Utah Jazz Rumors
When opponents do drive on him and try attacking at the rim, they’re only shooting 50.2 percent against Capela. That’s sixth-tenths of a percentage point worse than Gobert, who’s seen as one of the favorites in the DPOY race. I, myself, questioned before the start of the season if Capela was going to be as good as the Hawks talked him up to be and what they, frankly, needed him to be because of the center depth. He was never this good for the Rockets, but he’s been a godsend for this organization after having arguably the worst center depth rotation last season. Capela is not only third in the NBA in blocks, first in rebounds, but he’s also second in DRAPM, second in DRPM and second in defensive RAPTOR, all advanced metrics that Gobert ranks first in. This story isn’t about why Capela should win the award, only how he needs to be in the conversation. As someone who voted for the league’s awards last season, Capela would be on my ballot with Gobert and Simmons; and he would be on my second-team All-Defense.
Ben Simmons touted his versatility in an interview with host Rachel Nichols. And he couldn’t resist taking a shot at Gobert in the process. “I’m one of those guys who can guard one through five,” Simmons said. “Obviously, there’s a lot of respect for Rudy. I know what he’s capable of. I know he’s great down there in the paint. But he’s not guarding everybody, and that’s just what it is. He guarded me in Utah. I had 42. And apparently I’m not a scorer. It is what it is.”
There are too many high-profile names on injury reports to shake the sense of crisis. A look at the teams that held the league’s top eight records entering Tuesday’s play showed that only two — Utah and Phoenix — were not dealing with major injuries.
Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith sat down with Tom Brady to discuss leadership principles across the world of sports and business. The co-founder and Executive Chairman of Qualtrics talked with Brady as part of the Qualtrics “WorkDifferent” series, a group of conversations between Smith and various industry leaders designed to provide solutions to help drive change within the workplace.
Eric Walden: Quin Snyder said the decision to rest Royce O’Neale comes down to him spending the most minutes in the league guarding opponents’ top scorers. As for balancing rest vs. wins vs. improvement: “In order to be your best, you have to be as fresh as you can be.”
Under normal circumstances, such history would make me a little worried about the Lakers, who are 3-10 against teams on a 50-plus-win pace. But assuming LeBron James and Anthony Davis are healthy a month from now, these Lakers seem poised to be a team that confounds future playoff predictions based on regular-season performances. The other item of note is that even though Utah has been consistently great regardless of opponent tier, its +3.7/100 Net Rating against top-tier opposition is the lowest “best” mark since the 2012-13 Knicks led the league that season at +1.8/100, and would be only the third time since 2004-05 that no team played at least +4.0/100 against top-tier opposition. I think this is reflective and indicative of what is shaping up to be one of the most wide-open championship runs in recent history.