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"No," Favors said. "We were happy to get into the playoffs."
In reality, that’s what this season was always about — setting a foundation upon which to build in the future. It was about player development. The mild winning surprised almost everyone, except the Jazz themselves.
We can argue over whether the youngsters should have gotten more minutes, whether Ty Corbin mistakenly favored the veterans and slowed the team’s growth.
Now, it’s up to the Jazz to make themselves better with the work of the offseason ahead of them. Each one, rooks and vets alike, will be given a list of improvements to gain in the gym. If they take advantage of that, the Jazz will grow from within and boost their promising future.
"We have to improve at every position," said Al Jefferson, who totaled 26 points and 10 rebounds. "... But we have no reason to put our heads down. We did what a lot of people thought we couldn’t do. And it’s going to get better."
The foundation is set, then, and Game 4 showed that.
"Anytime you have a game against us, you’re going to know you’ve been in a fight," Corbin said.
"They don’t quit," said Gregg Popovich.
The Jazz didn’t Monday night.
Beyond the players, it’s now up to Kevin O’Connor to get the rest of the walls up and the roof nailed on. It will be worth seeing from the ground level where the ceiling for the Jazz eventually will be. At this point, that’s something none of us knows. After watching the Spurs, though, it will have to be high for Utah to ever realize Hayward’s definition of success.
GORDON MONSON hosts the "Gordon Monson Show" weekdays from 2-6 p.m. on 97.5 FM/1280 AM The Zone. Twitter: @GordonMonson.
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