by Daniel Olsen | NBA basketball is being played, and it’s just three months since the Jazz were eliminated by the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs. The preseason is underway and the Jazz started off with their third straight win, this time over the Los Angeles Clippers. They won by an impressive score of 125-105. It’s only the preseason so it doesn’t count towards the standings. That doesn’t mean we can’t overreact to anything and everything related to the Utah Jazz. Here are a few overreactions that we will rate on a scale of 1-10. In this metric, 1 is a casual fan and 10 is like that Jazz die-hard that’s always overreacting on the team Facebook groups.
1. The Jazz will never shoot poorly from three again
The Jazz connected on a record 24 shots from downtown! Their regular season and playoff records are 20. Quin Snyder is clear about his goal to shoot more threes and quicker in the shot clock this year. So far, the Jazz have the second highest offensive rating in the NBA only to New Orleans who has only played one game. In the regular season, that isn’t likely to change. The Jazz will splash more threes than the Warriors of recent past and win 74 games in this 72 game season.
Overreaction Scale: 9.5
2. The Jazz finally decided to stop sharing the basketball with the other team
While the Jazz had 36 turnovers between their first two preseason games, they cleaned things up a bit with just 11 giveaways against the Clippers. If they shoot at this rate, they can afford over twenty turnovers a game. However, given the fact that the first overreaction was high on our scale, it’s possible that the Jazz will cool off from free and need to treat each possession with greater care. This means offensive boards and less turnovers are critical to give the team multiple opportunities to score. If the Jazz can stay under 15 turnovers a game, they will be looking good.
Overreaction Scale: 5
3. This will not be the end of the futility of the Clippers
The Clippers have not won any sort of game since they were up 3-1 to the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Semifinals. Since then, the Clippers have dropped all three preseason games under head coach Ty Lue. Look for the regular season to go the same way as the Clippers start the season with a brutal three game stretch against three playoff teams from the Western Conference last year. They play their city rival Lakers on opening night before traveling to elevation to play the Nuggets in Mile High City on Christmas Day. They will then return home to play another playoff opponent from last season in the Dallas Mavericks. Expect the Clippers to start 0-3. Perhaps they will get lucky and steal one of these games. After a start like this, they might be a fringe playoff team. They have a better chance of missing the playoffs than finishing the year as the top seed in the West. Had they finished the deal against the Nuggets, they might be singing a different tune. It still looks like Hollywood is Lakers country and the Clippers are living in it.
Overreaction Scale: 9
4. The Jazz, unlike the Clippers, look like they will never blow a 3-1 lead
Donovan Mitchell stated that the Jazz are done losing in the first round. I would venture to add that they are also done blowing 3-1 leads unless Doc Rivers replaces Quin Snyder as the head coach. The Jazz will hopefully get some favorable seeding with many of the former juggernauts in the west heading to the Eastern Conference like Kevin Durant and possibly James Harden. The Jazz know they are good enough. They just need to go out and prove it. They know how much losing hurts so they are not about to lose a lead again. The Clippers will lose a few though. Lue was the only coach to ever come back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA finals but that was back when he had a guy named LeBron James on his team. Kawhi isn’t LeBron and Paul “Playoff P” George throws up more bricks in the playoffs than the third little pig does when building his house. There is only one team in LA that the Jazz may struggle with and they are perhaps their biggest rival in team history: The Lakers.
Overreaction Scale: 6
5. Georges Niang is perfect in every sense of the word
Ever since he started the Georges Drive and Dish podcast and started hitting shots in the bubble, Niang hasn’t skipped a beat. He recorded his most efficient shooting night of the preseason. He scored 10 points on 100 percent shooting from the field. Two of his shots were from beyond the arc and the other two were in the paint. He did not record a single turnover and had two assists to boot. He did all of this in nine minutes. He did have one personal foul but other than that, there is not much to complain about. We got the captain seat of The Minivan in this game!
Featured image courtesy Marcio Jose Sanchez | Associated Press