Jazz focus on defense before home opener

Oct 23, 2019, 2:55 PM | Updated: 3:00 pm
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Donovan Mitchell warming up at the Zions Bank Basketball Campus. Photo: Paul Nelson

SALT LAKE CITY — A lot of preseason buzz leads down to this: the Utah Jazz tip-off against the Oklahoma City tonight in their season opener. At today’s shootaround ahead of the game, team leaders said they’ve been making some changes since the preseason.

After giving up 128 points in one of their preseason games, center Rudy Gobert says it didn’t feel right.  However, he believes it could be a good thing they found the potential problem before the season started.

Gobert said, “We’ve still got a lot of work to do, but, I think we’re ready to have a great start.”

Mike Conley is set to play his first regular-season game with the Jazz after coming over from Memphis.  He says the players have been very competitive between themselves and getting in each other’s faces to get better.  Plus, he says defense was a major focus for the team.

“Defense was all we did.  I don’t think we took any shots during practice,” Conley said.

Despite hiccups in the preseason, Conley has high expectations for the team.

“I don’t think I’ve played on such a complete team, before.  I’ve been on a few that are really, really good.  As far as what we’re trying to do, with the spacing and the shooting, I don’t think there is one that has had as deep a roster as we have now,” he said.

Head Coach Quin Snyder says they’ve been getting the players to change some habits to better play together, which could take time.

“If I see ten things I would like us to do better, you’re not going to fix ten things in a few days or in a while,” Snyder said.

However, Snyder says the players are embracing the changes.

“I think those things are important to our guys which is the first step.”

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Jazz focus on defense before home opener