Utah Jazz: Ex-Jazzman Paul Millsap endorses Quin Snyder
NBA • The Jazz’s new coach helped power forward develop into a 3-point shooter.
Published: July 28, 2014 06:16PM
Updated: July 28, 2014 11:25PM
image
Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap, right, looks to pass as Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Las Vegas • Plenty of resources were available to Jazz swingman Gordon Hayward this summer, if he wanted to learn anything about new coach Quin Snyder.

They made it easy for him. From former Butler teammate Shelvin Mack and ex-Jazz players Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver and DeMarre Carroll, Hayward has discovered a lot about Snyder and the Atlanta offense he helped run last season.

“Honestly, I didn’t have to do that much research,” Hayward said. “I had so many players come up [who] were pissed that he was leaving Atlanta. They were like, ‘You’re stealing our guy.’ Everybody’s been raving about him.”

Hayward refers to Snyder as “Coach Q,” considering he’s a former Duke disciple of Team USA’s Mike Krzyzewski, the famous Coach K.

Millsap is definitely a Snyder advocate. A late addition to this week’s Team USA training camp for the FIBA Basketball World Cup after Kevin Love withdrew, Millsap developed his 3-point shooting to a degree that seemed unimaginable during his seven seasons with the Jazz. He credits Snyder for much of his offensive improvement.

“I don’t think people realize how intelligent he is,” Millsap said Monday. “His basketball IQ is on a different level. He’s helped me a lot on my game. We’re going to miss him big-time. [The Jazz] got something special.”

Elements of the offense that Snyder is bringing to Utah after working with coach Mike Budenholzer in Atlanta benefited Millsap. “The spacing, the ball movement, the confidence that you can shoot the basketball when you’re open,” Millsap said. “That has opened up my game a lot.”

Millsap shot 35.8 percent from 3-point range in 2013-14, when his most astounding statistic was his 212 3-point attempts — after he launched 113 tries in seven years with the Jazz.

Snyder worked closely with Korver, who thrived in his 11th pro season and earned an invitation to the Team USA camp as by far the oldest of the 19 players at age 33. Korver averaged 12.0 points, while shooting 47.2 percent from 3-point range and 47.9 percent on 2-point attempts, resulting in his best all-around year in the NBA.

kkragthorpe@sltrib.com

Twitter: @tribkurt