SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Donovan Mitchell says this is the biggest season of his five years with Utah Jazz.
âI think after the performance we had last year in the regular season, the work we put in and obviously short,â Mitchell said on Jazz Media Day. âWe weren’t as healthy as we wanted but I think it’s been a great year for us overall. We’re not going to sneak up on anyone.
After securing the number one seed in the Western Conference and the best overall record in the NBA, the Jazz lost in the second round of the playoffs to the LA Clippers. But they feel that they have learned from this experience and want to take advantage of the window of opportunity that is presented to them.
âWe really feel like we have the opportunity to do something special over the next few years,â said Rudy Gobert, NBA Defensive Player of the Year. “We know we don’t get a lot of those windows in your career.”
âI feel like a lot of teams felt like they had the opportunity to do something special,â added point guard Mike Conley. âWe felt like we were there in that bucket. But how different things can be like that.
The main reason the Jazz failed was injuries. With Mitchell’s ankle and Conley’s hamstrings, the Jazz weren’t healthy when they had the most playoffs. But with their depth, the Jazz can afford to practice some load management this season.
“If you look at Donovan’s injury, I don’t know if there is a way [to avoid it]Said head coach Quin Snyder. “Tell him to play without jumping?” Mike did not play back to back. So this is something that we are aware of. I think it is partly luck.
âThat’s what makes our team a little different from a lot of teams,â said Conley. “You don’t necessarily need everyone every night.”
With the additions of Hassan Whiteside, Eric Paschall and Rudy Gay, the Jazz can go up to 10 or 11 depths.
âYou want to be a part of something great,â said Gay, a 15-year NBA veteran. âI think it’s a great team. I think this could be one of the most talented teams I’ve played for. But we will see.
âIt’s one of, if not the best organization I’ve been a part of,â said Whiteside. âAnd I’ve only been here three weeks.
âI think we have the best bench in the league,â said forward Bojan Bogdanovic.
The team is 100 percent vaccinated, so there is no problem there as they travel across the country. Jazz also want their fans to be vaccinated or tested as well so they can attend all games this season.
âI still think it’s a personal choice,â Gobert said. âNo one should be pressured into doing it. But it’s cool that we have the whole group and everyone make sure that we don’t make this a distraction for the team.
“We’re going to rack up a lot of wins,” added Jordan Clarkson, the NBA’s sixth man of the year. âSo do what you have to do to take your Covid test or get vaccinated. Just be at the games because we are going to put on a great show for everyone this year. “
The Jazz begin training camp in Las Vegas on Tuesday, with the team’s first preseason game scheduled for October 4.