Houston • Some coaches let it be known in no uncertain terms that the organizations they oversee are not democracies.
Jazz coach Quin Snyder, meanwhile, though ultimately responsible for for crafting the team’s gameplan, is not so vain or foolhardy as to believe that he has a monopoly on worthy ideas.
Before Wednesday’s Game 2 at the Toyota Center, Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell spoke appreciatively of the coaching staff’s willingness to accept feedback from the players in the wake of their postseason-opening 32-point defeat.
“All of us have come in and given our input on what we see and what we should do, and the coaching staff is great and phenomenal as far as listening to us, as far as giving us their input, as well,” Mitchell said. “We have a great team team chemistry that allows our coaches and allows teammates to give their opinion and constructive criticism, and that makes it a lot easier, when you have guys who want to help each other out.”
For his part, Snyder sought to dismiss the idea that such back-and-forth emanated solely from the Game 1 situation, noting, “That’s something that we do all the time.”
That said, he also believed that, after that outcome, it was important to get the players’ perspective on things, to make sure everyone was in lockstep on how to proceed, to try and put people in optimal situations to succeed.
“I wanted to feel what those guys were thinking, to mirror what I was thinking. And part of that, too, is we’ve always had buy-in from our guys. And coming to do something collectively contributes to that,” Snyder said. “You see in football where you have a quarterback that audibles at the line of scrimmage, and so I sometimes think finding the comfort level that a player has enhances the probability that they’re gonna be able to do something both with force and conviction. So philosophically, it’s just what I believe as a coach.”
The “Adidas D.O.N. Issue #1” shoes haven’t yet appeared in stores, but they’ve made their debut in an NBA game.
Mitchell broke out his signature shoes for this playoff series, though he apparently remains in disbelief about having his own sneaker line, to some extent. That didn’t stop him from throwing in a plug extolling their virtues, however.
“It’s still kind of unreal to me. To get a shoe so soon really took me by surprise. It still does to this day, but I’m excited for it to go on sale,” he said. “People have been asking for it nonstop. To be able to wear it, it’s so comfortable — I’m not just saying that ’cause it’s my shoe! It’s comfortable; I love this shoe, man, and it’s just a blessing to debut it, especially in the playoffs.”
The shoes are expected to hit retailers in July.
Finally near full-strength
Utah’s injury reports over the past several weeks have had no shortage of occupants with assorted ailments. But that may finally be coming to an end.
While the team initially listed Kyle Korver (right knee soreness) as probable and Thabo Sefolosha (left hip soresness) as questionable, both were made available to play in Wednesday’s game.
That means the only player out now for the Jazz is reserve point guard Dante Exum, who had surgery on the patellar tendon in his right knee and is likely to miss the entirety of the playoffs.