Utah Jazz: Unselfish Al Jefferson becoming triple threat
"It's just a lot of options. That's why the passes is there," Jefferson said, referring to teammates cutting. "It's a lot easier. It keep the other team honest because then what's really going to happen is teams are going to stop doubling me then it's going to make me go one-on-one."
Corbin lauded the center and his teammates, especially small forward Josh Howard, for understanding that concept.
"He's doing a really good job for us," Corbin said. "We're going to need him to continue to do that. We're going to need the guys to continue to cut and read where the openings are so he can make the right passes."
Not only does that take some pressure off of Jefferson, but he said it makes opponents "play us honest," meaning straight up man-to-man.
"We think he can score on most big guys in this league. That's why teams are starting to come down and double him now," Corbin said. "As long as our guys continue to cut and make hard, right, smart cuts away from him so they can pull the other guys and keep them occupied so everybody can't lock in on him, then we're all more effective."
"Teams are going to stop doubling," Watson added, "because now you have to pick your poison."
Watson admitted it's not easy for big men to learn how to pass. That's not usually their job. Even so, he commends his client for learning how to find teammates.
"It gives you a different talent that most teams don't possess," Watson said. "To have a playmaker so low out of the post, it makes it hard to guard."
Watson also credited Jefferson's improved passing for being an "infectious" good example on the team's young NBA bigs, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter.
"It helps," Watson said. "The thing is, he's still scoring his points and getting his assists, so it's going to make him a more efficient player also."
And he got the rebounds, too.
"That's what he does," Watson replied. "Triple threat."
As for that skills challenge campaign?
Watson envisions Jefferson dribbling, passing and shooting in the dark a la Paul George's dunk. Watch out Tony Parker and Deron Williams, here comes Big Al.
"You laugh now," Watson said.
Jefferson chuckled about the whole skills challenge concept. "Earl want me to go out there and embarrass myself."
If he keeps dishing out assists, they'll all keep smiling.
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