Don't be fooled by glossy Jazz record

So, the Utah Jazz are 6-0 in the preseason and it’s the first time in franchise history that’s ever happened.

Nice. Unfortunately, that and a quarter will get you a gumball from the nearest vending machine.Look, the new-look Jazz have the components to become something special. But it’s still the preseason, where teams are more focused on their own players than they are the other guys’.

With so many new faces on the roster, the Jazz’s main concern is simply getting everyone on the same page. After that, coaches want to take a look at the younger guys, just to get them a little playing time.

Knowing this, the other day I asked coach Jerry Sloan about his team’s preseason record.

I had a good idea what his response would be, and I was right.

What surprised me, however, was how quickly he scoffed at it. He did so before I could even finish the question.

The exchange went something like this:

Me: Coach, what does it mean to be 3-0 (the Jazz’s record at the time) in the presea–

Sloan: Nothing!

He then added: “The biggest thing is, we’re trying to get better doing some of the things we have to do to play against 29 different teams. That’s always our focus, to get ready to play against 29 different philosophies in basketball.”

It’s not my intention to cast a pessimistic cloud over the Jazz. In fact, I think they’re going to surprise a lot of people this season.

From what I’ve seen from the team, the chemistry is better now than it’s been in a long time.

Fans can be happy about that.

But remember, it’s the preseason. They don’t start playing for real until the end of the month.

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About Jim Burton

Jim Burton has worked for the Standard-Examiner since 1991. He has covered everything from the preps to Utah, BYU, Weber State and the Ogden Raptors. Currently he is the Standard's Utah Jazz beatwriter and its sports columnist.
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3 Responses to Don't be fooled by glossy Jazz record

  1. Mark Shenefelt says:

    Gotta love Sloan. “Nothing.” Nothing left to doubt about what he thinks, either. He’s got the best “let’s cut the b.s.” demeanor in pro sports.

    And in this case, I’ll take his word for it. I long ago quit watching preseason games in any sport. I depend on Jim and other yeoman scribes to report anything important ;)

  2. Jazzy says:

    I read an article that someone else recently wrote that showed the preseason stats several years back and the stats showed that preseason is often a good indicator of things to come. The teams that did well during the preseason almost always went to the playoffs, and teams that did not do well during the preseason most of the time have ended up with disappointing seasons. I understand that the coaches and teams aren’t really trying hard to win the games and that it’s more about trying/watching different players in various scenarios, but it’s still hard to just explain away stats of the previous years…

  3. Mac Diego says:

    I don’t think that the record tells us how many wins we’re going to have this season, or that we’re better than the Lakers, or anything like that. But what I do think it tells us is

    (1) This group has great chemistry. (I attribute a lot of that to the loss of corporate Boozer, but that for another day.)

    (2) We are deep. It’s preseason, but guys still want to win. And it I take from the preseason that our 2nd and 3rd unit players have been better than other teams’.

    So yeah, I’m not punching my ticket to the finals, but this record says a lot about the group of guys we have, IMO.

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