Utah Jazz notes: Team to play summer league games in Las Vegas
By Tony Jones and Aaron Falk | The Salt Lake TribuneFirst published Mar 21 2014 03:50PM
The Utah Jazz will have two first-round picks, one that will probably land in the top 10.
In July, Jazz fans will be able to watch them in person.
Instead of traveling to Orlando, Utah will now play its summer-league games in Las Vegas, General Manager Dennis Lindsey told The Tribune. This represents a significant change in thinking. When the Rocky Mountain Revue folded in 2008, Jazz brass vowed not to play in Vegas, blaming its emergence for the RMR’s dissipation.
Now, the Jazz will be one of 24 teams participating in the Vegas summer league.
"It’s a multifaceted decision," Lindsey said. "We have good fans and we have many fans in Vegas. They will have a short flight, or they can drive down. I’m looking forward to having the fans see some of the young players we have."
The Vegas league starts July 11 and runs for almost two weeks at the Thomas and Mack Center, UNLV’s arena. The Jazz had been competing in Orlando since 2008, a summer league that could only be seen on NBATV.
After running smack dab into the so-called "rookie wall," Trey Burke seems to have busted through.
Over his last six games, the Jazz’s young floor general is averaging 16.7 points, 5.0 assists and 1.7 rebounds. He’s doing it while hitting 49 percent of his shots, including 53.6 percent from 3.
"I think it’s just a matter of getting more comfortable out there," Burke said. "Getting to my spots, getting in the paint more and having the opportunity to take higher-percentage shots. That’s all helped me out."
He’ll have a chance to test his mettle against another top rookie on Saturday.
Magic guard Victor Oladipo is thought to be in a race with Philadelphia’s Michael-Carter Williams for Rookie of the Year, but he’s slowing down some as the season comes to a close. He’s averaging 12.1 points and 2.9 rebounds in March, his lowest for any month this season. His 3-point shooting is down to just 25 percent over the last seven games and he’s averaging 2.7 turnovers a night as he tries to learn the point guard position.
There will be at least one playoff team at Saturday’s game between the Jazz and the Magic. Members of the 1983-84 Utah Jazz, the franchise’s first ever playoff team, will be honored at halftime of the game. That Jazz team was the first NBA team to have four separate players win individual statistical crowns in a season (Adrian Dantley, scoring; Mark Eaton, blocks; Darrell Griffith, 3-point percentage; Rickey Green, steals). Head coach Frank Layden earned coach and executive of the year honors.
Work of art
Jeremy Evans has put his artwork on display before, leaping over a picture he painted of himself as part of last year’s Slam Dunk Contest. This week, the Jazz forward will team up with youth from the Road Home to create a mural that will be displayed in downtown Salt Lake City.