Quin Snyder wants to see Jazz players get comfortable with taking early open looks

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) takes a fade away shot as the Utah Jazz host the Detroit Pistons in their NBA basketball game at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Monday, Dec. 30, 2019.

Orlando, Fla. • There was a sequence in the Jazz’s game against the Magic back on Dec. 17 in Salt Lake City where Donovan Mitchell drove the lane, drew the defense and found Bojan Bogdanovic open for a corner 3.

But instead of taking the shot, Bogey swung it to Royce O’Neale, who passed up an open 3 to swing it to Joe Ingles, who passed up an open 3 to kick it to Mitchell in the other corner, where he finally drained one from beyond the arc.

While the Jazz are big practitioners of the idea of eschewing a good look for a potentially great one, coach Quin Snyder said before Saturday’s game against the Magic at the Amway Center that his players could actually stand to do a little less of that.

“We've been a team that's tried to kind of create advantages offensively and then continue to exploit them. We've had to really work on guys feeling like an open shot early in the clock is a good shot,” Snyder said. “If Bojan comes down the floor and he's got an open 3 on the wing after one pass, I want him to take that shot.”

Asked if having a lineup loaded with such prolific shooters should theoretically make offense easier, Snyder quipped, “I think everybody would like more shooting than less.”

He then made it a point to mention that getting center Rudy Gobert on the move contributes to the process of generating open looks.

“We talk about Rudy in pick-and-roll, but Rudy getting out in transition and running to the rim really draws a crowd, too,” Snyder said. “And then those shots are open, and having guys that can shoot them is really important.”

‘Such a unique defensive talent’

While most of the questions directed to Snyder pregame focused on his team’s offense, the specific questions asked of Magic coach Steve Clifford about his thoughts on the Jazz unsurprisingly tilted toward Utah’s defense.

Asked specifically about the Jazz’s habit of limiting opponents to low passing totals, Clifford spoke in reverent tones about how well the Jazz staff has maximized the scheme around Gobert.

“As much as anybody, they play dribble-handoffs, pick-and-rolls, even a lot of catch-and-shoot plays with just two guys, and the other guys stay home,” Clifford said. “They take full advantage. Gobert is such a unique defensive talent, and they build their whole defense around him. So there’s not gonna be as many passes thrown.”