The Utah Jazz have a lot of questions and the preseason will only amplify them.
The Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers collided in their first preseason game of the 2023-2024 season. The Jazz were able to get the win 101-96. Not only did the Jazz start off the preseason on a good note, no one complains about getting a win, but the team did so by playing its insanely deep bench.
Now, preseason in basketball is no different than preseason in football or baseball or what have you. So none of this is a sign that the Jazz are a top-whatever team or that specific names on the roster are going to be in for a big year. That’s just not the case.
So we’re going to look past the stats at four storylines that we saw emerge from the game.
Keyonte George has to prove his worth still
We heard all the talk throughout the last few months about Keyonte George. From folks calling him a star in the making in the Summer League to others raving about his skills in camp, people are high on Keyonte George. Maybe too high.
George is a rookie, and coming out of college he didn’t have the skills you’d want. Sure, he’s an athletic dream, but as a point guard, he’s anything but ready. He shot just 34% from three, which is below the NBA league average for three-pointers made. He had a higher turnover-to-assist ratio. While his ratio was 2.9-2.8, and you could argue three turnovers a game isn’t bad for a point guard, three assists per game for the primary ball-handler is awful.
He’s a Russell Westbrook type of player, who has a lot of issues he needs to figure out and that was on full display in the opener. We saw this same thing during the first half of the Summer League in Salt Lake City. George is going to be streaky and inconsistent. That’s okay, as he won’t be a primary cog for the team to win, but fans should be very cautious about loading up the expectations for him.
He’s going to struggle, and that’s ok.