It's good to see because for the future it's going to be very important that we pass the ball. —Boris Diaw
SALT LAKE CITY — Before Monday's preseason game, Quin Snyder delivered a message to his shorthanded team, which was missing Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Rodney Hood and Alec Burks because of injury.
“Before the game,” Jazz guard Shelvin Mack said, “coach Q just told everybody, ‘Let’s get a lot of threes up tonight.’”
The players, who wrap up preseason play Wednesday night at home against Portland, were happy to comply.
Utah, which is only shooting an average of 18 3-pointers per game this preseason, went 9-26 beyond the arc in the 104-78 win over the Clippers.
That was by far the most treys the Jazz had shot in one game in five exhibition contests.
Mack, Dante Exum and Trey Lyles each had a pair of threes while George Hill, Joe Johnson and Raul Neto added one apiece.
“I was trying to be very aggressive and they went in,” Mack said.
Jazz coach Quin Snyder mentioned earlier this week that not having injured wings Hayward, Hood and Burks available for part and/or all of the preseason has limited the team’s shot selection.
And while Snyder wants his team to look for more of the high-reward shots, he also doesn’t want players to force it if they’re not comfortable shooting from there.
“We have talked about it. I don’t want us to force things,” Snyder said. “I think we did a better job of moving the ball, making the extra pass. As a result those shots were more open. You have to take them in order to make them. I think we hit a few early and missed a few as we got tired. I am pleased that we shot them.”
As Snyder mentioned, playing with the pass often leads to players getting better looks because they’re catching the defense off guard.
“That was a big emphasis we had tonight. We were moving the ball really well, passing to each other, a lot of unselfishness,” forward Boris Diaw said. “We saw people passing shots to each other and try to find the extra pass to each teammate. It’s good to see because for the future it’s going to be very important that we pass the ball.”
Exum (six assists) and Diaw (five assists) were especially generous.Comment on this story
“It’s great for when some of the guys that do get minutes come in and be able to get open on the screen and I’m able to find them,” Exum said. “It’s great that we can do that.”
Though both teams were missing key players, Clippers coach Doc Rivers thought it was simple why the Jazz came out on top for the second time this preseason.
“They still were better. They played harder, they were tougher,” Rivers said. “They played more physical. I don’t care about what the score is. I just don’t think that we competed much tonight at all. I thought we gave into their intensity.”