In the wake of Friday’s season-ending loss to the Clippers, Jazz executive VP of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey promises to be “brutally honest” about the steps the team needs to take to reach the next level, tweets Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune. Speaking today at a media session, Lindsey said the organization has the ability to be “honest with ourselves” and will examine why it did and didn’t have opportunities to make a longer playoff run.
Utah posted the league’s best regular season record at 52-20 and coasted past Memphis in five games in the first round. The Jazz beat L.A. in the first two games of the conference semifinals, but then dropped four straight.
“The blueprint of trying to go from good to great is hard and complicated, but that’s what we strive for,” general manager Justin Zanik told reporters. “… You have to have some good fortune, too. For the large part of six to seven months, we were healthy. It caught up to us.” (Twitter link)
There’s more on the Jazz:
- Lindsey said the organization appreciates Mike Conley‘s return to the court Friday after missing the first five games of the series with a strained right hamstring (Twitter link). He added that the team never puts pressure on anyone to try to play through injuries. Conley estimated he was about 50-60% for Friday’s game and said he had difficulty moving (Twitter link). He will be a free agent this summer and expressed an interest in returning to Utah, according to John Coon of The Associated Press.“(This is) actually my first time being a real free agent, so it will be interesting,” Conley said. “But I did love it here. We’ll see what happens.”
- Entering the final year of his contract, Joe Ingles could be a trade chip for the Jazz to improve their perimeter defense, Coon adds. Ingles, who is preparing to represent Australia in the Olympics, doesn’t believe the team has to make major changes. “I don’t think we need to blow the whole roster up and start from scratch,” he said. “But maybe a few key pieces.” (Twitter link)
- Forward Georges Niang will also be a free agent this summer, and like Conley, he said he would like to remain with the Jazz. (Twitter link). “My heart is in Utah, they helped me be a man,” he said. “I’ll be a free agent for the first time, so we’ll see what happens.”