The Triple Team: Leandro Bolmaro and Johnny Juzang make their Jazz debuts in summer league

UCLA's Johnny Juzang reacts during the first half of a college basketball game against North Carolina in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament, Friday, March 25, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Three thoughts on the Utah Jazz’s 72-66 win over the Atlanta Hawks from Salt Lake Tribune beat writer Andy Larsen.

1. Leandro Bolmaro’s ups and downs

Acquired in the Rudy Gobert trade, 21-year-old Leandro Bolmaro hadn’t ever practiced with the Jazz before this morning.

There were times when it showed: Bolmaro only scored 5 points, despite taking 13 shots. He had to direct teammates with arm waves and his own sense of positioning probably wasn’t ideal. But he also showed off his very real strengths, ones that it’s possible the big-league Jazz could use.

For one, his passing is excellent. Joe Ingles is one comp people sometimes use for Bolmaro, but his style isn’t really much like that — Bolmaro’s flashier with his playmaking. But it is still a very effective drive and kick game. The play he makes at the 1-minute mark of the above video shows good manipulation of the defenders, and then a great find of his big man for the assist.

But the thing I like most about Bolmaro is that he’s a high-energy defender, getting into the opposition, diving for loose balls, and the like. He stands 6-6, and while he’s fairly skinny, he just battles whoever he’s guarding. He also fights on the boards

Now, the problem is that he’s a poor shooter right now. The 2-13 line in tonight’s game was a sign of that, but his inability to shoot in his rookie season with the Timberwolves was one big reason they were willing to give him up as essentially a throw-in in the Gobert deal.

If he shoot 35% from deep, though, I think he’ll be an asset. The Jazz have three years left on a cheap contract to find out if he can develop that skill.

2. Johnny Juzang’s car crash

UCLA standout Johnny Juzang made his Jazz debut on Saturday, after missing the entire Salt Lake City Summer League due to a car crash that gave him a concussion, four or five days after arriving in Utah.

“Yeah, man, it was just a crazy accident,” Juzang said. “Luckily, everyone’s okay. I was with my girlfriend, she was in the passenger seat. We just got T-boned making a left turn.”

Juzang said he dealt with concussion symptoms for a few days to a week after the crash — and that the first two days were “rough.”

“Luckily, everyone in Utah, the whole staff — I mean, they’re incredible. They really took care of me and helped me, as far as, like, taking supplements and pills to help with my brain, and then on the other side, doing rehab and exercising and monitoring.”

Juzang was a non-factor in Saturday’s game, scoring just three points on 1-6 shooting, getting four rebounds. But it makes sense that he’d still be easing into things for the Jazz after what happened.

3. Jared Butler’s pick and roll game

Jared Butler had what I think was his best half of summer league action in the first 20 minutes of Saturday’s game, getting seven assists. He also finished with 15 points on 6-11 shooting, his most efficient summer league game so far.

Why did it work so well? Well, for one, he was playing against the smaller Sharife Cooper of Atlanta rather than some of the longer defenders he faced in the Salt Lake City Summer League. That made his reads easier. In particular, he found Bruno Caboclo and Kofi Cockburn for lobs repeatedly.

You may remember that Butler excelled at the corner three pass in the pick and roll in his last summer league game in Utah, so it’s nice that he’s showing the ability to make both kinds of plays, depending on how he’s being defended.

But at the end of the game, as the Jazz were trying to prevent the Hawks from coming back from a 17-point deficit, Butler committed 3 turnovers that made those Jazz fans that really want to see summer league wins bite their nails a bit. These were unnecessarily sloppy plays, where he lost the ball in ballhandling as he drove, or threw up a lob that was way high and wide, clattering off the backboard.

“There’s just certain stretches of the game where we get a little careless,” Jazz summer league coach Lamar Skeeter said. “You really saw it in that fourth where ... we can kind of like dial it back, calm down, hit the reset button.”

Butler was that floor general in college, but he’s still just a bit uneasy at this level, at least over the course of a whole game. No player is perfect, obviously, and this game was promising for Butler in many ways, but there’s still definitely room to grow.