Commentary: Is Diante Garrett the second coming of Sundiata Gaines, or will he help the Jazz get better?
Jazz management is doing the right thing letting their young core lead the team. But what happens when you give your promising young players the keys to the car and they drive down the street running over mailboxes and garbage cans?
Last night Gordon Hayward, Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors all had encouraging moments, but they are likely to continue to struggle if the first nine games are any indication. It will take great coaching and management to keep the Jazz’s young core from beginning to doubt themselves and each other. Even in last night’s win it was largely veteran Richard Jefferson that got the Jazz back in the game in the third quarter.
Whether Tyrone Corbin is the man to get this young team where it needs to be in the months to come remains to be seen. The Jazz chose not to give Corbin a long-term contract; owner Greg Miller said he did not want the coach to feel too comfortable. It is safe to say Corbin's anything but comfortable after a 1-8 start. The Jazz have not looked good on offense or defense.
Jazz management have openly admitted they expected the team to struggle this year, but they promised a focus on establishing a tough defensive identity. If what the Jazz have played to start the season is tough defense, somebody get Zach Galifinakis and Ken Jeong on the roster, because at least that would be entertaining.
But then, at least Garrett should provide an upgrade over Tinsley, who simply lacked the athleticism to be of much value defensively and the shooting ability to help out on offense. Last night against New Orleans, the Jazz got their first win and introduced fans to the new point guard. It was a nice first impression. Jazz supporters and executives will keep an eye on his progress and potential as they eagerly await the debut of the highly regarded rookie, Trey Burke.
Hopefully Garrett will contribute to the Jazz’s cause, move his own inspirational story forward and become more than just the second coming of Sundiata Gaines.
Nate Gagon is a published sports, music and creative writer. He is also a wholehearted father, grateful husband and ardent student of life. He shoots roughly 94% from the free-throw line and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or @nategagon.
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