ESPN’s Zach Lowe nails it with this piece on what an NBA franchise looks like after they lose their star player and how the Utah Jazz are recovering from Gordon Hayward’s departure. Lowe discusses the rapid development of everyone’s favorite rookie (Donovan Mitchell), the constant whirr of Quin Snyder’s “Euro-infused system of screens, cuts and drives,” and the importance of Rudy Gobert in today’s NBA. The best stuff, however is Lowe’s diatribe on “advantage basketball” (featured below). I appreciate Mike Farrelly for passing this article along.
The first rule of advantage basketball is that you never surrender your advantage. Get a five-foot head start, and you should expand it 10 feet before shooting or exchanging the baton. “You have to keep the advantage,” Gobert says. “Punish them.” Hesitation erases an advantage. When Hood or Mitchell comes off a screen and pauses to pound the ball, you see Snyder’s exasperation. The coaches have shown Mitchell that one aggressive dribble immediately after a catch covers as much territory as two or three ponderous ones, he says. Ingles will tell you: Decisiveness turns slow players into fast ones. This stuff isn’t unique to Utah, but the Jazz teach it in more granular detail.