http://saltcityhoops.com/ian-clark-another-diamond-in-the-rough-for-the-jazz/#comments Wed, 04 Sep 2013 20:01:07 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=7555 Author information
David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
]]>
Ian Clark

Ian Clark had a great college career at Belmont University: his senior year, he averaged 18.2 PPG, 3.3 RPG, and 2.4 APG. More incredibly, he also had a True Shooting Percentage of 68.8% and an eFG% of 67.0%. Clark was the Ohio Valley Conference Co-Player of the Year, while also nabbing the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year honors. He propelled his team to the NCAA Tournament. Things were looking good for him.

Yet NBA Draft night came and went without Clark’s name being called, and as an undrafted rookie, he had to show teams what he could do in the summer leagues. Playing for both the Miami Heat and the Golden State Warriors’ summer entries, he displayed solid defense, the ability to handle the ball, and above all, a pure shooter’s touch. In the championship game in Las Vegas, Clark shot his way to 33 points and the MVP award. He quickly became a wanted commodity around the NBA, with many teams clamoring to lock him up. The Utah Jazz emerged the winner, with the main selling point being the ability to come in right away to compete for a role. He was told he’d have an opportunity to, if his performance warranted it, play right away for this young Utah team.

Could Ian Clark be the next diamond in the rough for a franchise that has long had success uncovered the hidden gems? The Utah Jazz certainly hope so.

Here’s a brief look back at some guys who Clark can look to as examples:

  • Rickey Green was a first-round pick whose rocky first two seasons saw he make a sojourn to the CBA. Frank Layden discovered him, eventually grooming him to be an All-Star for the Jazz. “The Fastest of them All” had some excellent seasons for Utah, averaging between 13 and 14.8 PPG while never dishing less than 7.8 APG. for four seasons, For four seasons, he teamed up with a young guy named John Stockton to be one of the NBA’s best PG tandems.
  • We all know the story: Mark Eaton, after an less than illustrious career at UCLA, was working as a mechanic – a 7’4″ mechanic. Layden offered him a chance to play professional basketball and Eaton went down as one of the most intimidating defenders in NBA history. His size and propensity to swat shots led to two Defensive Player of the Year awards, five All-Defense nods, an All-Star appearance, and his #53 being retired by the Jazz. He led the league in blocked shots four times, including a record 5.56 BPG in 1985. His career 3.5 BPG average is the highest in NBA history.
  • Bobby Hansen did not have an attractive game, nor was he athletic. But his grittiness and attitude also caught Layden’s eye. He developed into a solid three-point shooter, but it was his defensive energy that helped him enjoy a very long NBA career (and an eventual championship behind Michael Jordan).
  • David Benoit was an undrafted rookie whose heady play in the Rocky Mountain Revue earned him a roster spot. He was a leaper who infused much needed athleticism into the Jazz roster. He quickly earned a rotational role, being a part-time starter for six seasons for Utah. While many recall the clanked three-pointers against Houston vividly, he came out of nowhere to become an important part of some strong Jazz squads.
  • Bryon Russell was a late second-round pick who surprised immediately by being named a starter his rookie campaign. But by his third season, he was on the verge of being cut. Taking advantage of some injuries and match-ups, B-Russ showed what he could truly do in the 1996 playoffs (averaging 9.6 PPG in the postseason, compared to 2.9 during the regular season). He never turned back, becoming Utah’s stalwart small forward the next six years, including the two trips to the NBA Finals.
  • Shandon Anderson was the 54th pick, an after thought. He scrapped and hustled his way to make the team and earn PT his rookie year. His mix of instant offense, constant slashing, and aggressive defense earned Jerry Sloan’s respect and he became a fan favorite. While he exited after three seasons, he too was a vital cog in some of Utah’s best teams.
  • Howard Eisley was plucked off the trash heap by the Jazz. Waived by both Minnesota and San Antonio, the Jazz thought he could be a decent reserve. While his first two seasons were rather pedestrian, he showed what could really do in the 1997 Finals run. He was the best back-up point guard Stockton ever had, and helped extend Stockton’s career by absorbing more and more minutes, even playing alongside #12. He was efficient and showed a deft outside touch.
  • Paul Millsap was college basketball’s best rebounder, yet few had heard much about him. Many viewed him as an undersized power forward who might have difficulty adapting to the pro game. He destroyed those doubts quickly, emerging as a tremendous bench player his rookie season. He got better each season (including the wonderful string of double-doubles) until he took over the starting gig when Carlos Boozer exited. He was a borderline All-Star the past few seasons, while his advanced statistics showed he was among the NBA’s best. His hard work and endless effort will always endear him to the Jazz community.
  • Wesley Matthews went undrafted and was trying to make a team with plenty of wings (Ronnie Brewer, CJ Miles, Kyle Korver, Andrei Kirilenko). He took advantage of some preseason injuries to eke his way onto the roster. Matthews quickly became a rotational player, even started in the playoffs and helped defend Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant. While Portland stole him after one season, he was another success story for the Jazz.
  • There are plenty of others: Mo Williams (his first stint), Raja Bell (ditto), Greg Foster, Carlos Arroyo, John Crotty, Jarron Collins (had a nice rookie season and while not spectacular, a long career), and DeMarre Carroll all come to mind.

As I study Clark’s game more, I think he will prove to be a capable rotational player for the Jazz. As a combo guard who can open up things with his perimeter marksmanship, he could see solid minutes from the get-go – especially as some teammates come back from injury.

Who knows… perhaps the Jazz have found yet one more diamond.

Author information

David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
]]>
http://saltcityhoops.com/ian-clark-another-diamond-in-the-rough-for-the-jazz/feed/ 12
2013-2014 Utah Jazz Predictions http://saltcityhoops.com/2013-2014-utah-jazz-predictions/ http://saltcityhoops.com/2013-2014-utah-jazz-predictions/#comments Wed, 14 Aug 2013 22:19:43 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=7402 Author information
David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
]]>
This is the time of the year that most Utah Jazz fans dread. The part of the year that bridges the draft and free agency with training camp can be downright rough. The one saving grace is that each passing day brings us closer to having the Jazz back in our lives more fully.

If anything, it is a fun time for predictions. I mean, everyone’s doing it. Many out there are using the summer doldrums as a time to share a broad range of predictions. For example, ESPN thinks the Jazz will finish 13th in the West, while Trey Burke will come in second for the Rookie of Year award (Chad Ford actually has Burke finishing seventh). It does make for some interesting reading. It is enjoyable to consider what might be.

So, in the same vein, here are a few of my Utah Jazz predictions. Some will be bold, some will be the opposite. Heavens, some will even be fun. Let’s get started:

Gordon Hayward will lead the team in assists: But just barely. I think Trey Burke will be able to come in and help direct this young team very well. That said, I think Hayward will have the ball in his hands a lot, especially as a (if not “the”) focal point of the offense, and as a result, will compile some strong assist totals from the wing positions. Hayward’s abilities to see the court and deliver the ball are perhaps his biggest strengths. In past seasons, it was evident how much smoother the offense flowed when Hayward was in the game.

Hayward will also lead the team in scoring: While all four returning young guys will see a big jump in production (I suppose that’s a prediction right there), Hayward is the heir apparent as the leading scorer. Not only does he have the better body of evidence, but he also has the most varied offensive repertoire. He can shoot the three-pointer, can take it to the hole, frequently gets to the line, and is working on his mid-range game. Alec Burks, whether he starts or comes off the bench, will finish second.    

Utah will be represented well at All-Star Weekend: Summer league struggles are summer league struggles. It would take a lot for Trey Burke to not play in the Rising Stars Challenge no-defense game. In fact, I do feel he will be the second Jazz player to win the Rookie of the Year award (Darrell Griffith being the first). Burke, due to his huge collegiate popularity, will also participate in the Skills Challenge. I think Jeremy Evans will return to the dunk contest. Hayward will be an All-Star game snub, since the Jazz’s record will be a factor.

The Jazz will honor Jerry Sloan this year: Now that Coach Sloan is back in the fold in an official capacity, this will be the year where a jersey honoring the Dean of Coaching will be hoisted to the ESA rafters. And Jerry will get emotional.

The Jazz will be a top three shot-blocking team: Utah ranked fifth last year (6.3 bpg), so a slight uptick is very feasible. While losing Al Jefferson’s 1.14 and Paul Millsap’s 1.03 averages will hurt, they have the personnel to do the job. Derrick Favors playing a more prominent role will automatically help. He averaged 1.69 in just 23.2 mpg last season, which translated over to 2.62 per 36 minutes. (Another quick prediction here: Favors will earn some All-Defensive team mentions, but won’t make it this season.)

Beyond Favors, the Jazz have many others who will help the cause. And no matter how the minutes fall, they could each contribute. Rudy Gobert may have some struggles offensively, but he has the abilities to be an immediate defensive presence. Andris Biedrins was able to swat 0.79 shots in a mere 9.3 mpg (let’s not dwell on the fact he had 42 blocked shots compared to a mere 24 points last season…). Based on last year’s rates, Jeremy Evans could get a block per 15 minutes of PT. Kanter should be able to get one or two. And don’t underestimate Hayward and Brandon Rush adding to the mix (0.9 bpg during Rush’s last full season).

A lot of teams will be beating themselves over not drafting or signing Ian Clark: One of the reasons Clark chose the Jazz was because he knew he’d be given an opportunity to not only make an NBA roster, but to contribute. Given his ability to shoot the ball, I can see Clark becoming a rotation player. It may not be right away, but by December, Clark will be playing some valuable minutes.

Dennis Lindsey will orchestrate at least one notable mid-season trade: Utah has a litany of assets at their disposal: a bevy of draft picks, $31 million+ in expirings, and young guys with lots of upside. While the Jazz have not made many deals involving expiring contracts (last February being a prime example), there is a new sheriff in town who may be willing to swing such a transaction if it brought back an impactful player or perhaps even more future assets. For example, I can easily see Marvin Williams playing a bigger role this year. He might be someone who could be attractive to a contender needing SF help come trade deadline time.

Despite the growing pains, this will be an exciting team for Jazz fans to rally around: Optimism is very high, despite the fact that expectations are the opposite. At a minimum, Utah will be able to determine what they have in each of the young guys, and even the expiring veterans. We all remember that overachieving squad the year after #12 and #32 left. I’m not saying that this team will finish .500 like that team did, but in similar fashion, their hustle, effort, and personalities will win over Jazz fans. The Jazz will go 30-52 and the season will be viewed as a success.

Now some quick ones:

  • To help with the whole Burke and Burks thing, Craig Bolerjack and Matt Harpring will be electrically shocked every time they use the wrong name.
  • Favors will average a double-double. Kanter will not. But watch out the following year, world.
  • Gobert will win the rookie dance-off in December, performing the Snake. The video will go viral that night.
  • Biedrins will show he can still be a serviceable back-up big man.
  • Hayward will enlighten us with another full slate of Fresh Market ads that will dazzle and entertain. There will be immense rejoicing in the land.
  • Jeremy Evans will prove to be more than a highlight dunker. With an improved jump shot, Evans will show he belongs in the league.
  • Tyrone Corbin will finish the season as the head coach.
  • Gobert’s wingspan and/or standing reach will be mentioned 7,653 times, most of them by the Jazz broadcasters.
  • For the third straight season, Utah fanatics will watch the Golden State situation with eagerness. An injury will curtail the Warriors’ season a bit, but not enough to bring the Jazz a second lottery pick. Late teens would be my guess.
  • Hayward, Favors, Kanter, and Burks will all receive Most Improved Player votes, but none will win it.
  • Kevin O’Connor will sign an extension, but will continue to take a gradually smaller role.
  • We will see a sharp increase in Jazz fan Twitter etiquette.

Feel free to share your own predictions, whether big or small, serious or humorous, in the comments. Share them with the Jazz world!

And if it took you five minutes to read this, congrats. You’re now five minutes closer to the 2013-14 season.

Author information

David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
]]>
http://saltcityhoops.com/2013-2014-utah-jazz-predictions/feed/ 9
Utah Jazz Reportedly Sign Summer League Star Ian Clark http://saltcityhoops.com/utah-jazz-reportedly-sign-summer-league-star-ian-clark/ http://saltcityhoops.com/utah-jazz-reportedly-sign-summer-league-star-ian-clark/#comments Wed, 24 Jul 2013 21:57:13 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=7175 Author information
Andy Larsen
Andy Larsen
Andy Larsen is the Managing Editor of Salt City Hoops, the ESPN TrueHoop affiliate for the Utah Jazz. He also hosts a radio show and podcast every week on ESPN700 AM in Salt Lake City.
]]>
According to a report by USA Today, the Utah Jazz have signed SG Ian Clark to a 2 year deal, with a team option on the second year.

Clark was the undisputed star of summer league, impressing with an MVP performance in the Las Vegas Summer League, where he scored 33 points on 12-19 FG shooting (including 7-10 from the 3 point line), on his way to leading the Golden State Warriors to the Summer League Championship.

After the performance, there appeared to be a bidding war for his services, as it was reported that the Jazz, Blazers, Warriors, Heat, and European teams. The Jazz appear to have won that war with a 2 year contract.

Clark, 22, also starred in Salt Lake City this season during the NCAA tournament with Belmont University. After outshining Murray State star Isiaah Canaan in the OVC championship game to make it to the tournament, Clark put up 21 points in a losing effort to the Arizona Wildcats.

The tournament loss put an end to Clark’s excellent senior season with Belmont, in which he shot over 53% from the field, over 45% from 3, and over 83% from the free throw line to become one of college basketball’s most efficient scorers. Indeed, Clark led the NCAA last season in True Shooting Percentage.

Clark becomes the 13th guaranteed player on Utah’s roster, making it possible that the Jazz have their complete roster set for 2013-14.

Author information

Andy Larsen
Andy Larsen
Andy Larsen is the Managing Editor of Salt City Hoops, the ESPN TrueHoop affiliate for the Utah Jazz. He also hosts a radio show and podcast every week on ESPN700 AM in Salt Lake City.
]]>
http://saltcityhoops.com/utah-jazz-reportedly-sign-summer-league-star-ian-clark/feed/ 2