Scrimmage wrap-up: Notes and quotes from first look at Jazz
The blue team, led by Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward, defeated the white team 62-58 in the Jazz's annual scrimmage Saturday at EnergySolutions Arena. It's tough to take too much away from a scrimmage, we learned a few things about the Jazz, and perhaps a few too many things about Enes Kanter. Onward...
* Veterans Mo Williams and Al Jefferson sat out the scrimmage. Ty Corbin said the players are banged up and sore, but likely to return to practice on Sunday. "Thought it was better to hold them out than risk them getting hurt any further," Corbin said.
* Gordon Hayward looks good. Hayward played like a go-to scorer in the scrimmage, confidently shooting 3-pointers and getting to the basket and finishing with 21 points.
* Derrick Favors won the matchup with Paul Millsap. OK, it's tough to call it much of a matchup after Millsap sat for the second half of the scrimmage, but Favors did a nice job going into Millsap, including on a three-point play where he made a basket off the glass - a move reminiscent of Millsap. Favors declined to say whether he had been looking forward to showing how he matched up with Millsap, saying, ""I was just happy to be out there just playing."
* All that weight loss paid off for Enes Kanter. Once again, we can't get carried away with the results of a scrimmage. But the former No. 3 pick was running the floor, playing good defense, being forceful - essentially all the things the Jazz hoped for when they drafted him. "One of the great things about him," Corbin said. "He's lost the weight, but he's really doing a great job of running the floor getting down early and being active on both ends." Kanter entered training camp at 242 pounds, down 51 pounds from his heaviest point in the offseason.
* Kanter doesn't look much like the Enes Kanter of old. In addition to his significant weight loss and more nimble playing style, Kanter has returned to the Jazz with a better grasp of English and a more open personality.
It was on display in introductions, where Kanter greeted fans and subsequently did "the worm" in the rookie dance off. Kanter is, of course, in his second year. But last season he opted out of the rookie hazing tradition, saying he couldn't dance. "He shouldn't have had to dance this year," Hayard said. "But he acted like he couldn't dance last year, then he came out and did this."
Kanter said he never danced before, but Mo Williams and Jamaal Tinsley showed him videos online of the worm and he decided to try it.
*Kevin Murphy endeared himself to fans with his hot outside shooting. The rookie guard made five 3-pointers and finished with 18 points, playing alongside Jeremy Evans and Randy Foye on the losing blue team. "I'm learning the offense better and better every day so I think I'm doing it pretty well," Murphy said. Toward the end of the first half, Murphy banked in his fourth 3-pointer to beat the shot clock. After the birth of his son, Kevin Jr., earlier this week, things are going well for the rookie from Tennessee Tech. "Just a good week I guess," he said.