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Monson: Jazz are yearning to play a beautiful game

Utah wants to emulate Spurs’ superior ball movement.



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That’s Lindsey’s good-offense-leads-to-good-defense theory.

"Don’t turn the ball over," he says. "Take the open shot. Don’t take bad shots. Go back with good balance to set your defense."

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Still, the question remains: Who are the Jazz’s creators and, in particular, their shooters?

Lindsey goes down the list:

He says Enes Kanter "has shown the ability to have great touch in many areas of the court." Derrick Favors, he says, "has shown an improved proficiency from the high-low areas and the short corners." Trey Burke, he says, "really has to take a step forward with his open shooting." As for Gordon Hayward, whose shooting percentages have dropped from 48 percent to 45 percent to 43 percent to 41 percent, Lindsey says "there’s no reason why, given good balance, that he can’t shoot it." Rodney Hood, he says, "can shoot the ball, but he’s a rookie." Steve Novak, a limited veteran with deep range, will be counted on to provide what Lindsey calls "the Kyle Korver effect."

"Not only does the ball go in when great shooters shoot it," he says, "but there’s a little bit of a psychological component that goes along with [it] that everybody is able to take the collective deep breath with a great shooter on the floor. Even if it’s a role player like Steve."

Dante Exum displayed terrific potential during the summer league, but his perimeter shot looked, at times, as though he were heaving logs onto a conveyor belt down at the lumberyard. Whichever guard position he mans, especially at the 2, that shot has to come. He knows it. Snyder knows it. Lindsey knows it.

It’s no stretch, though, to figure that all the Jazz shooters are sure to hit more open shots than contested ones. And that’s the point of what they are attempting to do with their version of beautiful basketball. Eventually, no pork chop around their necks will be needed.

"If you’ve got a team that really passes the ball, things can improve exponentially," Lindsey says. "That’s what we really want to teach our young players — how to communicate, how to help one another on defense, how to play with a pass. If we’re able to accomplish those things, we’ll surprise ourselves with some of the results."

GORDON MONSON hosts "The Big Show" with Spence Checketts weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on 97.5 FM/1280 and 960 AM The Zone. Twitter: @GordonMonson.


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