I have a good feeling with Utah Jazz and maybe you have it too.


That’s the wrong adjective, given that this feeling – unless you believe in psychic transmission of potent positivity – has no real effect on whether a high outcome actually occurs. Wasn’t there a popular book that affirmed a belief in this kind of transmission, positive or negative, a few years ago? I read once that 77% of people believe their mere presence in the stands at a live sporting event affects the outcome of a match.

Favorable could be a better word. A favorable feeling. Or … without a stain. An unblemished feeling.

I don’t really know why I have this feeling. I just did it. It may be a premonition. Maybe it’s gullibility. Maybe it’s a bad lasagna I ate last night. There is no convincing evidence to support it.

It was Tom Hanks who said: “To believe is to see and to see is to believe.

This feeling lands somewhere in the middle of this mix.

Maybe it’s because of the sign hanging on Ted Lasso’s door.

Of course, that goes against pretty much anything we’ve seen in the recent past regarding Jazz, even with the improvement seen last season when they got the best NBA record, but then …

Yeah, you saw the spiral dive in the playoffs.

It was a playoff series later, but it was the same face that happened against Denver in the bubble – namely, three straight losses suffered to be ousted, and a statement afterwards that lessons had been learned. and that it wouldn’t happen again – is happening once again against the Clippers.

This. Pass. Again.

This time it happened in the second round, but it was even worse – four straight losses and… Audi Five-Thou.

If that didn’t defile a feeling, I don’t know what would.

But there’s something in the air, something in the basketball cosmos about this fresh-looking new iteration of Jazz that could make a difference.

Again, there is no evidence for the sentiment. It’s not because I want Jazz to be better. It doesn’t matter to me. But it matters to them and probably to most of you. Imagine what a championship parade on State Street would look like after all these years with Salt Lake as the title town.

Bonkers is the rough description that comes to mind.

Much has already been written about the moves the team made to become more versatile, and the lack of those was a major issue when it mattered most, the ability to … whatever you want to call it, play small ball, adapt to changing circumstances. Most of this loophole occurred at the defensive end, where the Jazz individually couldn’t keep their man.

Ask Quin Snyder about it. It’s a completely different feeling than what we’re talking about now. It is a hopeless, hopeless and ugly feeling.

But what the Jazz are currently stirring is a pot full of hope.

There are three reasons for this.

The first is the team’s aforementioned offseason moves, which will better position the Jazz to limit open-perimeter shots. None of Jazz’s acquisitions is an absolute brake, neither Rudy Gay, nor Eric Paschall, nor Hassan Whiteside, nor Jared Butler. But all of them give Snyder something that was lacking last time around – options.

The second is the expected improvement in the game of the two biggest jazz stars and you know who they are.

Donovan Mitchell has improved every season, and he will be better in 2021-22. He’s about as smart as an NBA player, and motivated too. He considered what he needs to do to become what he aspires to be: a real star. Not just an All-Star, but one of the league’s elite players. For that to happen, he needs to see the ground better, pull the rebound better, feel what his team needs when they need it and deliver it, and D better. He is able to do all four.

Rudy Gobert is a bit more confined in this regard, as he’s older and he’s already made some Gobert-like strides to be where and what he is – the best advocate on God’s green earth. But he can be an even more effective defender if he reads what’s going on on the pitch, glides a little faster, and at the other end just gets a little more reliable around the edge. Funny to say about a man who does 70 percent of his shots. But he can be just a step up, punishing smaller opponents when defending him.

The other thing about these two is that they have to match the greatness of the great players on the opposing teams, whoever they are, be it LeBron and his Lakers, the Freak and his Bucks, Chris Paul and his Suns, Paul George and his Clips, Steph and his Warriors, or Kevin Durant and his Nets. It’s not about playing hero ball or ego ball, matching these guys basket for basket. It’s about giving your team everything they need to win, both in the regular season and in the playoffs.

Favorable, unblemished feeling, bad pasta, screams they can do it.

The last of the three things is about as unpredictable as it gets.


Although they have more alternatives this season in the event of an injury, it is obvious that they must have the chance to keep the core as free from tears, blows and fractures to the ankles, knees, shoulders, legs wrists and hamstrings as this fortune will allow.

As much as people have complained about the Jazz’s lack of flexibility in the playoffs, it was the poor timing of Mike Conley and Mitchell’s injuries that made them. Conley wasn’t Conley, Mitchell’s game turned horizontal instead of vertical which was still stellar. , but not stellar enough. It’s true that the Clippers have had their share of bad luck in this regard with injured Kawhi Leonard, and other teams, like the Lakers, have had their issues as well. But that’s their concern.

So for what it’s worth – and it might not be worth much – the feeling is that Jazz will be better this season, better than the last. And they don’t have to be much better to achieve their long-standing goal of winning a championship.

Will it happen?

Beat me. You can toss each ingredient up, examine and reexamine each one, you can pontificate and look as smart as you want, and in the end you and me and a thousand know-it-alls, we’re just guessing.

Psychic transmission or not, the favorable feeling is there. It’s over here anyway.

Unsullied now, even after so many heaps of filth in the past.