Utah Jazz: Shelvin Mack, others recall their tourney times

First Published      Last Updated Jun 28 2017 09:55 am

Jazz notes » Mack remembers playing Hangman at Butler.

Chicago • Shelvin Mack, while he was leading Butler to consecutive Final Fours seven years ago, would relax before the pressure-packed games by playing Hangman with his teammates.

The chemistry the team built is what Mack misses most about the NCAA Tournament, which is now in full swing.

The Utah Jazz have a number of players who participated in high-level games during the Big Dance, such as Mack, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Rodney Hood, Trey Lyles and Jeff Withey.

That extends to the coaching staff, as Quin Snyder and Antonio Lang both played in Final Fours at Duke.

"It was a great time," Mack said. "It was great to play in the tournament, and we had some great teams. The two things I will always remember is playing Hangman in the lockerroom, and coach [Brad] Stevens fist-bumping all of us before games."

Jazz players, before Saturday night's game against the Chicago Bulls, kept tabs on their respective teams who were in the tournament. Withey spoke of Kansas — his alma mater — and its second-round matchup Sunday against Michigan State.

"It's going to be a tough game," Withey said. "[Tom] Izzo always has his teams ready to play."

Lyles talked of his Kentucky team, the depth of its talent, and what it was like to play in the Final Four.

"To be with all of those guys was a lot of fun," Lyles said. "We had a great team, and we had some great players. But it was a lot of fun being in the tournament. It's something that I'll always cherish."

A bad break

Chicago Bulls shooting guard Dwyane Wade has been ruled out for the season with a fractured elbow, throwing Chicago's rotation into chaos. The Bulls are a team built around the talents of Wade and All-Star Jimmy Butler. Without Wade, the Bulls started Paul Zipser at small forward, while Butler rotated to shooting guard.

Knocking them down

The Bulls pulled within 44-40 at halftime due to an unlikely source in Bobby Portis. The second year power forward scored 13 points in the first half for Chicago on 6-of-6 shooting from the field. How unlikely was Portis' first half? This is the first time this season he's made six consecutive shots in a game.


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