Utah Jazz guard Talen Horton-Tucker, left, works to the basket against Dallas Mavericks’ Justin Holiday (0) in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, March 7, 2023, in Dallas.

Tony Gutierrez, Associated Press

DALLAS — The Utah Jazz went from having the 12th-best lottery odds at the beginning of the night, to having the eighth-best lottery odds by the end of the night. That’s how you look at a 120-116 loss to the Dallas Mavericks as a glass-half full situation.

Sure, the loss stings, but the results are pretty good for a team that is heading toward a draft that is top-heavy with some real talent.

In addition to that, the Jazz showed a crazy amount of grit and fight against the Mavericks. In every game the Jazz play that is legitimately competitive, there are lessons to be learned and we get a better understanding of the players on this roster and the potential they have.

So tonight, I want to focus on two of the Jazz’s players.

Damian Jones is good

With Walker Kessler nursing a cold, Damian Jones was able to play 23 minutes off the bench on Tuesday night. The more that I see of Jones, the more that I think the Jazz are lucky to have him.

Jones is 27, which isn’t super young in the NBA, but it’s also not like he’s ancient and Jones plays like a guy who is 24 in the sense that he is bouncy and active and is just all over the place without seemingly breaking a sweat. But it’s not even his age that is appealing. I think that Jones is actually a good player, on both sides of the ball.

Offensively, he’s an insane lob-threat with a ton of athleticism and he’s got great touch and footwork when he’s down low. But then on Tuesday he was spacing the floor and flashed out to the corner before knocking down a 3. It was only the 14th made 3-pointer of Jones’ career and just his 47th attempt. But Jazz head coach Will Hardy said that he’s given Jones permission to take those shots, even though Jones has only been with the team since the trade deadline less than a month …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News


Utah Jazz analysis: The versatility of Damian Jones

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