The Utah Jazz selected Dante Exum with the fifth pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
Dante Exum is from the Australian Institute of Sport and despite the fact that the Jazz acquired a talented point guard in last year’s draft in Trey Burke the selected the talented guard with their first pick. When asked about playing alongside Burke, Exum said that he knows it will take some give-and-take from both guards.
The Utah Jazz went 25-27 last season, which was the worst record in the Western Conference. The team recently fired former head coach Tyrone Corbin and hired former Atlanta Hawks assistant coach Quin Snyder to replace him. Snyder inherits a roster with a lot of young talent, including Gordon Hayward, Trey Burke, Derrick Favors, Alec Burks and Enes Kanter.
The Jazz took with their 23rd pick Rodney Hood from Duke University. Hood was projected as a potential late lottery pick, but was passed over by several teams, allowing the Jazz to get him with their second first round pick in the 2014 draft.
“With Dante and Rodney, we’re excited,” Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey said. “They’re excellent players, but they’re better young men and we feel, literally, that there couldn’t have been two better fits for the Jazz organization and what we stand for.”
Auburn Hills – Utah rolled to a 21 point victory Friday night over Detroit 110-89. Defense was outstanding for the Jazz as they held the Pistons to just 43-percent shooting, and caused 15 turnovers on 7 steals and 5 blocked shots.
Returning to Michigan for the first time to play since entering the NBA, rookie Trey Burke lead the Jazz with a double-double, scoring 20 points and adding 12 assists. Burke’s did however commit 7 turnovers in his homecoming, perhaps showing a little nerve. Jazz big man Enes Kanter again contributed heavily from the bench scoring 18 points and 7 rebounds, while Marvin Williams added 17 points and 7 rebounds of his own. The Jazz are finding ways to get it done, and nicely filling in the scoring gap while their leading scorer Gordon Hayward missed another game, his fourth straight with a left hip flexor.
Detroit was lead my Rodney Stuckey, 21 points and 6 rebounds, while the rest of the Piston’s seemed lackadaisical and flat coming off a five day layoff before the contest. Their record falls to 16-23 while the Jazz improve to 14-27.
Next for the Jazz, the Timberwolves on Saturday night in Minnesota.
San Antonio – The Utah Jazz fought valiantly to erase an 18 point lead culminated in the third quarter by Tony Parker and company, but the San Antonio Spurs held fast suppressing the fourth quarter charge to get the victory 109-105.
The Utah Jazz were lead by Enes Kanter off the bench with 25 points and 11 rebounds. While Derrick Favors added another double double, his second in back to back games, scoring 19 points and 12 rebounds. Hot shooting Alec Burks scored 20.
Parker kept the San Antonio Spurs in the game with 25 points and 9 assists, and helped close the game, holding off the Utah Jazz who cut the score 107-105 with 4 seconds left. Five others scored in double figures, including Marco Belinelli, 15 points and 7 rebounds, who hit the final free throws to seal the game.
Utah drops to 13-27 and travel to Detroit to play the Pistons Friday.
Utah Jazz and the Denver Nuggets (Photo: Mr. Underhill)
Salt Lake City – A big night for Alec Burks who scored 34 points for the Jazz as they win 118-103 against the Denver Nuggets tonight at Energy Solutions Arena. The win gives Coach Tyrone Corbin his 100th career win in his fourth season as Utah’s head coach.
Denver was the hottest team in the NBA entering the contest, winning their last 5 games, three of which with a margin of victory of 22 points or more. Despite two players with double doubles, Ty Lawson scoring 23 points, 11 assists and J.J. Hickson scoring 21 and 10 rebounds, the Nuggets came up a little short as overall the team shot only 44-percent from the field.
The Jazz shot over 55-percent from the field and scored a season high 67 points in the first half. In addition to Alec Burks’ career night, Derrick Favors dropped in a double double of his own, 19 points, 15 rebounds. Rookie guard Trey Burke added 18 points to help out his team who were without the high scoring Gordon Hayward for a second straight game. It is unknown when Hayward will return, he is out with a left hip flexor injury and listed day-to-day.
The Jazz move to a 13-26 record and play the Spurs in San Antonio next, coming up Wednesday.
Salt Lake City – The debut of Luol Deng was a winner as the Utah Jazz fall to the Cleveland Cavalier 113-102 Friday night at Energy Solutions Arena. Deng scored10 points on 4-of-8 shooting in 21 minutes of play. Luol Deng had injured his achilles and was limited on the number of minutes he could play for the Cavs in his first appearance in a Cleveland uniform having just been traded by the Chicago Bulls for the contract of Andrew Bynum and three future draft choices.