When it comes to the Utah Jazz, we talk a lot about expectations. The Jazz got better in the offseason, but clearly, so too did the rest of the Western Conference. Even with three key new players and fast-developing youngsters, how much better will the Jazz truly be?
While discussing the team's decision to pick up the option on third-year coach Tyrone Corbin, first-year General Manager Dennis Lindsey was reticent Tuesday when asked to put expectations on his team. However, he was surprisingly candid when he said the Jazz were "many steps away" from winning a championship.
However, Lindsey said he feels the Jazz can get there by "being championship caliber day-to-day."
The Jazz were the No. 8 seed in the playoffs last season and this year are likely somewhere in the middle of the stacked conference. Nobody is talking championship around the Jazz and, earlier Tuesday, Corbin said that "the target is [to be] the best in the league. Right now, you got to work from where you are. We feel good about what's on this team, we're going to lay it out there every night and see where it lands."
Below are Lindsey's comments in their entirety.
On his expectations for the season:
"Being championship caliber day-to-day. Now, will we be in the final four or final two or be the last team standing? I think all of us know we're many steps away from that goal. You can, again, be championship caliber on how you handle yourself, how you do your job, your effort, your openness. And so, really, what I hope is day-to-day is the club is well organized, that they defend, that they share the ball, that they show great effort — all the things the Jazz fans can relate to and have related to over the years when Coach Sloan was in charge."
On how good the Jazz have the potential to be this year:
"I'm not Nostradamus here. I think we have a competitive group. I think we have players and coaches and scouts and management people that collectively have been here a lnog time that really care deeply about the results, that are professionals. If you do the fundamentals right, the results again take care of themselves. Frankly, I don't know. The beauty of how Kevin [O'Connor] and Randy [Rigby] and Greg [Miller] and [CFO] Bob [Hyde] have set up the team prior to me getting here is we can be patient and see where the results are and react accordingly."
— Bill Oram