There are a lot of good coaching jobs done in this league, but I say you have to put him (Quin Snyder) in the top three or four in what he's done with that team. —Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Even though they have their first winning season in four years and are playoff-bound for the first time since 2012, the Utah Jazz haven’t been a big enough story nationally for Quin Snyder to get much traction in the NBA coach of the year race.
That might be a different situation if Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy was in charge of the voting.
Van Gundy gushed about the job Snyder has done in his third season at the helm of Utah — and that was before the Pistons were pummeled by the Jazz 97-83.
“Quin has been really underrated. He is a guy that maybe outside of Salt Lake there hasn’t been a lot of talk about,” Van Gundy said. “He hasn’t been any better this year than he was last year. He is great.”
Van Gundy complimented the Jazz’s 12th-rated offense and third-rated defense.
“You look at their offense, they really, really execute. Defensively, they’re great and they are pretty consistent night to night in the way they want to play,” Van Gundy said. “There are a lot of good coaching jobs done in this league, but I say you have to put him in the top three or four in what he’s done with that team.”
Snyder acted quite humbled by the flattering words from a coach he’s admired for a long time.
“Frankly, it’s more than flattering, it’s kind of overwhelming,” Snyder admitted.
The Jazz coach said he used to watch Van Gundy’s coaching style with Dwight Howard in Orlando from afar when he was coaching in the college ranks at Missouri.
“They don’t give up the three-point line. They don’t give up the rim,” Snyder said. “That’s what we try to do so to hear that coming from him for me personally is beyond flattering.”
Snyder smiled. “I don’t think it’s true, but coming from him it’s hard to ignore.”
POINT CENTER?: Rudy Gobert had four blocked shots in Wednesday’s win over the Pistons, but his most impressive play was a pass he made. The Stifle Tower was at the top of the key when he received a pass from Rodney Hood. Gordon Hayward was cutting behind Gobert, who creatively and quickly took the ball and dished a perfect bounce pass behind him between his legs to his teammate. Hayward drove in for an easy bucket.
“I’m not going to dwell on that one too much. He had a couple where he charged,” Snyder said. “He’s got to make the right play. If it happens to be between the legs or behind the back, if it’s the right play, I’m OK with that.”
Gobert’s been practicing that deft maneuver, right?
“Nah, I’m born with that,” Gobert joked. “You can’t practice it.”
Gobert later added, “I didn’t work on it, but I think we’ve got a good chemistry.”
BLOCK PARTY: While the pass was nice — and Gobert ended with five assists — his blocked shots set the defensive tone for this game.
"He helps out a lot," Jazz forward Joe Johnson said. "He makes up for a lot of mistakes that we make out on the perimeter. I think it's great to have him clogging up the paint, blocking shots and being that defensive enforcer that we need."