5 Reasons Why Utah Jazz Will Win 2013-14 NBA Title
Utah Jazz: 5 Reasons Why They Will Win the 2013-2014 NBA Championship
Fans of the Utah Jazz are abuzz with excitement at the start of this NBA season, and rightly so. After finishing ninth in the Western Conference last year -- ouch -- the Jazz are currently working through a very solid rebuilding plan, possibly one of the most inspired in the NBA. This year they begin with a promising group of young talent and potential led by the likes of Enes Kanter, Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward. On the bright side, the team, led by head coach Tyrone Corbin, has an enormous amount of young potential and push at both ends of the court.
How will it help them?
Rather than trying to salvage what they could from their 43-39 season last year, they have bid farewell to key players Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, who were responsible in large part for one of Utah's biggest inside offensive strengths last season (Utah was dominant inside -- the Jazz averaged a league-leading 46.4 points in the paint), they were also tragically responsible for one of the team's foremost Achilles' heels: interior defense. When Jefferson and Millsap were on the floor together, Utah was 3.2 points per 100 possessions worse off than its opponents, and when they were each on the bench, the Jazz allowed 9.8 and 2.5 fewer points per 100 possessions, respectively.
For now, best-case scenario, the Jazz exploit every opportunity and trick they can think of and pull off a miracle, with the advantage of catching teams off guard and underestimating the young team. They'll have the leverage of playing at a high altitude at home against teams flying in late and jet-lagged (the state of Utah has always been somewhat geographically isolated from other NBA cities). The Jazz can also take advantage of catching many teams tired and off-balance, and here is where their youth and vigor will be a huge boost.
Whether or not all this means the Jazz will be able to pull it off moving toward the playoffs and NBA championship is up in the air, but it will at least keep them contending in games they might otherwise be in over their heads in.
Worst-case scenario? Well, let's not talk about a repeat of last year, but at least we'll have the next season or two to look forward to as the young team becomes more seasoned.
Following are five reasons why the Jazz could go all the way. Let me know if you agree or not.
Gordon Hayward, Point forward
Hayward is a leader, with an amazing 40-plus percent outside shot, and probably the best and most skilled player on the Jazz squad. In his new role as point-forward, Hayward will easily rack up the stats like nobody's business, plus he'll be a dependable weapon on offense this year and for years to come. He could prove to be Utah's MVP this season.
Derrick Favors, Power forward
Favors is in his fourth year, and can deliver on both sides, starting inside to light up the scoreboard. He is also a physical defensive player, where he can rebound with the very best of them, and he blocks shots like it's going out of style. Utah fans love him.
Enes Kanter, Center
The Turkish menace Kanter has a consistently sound game on offense and is also impossibly fierce on the boards. He is smooth moving around the rim, though, honestly, he doesn't block as many shots as Favors. That said, they could one day become an amazing pair for rebounds.
Trey Burke, Point guard
Burke will probably have the typical struggles and hurdles that every rookie point guard has. He does, however, show promise to be better offensively than any of the point guards from last season. Look for him to possibly win Rookie of the Year.
Alec Burks, Shooting guard
Burks is in his third year, and is a scorer who could stand some improvement on his outside shot and mid-range game if he wants to become better as an overall player. He should get plenty of playtime this season, once he returns from injury status, and is a decent three-point shooter who can usually follow up well at the rim.
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