Defensive effort, accountability among Utah Jazz's NBA Summer League priorities

Published: Friday, July 11 2014 8:10 p.m. MDT

“We want to play a passing game. It connects your team. Everybody wants to be a part of what you’re doing,” Snyder said. “When they feel like that on the offensive end, it’s even easier for them to kind of come together and defend as a team on the defensive end.”

Gobert, used sporadically as a rookie, smiled when asked about his new coach, who hired former Jazz staffers Brad Jones and Alex Jensen to be on his bench along with Antonio Lang, who’s been in Japan.

“I really like the coach’s philosophy, the way he wants us to play defense and the way he wants us to play the ball,” Gobert said. “He’s already helped me and given me confidence. It’s great for me.”

Jones, the lead assistant, will coach the Summer League squad, while Snyder observes.

Utah has three games scheduled: Saturday vs. the Sixers (8:30 p.m. MDT), Monday vs. the Bucks (8:30 p.m. MDT) and Tuesday vs. the Nuggets (6:30 p.m. MDT). The Jazz will then have at least two games in a tournament, which culminates in the championship game on July 21.

Burke admitted he wants to “win the whole thing,” not to mention redeem himself from last summer when he struggled shooting, including going 1 of 19 from 3-point range in Orlando.

But Snyder believes it’s most important to establish “a lot of new habits.” Defense. Ball movement. Personal responsibility.

“Really since I’ve gotten here and even before I arrived here, the theme is accountability. I think even in a very quiet, subtle way you do something until it’s done right. I think players respond to that,” Snyder said.

“We all as human beings, we have a level on our own. And then if someone encourages us, pushes us, challenges us, hopefully we can raise our level. That’s something we want to start doing right now.”

NOTES: Exum and Hood officially became members of the Jazz on Friday when they signed their rookie contracts. Terms weren't released, but like most NBA teams, Utah pays the allowed 120 percent of the set rookie scale. This means Exum, the No. 5 pick, will make $3,615,000 and Hood $1,290,360 for 2014-15. ... Players cut Friday from the Jazz's summer league roster: ex-Knick swingman Mardy Collins, Temple guard Khalif Wyatt and Hungarian center Greg Somogyi. ... The first three Jazz games will be televised by KJZZ TV. Saturday's contest will also be live on NBA TV, which is showing all games on a delayed basis.

EMAIL: jody@desnews.com


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