Tony Jones, one of The Tribune’s Utah Jazz beat reporters, will answer questions submitted on Twitter each week in his Jazz mailbag. Here are this week’s questions and answers.
I think he simply missed shots. I don’t think he had a case of nerves. I do think OKC’s physicality on both ends bothered him a bit, and that caused him to miss some shots. Guarding Russell Westbrook is one of the most difficult things a point guard can do. And I think that took some legs from Ricky Rubio. I also think OKC’s defense made finding quality looks a lot tougher than in the past few weeks for Rubio. When you add all of those factors, you get a 5-of-18 night, which is what Rubio turned in. His ability to improve will be a monstrous key for the Jazz going forward in this series.
I think we’ll see the same minutes. He’ll play anywhere from 15 to 20 at both guard spots. Dante Exum played extremely well in the second half. He and Donovan Mitchell are the only two guys who showed they can penetrate and get into the paint off the dribble against OKC’s guards. And that skill is valuable because of the way the Thunder were overplaying the Jazz. Exum has to continue doing that. But he had a few bad turnovers and missed reads as well. He certainly deserves to be on the floor and will play a big role going forward. But I think his minutes will be around the same in Game 2.
#TonyTalks : Hi Tony. In game #1 vs OKC, Alec got few minutes & impressive scoring span, any chances to see him coming in, in game #2 to try to use his quickness ? Not many guys in the team could penetrate like him, maybe not a bad idea to play Donovan + Exum + Burks together ?— Francis Gagne (@GagneMdx) April 16, 2018
I don’t think Alec Burks is going to be in the rotation. He played well and made shots. But coach Quin Snyder has multiple players ahead of him, and I don’t see that changing in Game 2.
No, because the Celtics won a title in a different era. They were able to win with a nonshooter (Rajon Rondo) at point guard. Building a title-level team with that in today’s game is nearly impossible. Also Kevin Garnett and Rudy Gobert are different players who play different positions. I think the Jazz are not far away from contention if they add the right pieces. But they are going to try to build a title team in their own mold.
Tell Diana thanks for the question. The team mostly calls him Donovan with a little bit of Rook sprinkled in. He is one of the most popular and gregarious personalities in the locker room. But Donovan is the main name for his teammates.
I certainly will do so. One thing is certain: He’s one of the biggest trash talkers on the team and maybe in the NBA.