Archive for the ‘Utah Jazz – General’ Category

Gary Payton vs John Stockton - 2000 NBA Playoffs - Game 5

On Sunday when Gary Payton is inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, he will be presented by his childhood hero George Gervin and longtime rival John Stockton. Payton chose Stockton, the NBA’s all-time leader in assists and steals, because he greatly admired and respected him. In a recent interview with Yahoo! Sports, Payton called Stockton “the hardest person I ever had to guard” because of both his demeanor and skillset. Payton gushed about Stockton’s refusal to engage in trash talk, calling it the reason he “really respected him because you never could get in his head…I tried to talk to him, try to do something and he’d just look at me, set a pick and cause me [to get mad and] get a tech.” He viewed Stockton’s no-nonsense approach as “a complete game. That’s just the way he was and I idolized him.”

Payton entered the NBA in 1990 and would face Stockton in 70 regular season and postseason games prior to Stockton’s retirement in 2003.

Head-to-Head Regular Season Statistics

Regular Season Pts Ast Reb Stl FG% FT% 3pt% Wins
John Stockton 14.0 10.1 2.8 2.1 51% 82% 36% 27
Gary Payton 17.0 6.8 3.8 2.3 49% 77% 33% 22

In their head-to-head matchups, Stockton owns the edge in assists, shooting efficiency, and wins while Payton has the edge in scoring and rebounding.

Head-to-Head Postseason Statistics

Postseason Pts Ast Reb Stl FG% FT% 3pt% Wins
John Stockton 12.0 10.6 2.8 2.1 45% 73% 36% 11
Gary Payton 16.9 5.3 5.0 1.5 47% 70% 40% 10

The Jazz faced the Supersonics four times in the postseason, with both teams winning two series each.
1992 Conference Semifinals: Utah 4-1
1993 First Round: Seattle 3-1
1996 Conference Finals: Seattle 4-3
2000 First Round: Utah 3-2

In their first two playoff series matchups Stockton was clearly the superior player -although Seattle had superior talent in ’93. In ’96, the teams were fairly equal which was indicative in their 7-game series. Payton consistently outplayed Stockton throughout, although Stock played much of the ’96 playoffs with elbow, hamstring and groin injuries that severely hindered his effectiveness.

Their 2000 playoff series featured Gary Payton coming off arguably his best season as a pro (24.2/8.9/6.5) while Stockton was still ticking along (12.1/8.6 – 50%/36%/86%) although clearly past his prime at age 37. Nevertheless, the series still treated basketball fans to an epic point guard dual as the 7th-seeded Sonics pushed the 2nd-seeded Jazz to 5 games (in a best-of-5 series).

Payton opened the series with a 24/11/6 line that was overshadowed (along with Stockton’s 10&10) by Karl Malone’s 50-point eruption. In Game 2, Stockton put up 21 points and 11 assists on a ridiculous 9-11 shooting while playing just 30 minutes. Back in Seattle the Sonics evened up the series behind Payton’s 23/10/7 in Game 3 and then a masterful 35/11/10 in Game 4 that featured plenty of emotional fireworks as well as a heated war of words with Karl Malone.

Back in Utah for the fifth and deciding game, both players rose to the occasion with physical defense and vintage offensive performances. Stockton racked up 17 points, 15 assists, and 7 rebounds on 6-9 shooting while Payton went off for 27 points, 9 assists and 6 rebounds on 12-25 shooting. The series ended when an ice-cold Chuck Person (who spent the entire series on the bench) was inserted into the game by Paul Westphal in the final seconds and missed a potential game-tying three off a pick&pop with Payton.

It was difficult to find two point guards who had a bigger contrast in styles to their games. Stockton was a methodical, fundamental pass-first point guard who was an incredibly efficient shooter and the best screen-roll point guard in the league has ever seen. Payton was an in-your-face on-ball defender who could score from all over the court, developed himself into a potent 3pt-shooter, was a sneaky-good rebounder and one of the better post-up point guards in the game. While Stockton never engaged in a war of words, Payton was known for his brash trash-talk.

Despite their differences, the two point guards who own a combined 19 all-star appearances had one simple thing in common: both were fierce competitors who came to win every single night. Even in the twilight of Stockton’s career, the two future hall-of-famers went after it, refusing to take a possession off.

Beyond their incredible talent, perhaps most impressive was both players’ durability. From 1990-2003 Payton and Stockton’s teams would meet 73 times – and in only 3 of those games did either Payton or Stockton sit out due to injury (Payton missed 2, Stock missed 1).

To this day, both players remain two of the most durable players to ever play their position. In his 17 year NBA career, Payton missed just 27 games – with 14 of those coming in 2005-06 (his final season). “The Glove” would notch 10 regular seasons in which he played in every game. Similarly, in his 19 year NBA career Stockton would miss just 22 games (with 18 of those coming in the 1997-98 season) and would play an incredible 17 regular seasons without missing a single game.

What made Gary Payton and John Stockton’s 13-year rivalry so special was the way they competed at both ends of the court. It was competitive, physical, emotional – and best of all it was pure with winning as the only objective. There have been a lot of talented point guards to enter the league since, but there hasn’t been a point guard duel that has exceeded the battles those two had. On Sunday they’ll no longer be competing, but it’ll be refreshing to see them both on center stage again.

John Stockton vs Gary Payton

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Utah Jazz 2013 NBA Orlando Summer League

As I said in last night’s post, I don’t take summer league results seriously at all. Therefore, because I’m saving my Andris Biedrins post for next week, here are some non-serious individual game logs for Utah’s most prominent players down in Orlando.

#33 Trey Burke – PG – 6-1/185

Trey Burke 2013 Summer League Game Logs

#27 Rudy Gobert – C – 7-1/235

Rudy Gobert 2013 Summer League Game Logs

#10 Alec Burks – SG – 6-6/205

Alec Burks 2013 NBA Summer League Game Logs

#40 Jeremy Evans – PF – 6-9/194

Jeremy Evans 2013 Summer League Game Logs

#58 Chris Roberts – SG – 6-4/205

Chris Roberts 2013 NBA Summer League Game Logs

#60 Dionte Christmas – SG – 6-5/205

Dionte Christmas 2013 NBA Summer League Game Logs


Check back Sunday for a post featuring vintage Andris Biedrins highlights (or as close as you can get to “Biedrins highlights“).

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Jazz vs Pacers - 2013 Orlando Summer League Highlights - 7-12-13

The Utah Jazz concluded their 2013 Summer League session in Orlando, falling 73-70 to the Indiana Pacers in Friday morning’s 3rd/4th-Place game.

Trey Burke 8 Points & 5 Assists

Trey Burke started well making 3 of his first 5 field goal attempts before missing 6 of his last 7, including two three pointers in the final 8-seconds. The first three attempt came with Utah down by 2 and with Burke operating a high screen-roll in which the big showed out and forced a tough shot. The final three was a desperation heave off a poorly contructed last-second inbound play. Burke finished his first NBA summer league with averages of 8.8 points and 4.0 assists in 26.8 minutes of play.

Rudy Gobert 6 Points, 10 Rebounds & 3 Blocks

Rudy Gobert again impressed with his activity and length, making all 3 of his shots while pulling down a game-high 10 rebounds and again blocking 3 shots (his third 3-block summer league performance). Gobert finished summer league with averages of 5.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 21 minutes of play.

Raul Neto Highlights

Raul Neto didn’t make a field goal but he got to the line and made several nice passes that resulted in 4 assists – including feeds that led to two field goals by Michael Stockton.


It’s foolish to get excited or disappointed over summer league performances. While basketball is basketball, a hodge-podge of borderline NBA talent thrown together for 5 games in 6 days isn’t an accurate indicator of how field goal percentage will translate to the NBA regular season. While the competition will certainly increase for Trey Burke, in an entirely new setting with more time learning the offense and with a less hectic lifestyle (3 weeks ago the possibility of Burke ending up in Utah seemed like a longshot and in the past two weeks he’s had to go from working out in Ohio to the draft in NY to moving to Utah to then traveling down to Orlando to play with 19 new teammates) it’s likely many of the shots he couldn’t convert in summer league will go down in the preseason. I still think Burke can become a good NBA point guard – but whether he reaches that level or not won’t be determined off one week of summer league play.

Nevertheless, it’s still a 94′ x 50′ court with a 10-foot hoop so aside from the Burke-watch, we saw that Jeremy Evans continues to improve his mid-range jumper (although I think he had a better jump shot last season than most realize), Rudy Gobert has gigantic length that he can utilize as a basketball player (and not just by being a wingspan windmill like Saer Sene), Raul Neto has some flair and Dionte Christmas and Chris Roberts may have what it takes to make some noise in training camp should they be invited.

Until then, Utah Jazz basketball comes to its summer hiatus with very little public action expected over the next two months. Summer league is a nice week for the Jazz to take a look at some of their young players and teach them some basics of their system while getting their inexperienced coaching staff acclimated to them. Aside from that though, the future of the Jazz will be determined in Utah and not Orlando.

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Orlando Pro Summer League 2013

The Utah Jazz fell to the Indiana Pacers 79-73 Thursday in their next-to-last summer league game. The loss knocked them out of contention for first or second place in the Orlando Pro Summer League. The Jazz will again face the Pacers in the 3rd/4th-place game.

Rudy Gobert 11 Points, 8 Rebounds & 3 Blocks

Trey Burke Highlights vs Pacers

Raul Neto Highlights vs Pacers

Jeremy Evans Highlights vs Pacers

Jerel McNeal Highlights vs Pacers


The Jazz’s final summer league game is Friday at 10AM ET/8AM MT.

2013 Jazz Summer League Schedule
7/7 – Sun – Miami (W – 6 points)
7/9 – Tue – Houston (L – 1 point)
7/10 – Wed – Brooklyn – (W – 7 points)
7/11 – Thu – Indiana – (L – 2 points)
7/12 – Fri – Indiana – 10:00AM ET/8:00AM MT

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Raul Neto - Utah Jazz 2013 Summer League

The Jazz rebounded from Tuesday’s loss with a complete domination of the Brooklyn Nets, winning 98-69 to go along with a 4-quarter sweep to gain a maximum 7-points in the Orlando Pro Summer League standings.

Raul Neto 7 Points & 3 Assists

Raul Neto’s first summer league action should be considered a success, as the 21-year old rookie displayed an impressive skillset and overall feel for the game. He showed good vision as well as an impressive handle which he used to probe and get in the paint as well as a crafty split of defenders in a backcourt trap that he concluded with an alley-oop. The highlight of the day was Neto’s cross-over and scoop shot over 6-11 center Keith Benson. Obviously there’s a big adjustment to playing point guard in summer league and in the regular season – but Wednesday was definitely a promising debut performance for Neto.

Jeremy Evans 15 Points & 9 Rebounds

Jeremy Evans showed off more of his complete game – starting off with a face-up baseline jumper to go along with his “routine” displays of ridiculous athleticism around the basket. His final basket of the day – a layup off a nice high screen-roll feed from Jerel McNeal in which Evans finished through contact – is the types of “basketball plays” he needs to make to earn a more consistent role for the Jazz.

Alec Burks 14 Points

Power-Outage: Electricity vs Natural Light

And with 0.6 seconds remaining, Trey Burke somebody shut off the lights at the Magic’s practice facility.


The Jazz’s next game is Thursday versus the Indiana Pacers.

2013 Jazz Summer League Schedule
7/7 – Sun – Miami (W – 6 points)
7/9 – Tue – Houston (L – 1 point)
7/10 – Wed – Brooklyn – (W – 7 points)
7/11 – Thu – Indiana – 11:00 AM ET/9:00 AM MT
7/12 – Fri – TBA

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The Jazz struggled in their second game of the Orlando Pro Summer League, falling 85-71 to the Houston Rockets and losing 3 of the 4 quarters. Here are individual highlights from Utah’s most prominent players:

Trey Burke 11 Points & 2 Assists

Burke once again struggled shooting but he did improve his overall percentages from Sunday and made several plays that once again exhibited his tantalizing potential. He was at his best in high-screen roll with a pull-up jumper and then a brilliant split and lob pass to Jeremy Evans amongst his most impressive plays.

Alec Burks 18 Points

Burks led Utah in scoring with 18 points, and although he also struggled shooting just 5-15 – his aggressiveness earned him 9 free throw attempts in which he converted 8. A main problem of Burks was as the Jazz fell behind in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, Burks tried to take over the game rather than stick to Utah’s halfcourt offensive sets which weren’t having much success either against Houston’s ball pressure. As Burks began to press, he made some mistakes but overall nothing terribly to be concerned about.

Rudy Gobert 4 Points, 7 Rebounds & 2 Blocks

Gobert only took 3 shots from the field, but one was a surprising left-hand jump hook. Any offense from him outside of point-blank dunks and layups should be considered a bonus during his rookie season.

Jeremy Evans 10 Points, 8 Rebounds & 2 Blocks

Jeremy Evans showed off his hops with a spectacular block (off a great rotation against screen-roll) and an awesome rebound in which he head neared rim-level. He also hit a nice pick&pop baseline jumper off a pass from Alec Burks.

Michael Stockton Three-Pointer

Michael Stockton scored 7 points and his only FG as an open three he drained from the left wing. He remains a long shot to make the Jazz roster but even in 2013 – watching a Stockton three pointer never gets old.


The Jazz are back in action Wednesday against the Brooklyn Nets.

2013 Jazz Summer League Schedule
7/7 – Sun – Miami (W – 6 points)
7/9 – Tue – Houston (L – 1 point)
7/10 – Wed – Brooklyn – 11:00 AM ET/9:00 AM MT
7/11 – Thu – Indiana – 11:00 AM ET/9:00 AM MT
7/12 – Fri – TBA

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Jazz vs Heat - Summer League - 7-7-13

The first glimpses of the 2013-14 Utah Jazz appeared as the Orlando Pro Summer League tipped off Sunday. Utah’s 69-59 victory over the Miami Heat featured growing pains (Trey Burke 1-12 shooting), physical pains (Alec Burks twisted ankle), but also several promising moments. While summer league isn’t a great indicator for regular season performance, basketball is basketball and here are some of the yesterday’s Jazz higlights.

Alec Burks 10 points

Burks had a terrific 2012 summer league and was clearly the best player on the floor during his 11 minutes of playing time before he left with a twisted left ankle that didn’t appear serious but will likely be dealt with conservatively. From all of Burks’ polished scoring moves, I particularly liked the catch&shoot open three from the left wing – which was created by high screen-roll between Burke&Gobert.

Trey Burke back-to-back drive&dishes for dunks

Burke struggled shooting from the floor but never lost his confidence (he seldom allowed a poor shooting performance to alter his play at Michigan either) and finished the game with two spectacular assists to Rudy Gobert and Jeremy Evans who capitalized with thunderous dunks.

Rudy Gobert 6 points & 3 blocks

Gobert’s statline of 6 points, 4 rebounds and 3 blocks don’t tell the full impact of his play. He also altered a handful of other shots and displayed an impressive ability to show out on high screen-roll and then recover.

Dionte Christmas 14 points

Christmas came in July as the 26-year old shooting guard out of Temple played the best floor game out of anyone. Christmas scored a team-high 14 points on 6-10 shooting from the floor and 2-4 shooting from behind the arc. He also added 5 rebounds and 3 assists – two of which led to dunks.


2013 Jazz Summer League Schedule
7/7 – Sun – Miami (W – 6 points)
7/9 – Tue – Houston – 3:00 PM ET/1:00 PM MT
7/10 – Wed – Brooklyn – 11:00 AM ET/9:00 AM MT
7/11 – Thu – Indiana – 11:00 AM ET/9:00 AM MT
7/12 – Fri – TBA

All games will be televised on NBATV.

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