SALT LAKE CITY – Since Kyle Korver joined the Utah Jazz last week, the team improved its 3-point shooting percentage moving up a couple of percentage points to 33.8 percent and improving from No. 29 to No. 25 in the NBA going into Thursday night’s game.
Of course Korver’s 8-for-15 shooting from long range in his first three games made a difference, but that’s just a small part of Utah’s 49 for 106 3-point shooting since Korver joined the team last week before the Charlotte game.
In fact, if you ask the Jazz, it’s more than just having Korver’s makes that have made a difference.
“The one thing that doesn’t show is the confidence that everybody has because he’s shooting,” said Donovan Mitchell, who says he's been watching the 37-year-old Korver “since I was a little kid.”
“We’ve had guys up and down but when he comes in and starts knocking shots down you start to feel good, you start to feel, ‘all right, shots are falling,’” Mitchell added. “It’s easy to start doubting yourself when you start missing shots over and over, and game after game. It’s easy to overthink it. I think that’s one thing that goes unnoticed.”
Coach Quin Snyder says improved spacing has been an obvious result of Korver joining the team, but like Mitchell, he says Korver’s presence makes a difference.
“The other part is his willingness to share,” Snyder said. “Our players can learn from him and his experience. To have a veteran guy who’s had the success he’s had and still has a passion for the game and a passion to improve . . . that’s something for our guys to emulate. That’s going to have a positive effect on us over a period of time.”
WAIT UNTIL SUMMER: Mitchell recently found out even pro basketball players are expected to serve on courts outside of the basketball variety
The second-year pro received a letter asking him to be available for jury duty for most of the month of January, during which time the Jazz will play 15 games, including eight at home.
However, Mitchell will likely not have to serve after the general counsel for LHM Sports and Entertainment sent a letter to utcourts.gov asking Mitchell be excused because of his commitments to the Utah Jazz during that time.
The letter, which was tweeted out by the Jazz, read in part, “Mr. Mitchell’s juror qualification form was completed online this morning and we asked that Mr. Mitchell be excused from jury service during this time given his commitments and schedule during the NBA season.”
Perhaps the Utah courts can get back to Mitchell in June or July when he won’t be quite as busy.7 comments on this story
JAZZ NOTES: The Rockets have been sitting around Salt Lake City for much of the past three days after losing at Minnesota 103-91 Monday night. In that game, they were outscored 55-29 in the second half when they scored just nine points in the fourth quarter . . . During his time in Utah, Houston guard James Harden tweeted, “Man it’s freezing in Salt Lake City, this can’t be normal” . . . The Jazz wore retro purple jerseys for Thursday’s game . . . The Jazz already defeated the Rockets in Houston this season and will play there again on Dec. 17 . . . The other game vs. Houston will be at Vivint Arena will be on Feb. 2.