Utah Jazz: Teammates, opponents see improving Gordon Hayward as 'special'

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  • tomo keystone heights, fl.
    April 7, 2011 9:50 a.m.

    I think gordan could be the answer at the 2 spot with evans at the 3 getting easy baskets from a playmaking gordan..The other front court spots should battle out between favors, fez, milsap (backup 3&4), jefferson (4 & backup 5), ak (backup 3&4). I think fez should get mo minutes for rebounds,defense & lane clogging ability.. There is a place for that in today's game..

  • yarrlydarb Ogden, UT
    April 6, 2011 4:16 p.m.

    RE: Ed Los Olivos, CA

    It really is not a matter of bashing, it's a matter of competence and the lack there of.

    Coach Sloan could not find a way to win the truly big games.

    Other coaches could, can, and do.

    Jerry Sloan has integrity and would be the very first to admit that he, Jerry Sloan himself, could not find a way to win the big ones, despite his more than twenty years of trying.

    To blame everything and everyone else for the lack of even a single NBA Championship in all those years defies logic and ignores facts as exemplified in the stats.

    Talk about people who believe in an NBA conspiracy illogical, those who believe that it was not primarily Jerry Sloan's fault that the Jazz competed in all those playoffs without a championship are the epitome of conspiracy believers.

  • ed Los Olivos, CA
    April 6, 2011 3:53 p.m.

    RE: Coachchris

    I agree with you but don't even find the Sloan bashing amusing any more. Can't the haters just find someone new for all of the negativity?

  • ericNorCal San Jose, CA
    April 6, 2011 1:02 p.m.

    I can remember Sloan calling him basketball smart. I have seen him now he is. I loved the dunk with the weak hand. MJ never dunked with the left hand. Stockton also had a problem with NOT shooting the ball at times when he should have. Yet in the end there is nothing wrong with looking for a teammate. New IDEA to the NBA it makes your.... team play better as a whole... Bird knew that and it was a big part of his factor.

  • yarrlydarb Ogden, UT
    April 6, 2011 10:40 a.m.

    I am not bashing Coach Sloan, Coachchris | 9:59 a.m. April 6, 2011; I'm stating empirical, verifiable, statistical facts.

    Jerry Sloan had more chances than the majority of NBA coaches to win an NBA Championship.

    He didn't do it.

    He arguably qualifies as the best teacher of fundamentals that ever coached the game.

    But championship coaches find a way to win; he'd be the first in line to say that he as the Jazz head coach didn't or couldn't do that.

    People can argue until their blue in the face that the quality of players he had over the years was not that of the other DEMONSTRATEABLE, winning, NBA coaches.

    However, year after year, time after time, coaches and teams win championships in every sport with players who are not considered "the cream of the crop."

    Champions (coaches and players), find ways to win.

    Jerry Sloan had twenty-plus years to find a way to win with, maybe not the best players, but excellent players; players who on different teams under different head coaches would have won a championship or two or three.

    I'm not bashing, I'm pointing out facts.

  • Coachchris Orem, Utah
    April 6, 2011 9:59 a.m.

    I fine it amusing that even after Sloan retired there are still people that feel the need to bash him. I mean come on, let it go. Nobody knows how Coach Corbin and the Jazz will end up next year but hopefully it ends better then the second half of this season.

  • yarrlydarb Ogden, UT
    April 6, 2011 8:50 a.m.

    Hardly any true Jazz fans are able to be rational.
    Because for more than twenty years, Larry and Greg have settled for mediocre.
    They've chosen to ignore facts.
    They've insist that Jerry was more than he was.
    True, he had work ethic and, true, he was hard-nosed and, true, he was a company man.
    He had many qualities of an excellent coach---assistant coach, that is.
    His twenty-years-plus record clearly shows that blatant fact.
    He never , with any consistency, won the truly big ones.
    Again, why?
    Because he never built or trained young talent and ability.
    The few exceptions, he messed it up.
    Best case in point, D. Williams.
    He focused on the older and tireder and injury-prone.
    What happens now that the Jazz are out of the playoffs?
    Corbin finally sets the older guys on the bench.
    In LA he plays the young; the ones hoping for a real NBA career.
    Want blatant proof the "wise" and "old" and "experienced" don't win consistently?
    Winners are "eager" and "young" and "motivated."
    Ty Corbin, you have a chance if you put your emphasis and focus where it counts.
    Go Jazz!---next year.

  • Kakashi Tokyo, Japan
    April 6, 2011 12:55 a.m.

    @CJ Miles

    did you think everyone expected that much from CJ Miles when he entered the league?...also...have you noticed the minutes Hayward got during this season?...compare it to mr chuck-a-lot CJ Miles...it seems Hayward himself...proved you wrong...you're always a very funny commentor...maybe you should try stand up...

  • cactusflats American Fork, UT
    April 5, 2011 11:15 p.m.

    Gordon Hayward + Derrick Favors + Al Jefferson + Paul Millsap + Jimmer

  • CJ Miles Dallas, TX
    April 5, 2011 9:55 p.m.

    Oh and wasn't it Kevin Durrant would said that Jimmer would have a great career in the NBA? Just wondering...........

  • CJ Miles Dallas, TX
    April 5, 2011 9:53 p.m.

    Jody, did you have to write this article today?

    Jazz Source: That's quite the love affair you have going with CJ. You used his name 7 times in your post. Glad to see that you are becoming a fan!!

    Ok all season long most of you, no, all of you have complained the Jazz don't have someone like Korver on the team this year who can knock down 3's. Well you had him all along in Hayward. The dude is awesome from 3 point land. He shoots it with the best of them. That's strange that he is so good, even as good as Korver, yet the Jazz seem to be losing every game and have no threat for the outside. I am more confused now than ever.........

    Is Hayward that good or that bad? If the Jazz have Hayward, why in the world do all of you want them to Draft a 3 point shooter? Sounds like Hayward is all that and more!!

    Enlighten me...........

  • Kakashi Tokyo, Japan
    April 5, 2011 5:47 p.m.

    at the end of every NBA season...and when the NCAA tournament is on...i usually watch vids of college and international players heading for the draft...before the draft this season...i took notice on several players...Hayward...Paul George and Greg Monroe...and when i saw a few of Hayward's highlights and some games...i was already sold...that he could be a good player one day...he has a nifty step back three...his handles are simple yet very effective...spacing and footwork are good...and he sees the floor very well...with his height...and court vision...he could be a playmaker...then i signed up here...and everyone was blasting him when the jazz picked him...eventhough...there could probably better players than him when they improved...he still has a unique skillset...

    i would actually believe him...he is isnt known as a trash talker...and when he says something...its usually what he really thought of...like Chris Bosh being a fake tough guy...

  • BillM75 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 5, 2011 4:35 p.m.

    The Jazz blew it with Matthews every step of the way, and he deserves every dime he's getting from Portland.

  • BillM75 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 5, 2011 4:33 p.m.

    Hayward still has a long way to go, but the signs are positive. That said, my guess, as stated before, is he is an extreme case of a guy who plays much better (or maybe makes his teammates better) the better his teammates are, although he's been putting up good numbers as the Jazz crater, so who knows.

    The coaches prolly still don't know quite what to do with him, there's def something there, but it's an odd & very raw skill set; homeless man's Ginobili might by an accurate ceiling for him. He can't ever be more than a 3rd option for a contender, IMO, which is OK for the 9th pick in a deep but erratic draft.

    Shame his FT shooting hasn't improved as much as his 3's.

    Aside from his improved 3%, and obv if slight muscle gain, the thing I noticed most was when DWrist barked at him he still found Sap for the score and then barked right back walking to the bench.

  • Jazz Source Alpine, UT
    April 5, 2011 4:13 p.m.

    re: crotty

    Can you please get a grip on this Matthews fetish? Matthews would have been stupid to turn down big money and stay here. The Jazz could not have afforded him and Matthews could have signed here for slightly less but he chose not to and who could blame him.

    He was poor and he had to go for the most money he could get to secure his financial future. His mistake in negotiating was that he believed the Jazz could afford it and he could have his cake and eat it too. The Jazz could not. You are delusional and flat out wrong if you believe Matthews would have taken less.

    No agent worth a dime would have let him sign anything until all options were exhausted during free agency and they waited. It is the way most all contract situations work.

    I'm not sure why you and plenty of other Jazz fans get emotionally tied to a way of thinking when the business of the NBA is almost always how it ends up working out.

    Just face the facts and lets stop talking about what never will be.

  • Jazz Source Alpine, UT
    April 5, 2011 4:01 p.m.

    Compare Gordon's progress to CJ's.

    Gordon has put CJ's 3 point shooting % literally to shame and yet half the dimwit population of the Jazz fans think CJ is the better 3 point shooter.

    What is this, CJ's 5th or 6th season? We are all still waiting...and the worst part about it is that CJ has as much or more talent and athletic ability than Gordon.

    CJ sees himself as this grand scorer and nothing anyone tells him can seem to distract him from his fantasy that he backs up about once ever 10-15 games.

    CJ could have been a tremendous all around player but he believes his entire identity as a player is tied to his ability to make 3 point shots.

    I'm thrilled for Gordon and hope he continues to work his way to permanent success.

  • 2TimeBCSbuster Holladay, UT
    April 5, 2011 3:49 p.m.

    The Jazz are 3-24 when Hayward scores 5 or more points.

  • tom jr. north ogden, uT
    April 5, 2011 3:39 p.m.

    I certainly agree that the Jazz' outside shooting is miserable, but topping it all is a lack of lock-down toughness that Sloan, Malone, Stockton, Harpring, Matthews, and I think, Williams exemplified. The team is soft--poor defenders, sad rebounders. If you want to play with the big boys, better come ready to work. Maybe Millsap, Favors, and Hayward can bring it, but they will need help.

  • Bones Salt Lake City, UT
    April 5, 2011 3:29 p.m.

    FLASH GORDON!!!!!!!!!!

  • tampicojazzfan West Jordan, ut
    April 5, 2011 2:48 p.m.

    I like GH he is the future of our team, he has put the team on his shoulders a couple of times. He needs to keep working. What I found interesting is what he said regarding the gym, he said that him and Evans are always on the Gym. No wonder why C.J. and Fess get tired at the end of every games. Keep up with your work ethic and you will be the face of this franchise and will be your team!

    Go Jazz

  • JazzFanMontana Hamilton, MT
    April 5, 2011 1:41 p.m.

    I'm loving Hayward. I predicted (to myself) that Hayward was going to be a special player. When I heard he was a PG in high school that grew to 6-8, I immediately thought of Magic Johnson. How many 6-8 guys can handle the rock like a PG? Not many! Jazz announcers often talk about AK-47 being able to play the Point Forward but Hayward is far superior to AK-47 in that regard.

    I think the Jazz made the right pick last year and Hayward will prove it next year. I would peg him for about 12-15 pts per game, 4 Reb, 3 Assists and 1 Blk per game next year as a starter. I would love to see him at the 2 where I think he can be even more productive. I see him as a perennial All Star in 2-4 years.

    Also, I would love to see the Jazz draft Derrick Williams or Perry Jones with their 1st pick as a SF and Brandon Knight, Kemba Walker or Jimmer Fredette as a backup PG for their 2nd pick next year. Lets Go Jazz

  • JBQ Saint Louis, MO
    April 5, 2011 1:10 p.m.

    This is evaluation time. The number one priority is to have Coach Corbin "off on the right foot" or even the left.

  • Bugoff Houston, TX
    April 5, 2011 12:30 p.m.

    The demise of the Jazz was not the loss of Mathews per se. It was not replacing the outside shooting of both Mathews and Korver.

    The Jazz did well in the first couple of months but the outside shooting was better in those months.

    Bell slumped, DWill got dinged and CJ erratically struggled and the other teams packed the paint, plugged the middle and stopped the inside game of the Jazz.

    It was one of the crazy tendencies of Sloan. He insisted on going inside but had NO set plays for opening up the inside.

    Phil Jackson said it best. Jerry was predictable. You knew exactly what was going to happen. The rotations were set,he was going to come at you hard with his inside game.

    That tells you why Utah only beats LA when Utah shoots well from the outside.

    Sloan could not over power LA. He refused to get the outside shooting (by design) to open up the inside.

    It was an automatic loss and Sloan was not about to change to win.

    Good Riddance.

    Corbin at least juggles the line up until he can get some outside shooting. Corbin is going to be better.

  • Maver|ck Kearns, UT
    April 5, 2011 12:13 p.m.

    I wonder why C.J. hasn't commented on this board today. Wasn't he saying just a couple of days ago that Hayward was terrible, going to be bust, and played like he was in 8th grade? Good thing he knows more about NBA talent than Kevin Durrant! I think that he's just worried that Hayward's play is going to cut into Miles' playing time because Hayward has actually shown improvement on his defense since he's been the league, unlike Miles.

  • jcrotty25 Meridian, ID
    April 5, 2011 11:46 a.m.

    @ byronbca.. accually w. mathews wanted to stay in utah and said he felt loyal but the jazz for giving him a shot.. foolishly they wanted to let another team set the market and unfortunatly the jazz failed to relize or accurately determine his value and that they accually did have a very very talented and desirable player who would garner a much bigger offer then they thought .. oops.. so had we offered him 2-3 million before portland missed out on other free agents they were going after then mathews would have taken it...and i was the only person on deseret news screaming that we needed to keep him .. also while many on here have bashed hayword all season i have defended him and reminded these ppl that he came out after his sophmore year and was still too young to make a judgment.. but looks like he is already showing us he will be a very nice player...

  • Dr Truth SLC, ut
    April 5, 2011 11:41 a.m.

    Hayward = Talent + Work ethic + High basketball IQ = improvement in shooting percentage & all around game.

    Talent + questionable work ethic + low basketball IQ = the same low shooting percentage & questionable improvement= CJ Miles.

    I'm glad that Hayward and Evans and hopefully Favors will be the example for the Jazz's future draft picks to follow when it comes to actually working to improve. Seems like that more than anything has been lost since Stockton and Malone left.

  • Draft dumbie Farmington, UT
    April 5, 2011 11:33 a.m.


  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    April 5, 2011 11:05 a.m.

    What he needs is a special haircut.

  • byronbca Salt Lake City, UT
    April 5, 2011 9:55 a.m.

    Re Tom Jr:
    I really liked Mathews too, but I hate to break this to you but he's a mediocre 2 guard who will never make an all star team and who has already hit his ceiling. Your starting lineup is a pipe dream too. The simple fact is that the Jazz had to choose between Mathews and Jefferson, they couldn't afford to get both of them, the Jazz are not the lakers or Knicks who can throw money at every problem they have.

    As for Hayward I think he could develop into exactly the type of heady, Hard nose player the Jazz need.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    April 5, 2011 9:41 a.m.

    Can we really trust what Durrant? I mean if I am Durrant and I see my opponent shooting 1-10.....I am hoping he plays every time we match up too!

    1-10?....He should be starting! LOL!

  • tom jr. north ogden, uT
    April 5, 2011 9:23 a.m.

    The demise of the Utah Jazz began with the retirement of Matt Harpring and accelerated with the loss of Wesley Matthews which led, in my view, to the dissatisfaction of Deron Williams and the resignation of Jerry Sloan. The worst decision the Jazz ever made was to lose Matthews, a blue collar, defensive minded, drive to the rim, play every minute type of guy, like Harpring. This is not to say the Jazz can't regroup and become a decent team again, but a team with Jefferson, Millsap, Hayward, Favors, Matthews and Williams, well, that's the stuff dreams are made of. Corbin may turn out to be a good coach, but I wonder if the Jazz ever considered hiring Matt Harpring, a young Jerry Sloan.

  • Motappin Sandy, UT
    April 5, 2011 8:52 a.m.

    I love Gordon. His attitude & work ethic remind me of another guy named John Stockton. Different position, same outlook. He's a nice kid and has great potential. He'll be a great ball player, and one with his head on straight. I think his attitude makes him a great fit here, and I see him staying a good long time. Don't let this kid get away, Jazz. He could be the shooter we need and a catalyst for the team's future.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    April 5, 2011 8:23 a.m.

    He will be more special when he stops throwing the ball to the other team.

  • Doctor J Manti, UT
    April 5, 2011 7:44 a.m.

    He will be fine!

  • yarrlydarb Ogden, UT
    April 5, 2011 6:18 a.m.

    It is good to see Coach Corbin recognize and utilize the young and talented early their careers, such as Coach Sloan never did.

    Although the Jazz has been through some extremely disappointing losses (beginning at the time of the overdue retirement of Jerry Sloan), in the long run Sloan's departure will be a real blessing to the team.

    Fans, however, are slow to see and quick to criticize the new.

    They're extremely impatient and unrealistically loyal to Sloan.

    That is especially true because the team has, for many years, been to the playoffs, rivaling the record of almost all other NBA teams.

    The salient statistic regarding all those playoff appearances is the undeniable numbers that show Jerry's teams ALWAYS fell short, content playing the roll of bridesmaid and also-ran.

    I for one look to the future and heartily welcome Coach Corbin.

    I very much anticipate a more rational approach to the utilization of young talent, ceasing to park it on the bench.

    He will indeed build a verifiable winning team in Utah.

    Using the old and tired to backup to the young and talented will be a boon to the Utah Jazz of the future.

  • scalman Temecula, CA
    April 5, 2011 5:45 a.m.

    Great hearing positives from Watson and Durant on Hayward. Comparison to Manu opened my eyes a little bit...only thing I was worried about concerning Hayward was his lateral quickness after hearing that from certain scouts, but it looks like he is doing just fine staying with the opponents he guards. Manu and the other Spurs all try and succeed usually at tough, man-to-man defense. I knew all along from seeing him in college that Hayward could body, had a strong core and legs, and could block shots well for his size. Awesome on the increased percentage on his 3 pt shooting over the year...kudos to Horny for his help, too. I look to see Hayward starting next year, maybe at SG. See Evans in dual SF/PF back-up role. Looking promising for next year, Jazz!

  • doc33 Las Vegas, NV
    April 5, 2011 5:25 a.m.

    There is no question Hayward has NBA talent, but unfortunately, he has a junior varsity physique. He really needed those other 2 years in college to develop his body.

    If fact, I am sure Butler would have beaten UConn last night if Hayward would have been in the Bulldog's lineup. Hayward was their go-to-guy who could create for himself as well as for his teammates.

  • The Great Houdini Rye, CO
    April 5, 2011 4:14 a.m.

    His work ethic is what will separate him from the others,even when he is missing his shots he plays smart and will help the team in many ways,hopefully our starting 2 / 3 for many years to come,there is a reason Sloan liked this kid so much.GO JAZZ!

  • Anonigma Murray, UT
    April 5, 2011 12:47 a.m.

    His height is what makes him really special. There's not many 6'8'' people who can play PG and PF at the same time. (Remember, he played PF in college, also remember that he's taller than Paul Milsap)
    He increased his 3 point percentage by 14% from college. That is a tremendous upgrade.
    I just hope they don't trade away Hayward or Evans. They both seem to improve each other.

  • EyeDeeTenTee Miamisburg, OH
    April 5, 2011 12:33 a.m.

    Well, he doesn't have to worry about the expected playoff appearance, unless he has tickets. Jody Genessy needs to learn math, unless he wrote this article before the Jazz were eliminated from the playoffs when they lost to the laa... the lake.... The team that shall not be named. Unless Mr. Genessy meant the Jazz lost the expected playoff appearance like they lost Coach Jerry.

    Remember: You are special. Just like everyone else.

  • Bugoff Houston, TX
    April 5, 2011 12:01 a.m.

    KOC said to give him 2 years. He was a Soph when he left college. I will judge him next year but he does tend to stay in front of his man on D. He does tend to hit a good percentage of his shots. He does his part to run the offense the way it is supposed to be run. He is a good rebounder. He can kind of play PG or point forward if needed.

    His biggest weakness appears to be that he does not take shots that he should. That is fixable.

    Funny how playing time makes a big difference in the quality of play for many players.

    He is another player who seemed to play better when Sloan retired. Sloan gave him chances to start. I am sure Sloan liked him. I suspect that some aspects of Sloan's personality had a negative effect on some young players.

    Sometimes they need a kick but often they need encouragement.

  • byronbca Salt Lake City, UT
    April 4, 2011 11:50 p.m.

    I was beginning to think that Hayward might become a bust, but he has really played well over the last month. ESPN currently has him as the 28th best rookie, but I have a feeling he'll climb the ladder by year's end and be ready to be a solid contributor next year.

    If you look at photos of Hayward in uniform at Butler and compare them to now you can really tell that he's gained some muscle, lets hope he continues to work hard.

    The Jazz may have gotten the 9th overall pick right after all- we'll know for sure by 2013.

  • Captain L Provo, UT
    April 4, 2011 11:27 p.m.

    I love what Hayward has been showing he has in regard to his game. I love how he can do so many things well, just like Watson commented on. I see Hayward starting next year and becoming a leader on this team, something that is very much needed.

  • CocoNutzz Salt Lake City, UT
    April 4, 2011 11:17 p.m.


    Horny+Hayward+offseason=korvers record breaking year

    Hayward has so much talent that with the right tutelage, hard work, and support from his teammates he can be a special player for us. He's got very high basketball IQ especially for a rookie, and to think its only going to get better.

    Keep working on your game Hayward and you can become that leader the Jazz are lacking right now.

  • BYU/Jazz fan West Valley, UT
    April 4, 2011 11:10 p.m.

    Wow, I had no idea Gordon was doing this well or actually shooting that well from the 3. Perhaps there is a bright spot for the future, I just hope it doesn't get traded away or leave in free agency as well.

    Go Jazz!

  • Kakashi Tokyo, Japan
    April 4, 2011 11:10 p.m.

    If one of the brightest young stars thought you were good...you probably doing something right...KD is humble and calls it like it is...so coming from him...it must be something...though KD still has lots to learn...but he is one of the NBA's elites at a very young age...