The connectivity in our defense is something we wanted to improve. There’s been times it’s been there and times it hasn’t. It was there tonight in a lot of different ways. —Quin Snyder
TORONTO — Through personal milestones, wins, losses, holidays or birthdays, one thing is for sure in Utah, Jazz coach Quin Snyder is always the same.
He’s rarely ever too high or low.
So after collecting coaching victory No. 150 when the Jazz upset the Toronto Raptors 97-93 on Friday, Snyder was more impressed with the team’s defensive performance.
“The connectivity in our defense is something we wanted to improve,” Snyder said. “There’s been times it’s been there and times it hasn’t. It was there tonight in a lot of different ways.”
Watching Jazz guard Ricky Rubio hold Raptors All-Star Kyle Lowry to five points and five turnovers on 2-for-14 shooting, seeing the Toronto shoot 38.9 percent from the field and improving to 12-4 when holding teams below 100 points were more notable than win No. 150.
If you’re around him enough, you’ll quickly realize that’s the way it is for Snyder.
The former Duke guard was hired to coach the Jazz in 2014 after being an assistant in Atlanta. On Jan. 2, 2017, the 51-year-old collected his 100th win against Brooklyn.
His overall record in Utah now improves to 150-145.
Snyder possesses more than a decade of head coaching experience not only in the NBA, but also in the NBA Development League, in the NCAA and overseas.
At Duke, he led the Blue Devils to three Final Four appearances throughout his collegiate playing career from 1985-89.
The challenge for Utah now is to be able to concentrate through all difficult situations. Winning the last two games in Detroit in overtime and at Toronto was certainly a boost.
“Guys tonight, I thought, came out and executed the game plan and their habits,” Snyder said. “Sometimes you’ve been working on stuff, you don’t see it and then it starts to show up when guys concentrate more.”
TORONTO UTES: Former University of Utah stars Delon Wright and Jakob Poeltl continue to fulfill key roles for the Raptors this season. Wright ended with five points, six rebounds and three assists in 19 minutes while Poeltl logged four points, six rebounds and five blocks in 20 minutes versus Utah. Raptors coach Dwane Casey has high praise for the duo.
“Love them,” Casey said. “Both of them are great competitors and I say this all the time that Larry Krystkowiak did a great job with all of his players, not just those two.”
SUPER RUDY: Once the Jazz return from Toronto, Rudy Gobert will sign autographs for local fans at Larry H. Miller Lexus Murray from 5-6 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 27. Light refreshments and appetizers will be available. Everyone is welcome to attend on a first-come, first-served basis.