Losing Gordon Hayward was a painful blow this summer to a Jazz team that had been steadily building over the last few years to finally break through with a playoff series win last season. Making the loss sting even more was the feeling among the fanbase (and this podcast) that Hayward left largely because the path to All-Star game appearances and playoff success would be much easier in Boston.
So after increasing their win total for four straight years, Utah now has to replace Hayward’s 21.9 points and 3.5 assists per game, not to mention George Hill’s departing 16.9 points and 4.2 assists per game. Luckily they still have All-NBA Second Team center Rudy Gobert to anchor a defense that was third in defensive rating and first in points allowed. New acquisitions Ricky Rubio and Thabo Sefolosha should also keep the defense humming, but is there anyway to garner enough offense to keep the Jazz from slipping out of the playoffs altogether?
To find out, Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) joins the latest episode of Fastbreak Breakfast. Andy is the Utah Jazz beat reporter for KSL.com and the managing editor of Salt City Hoops. How will Utah get buckets? Is there any room for the defense to improve to overcome the offense regressing? And just how good can a defense-first team even be in the pace-and-space era?
- Is building around a Gobert/Derrick Favors frontcourt already an outdated idea?
- Can Rodney Hood and Donovan Mitchell co-exist in lineups to provide offense?
- Will Alec Burks ever be heard from again?
- How many points per game will it take to lead this team in scoring?
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