By Erin Walsh | Last updated 5/29/21
Former Utah Jazz center Mark Eaton has died at age 64, the team announced Saturday:
The two-time Defensive Player of the Year was found lying in the road around 8:30 p.m. Friday after crashing his bike in Summit County, Utah. According to the Jazz, Eaton was taken to the hospital, where he later died, and there is no reason to believe a vehicle was involved in the accident.
The team said in a statement:
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The 22-team model to crown a champion for the 2019-20 NBA season altered by the coronavirus pandemic tips off on July 30 with a pair of intriguing matchups, including one that features same-city rivals.
As noted by The Athletic’s Shams Charania and others, the Utah Jazz face the New Orleans Pelicans in the resumption opener. The Los Angeles Lakers will play the Los Angeles Clippers in the nightcap.
July 31 will feature:
- Orlando Magic vs. Brooklyn Nets
- Memphis Grizzlies vs. Portland Trail Blazers
- Phoenix Suns vs. Washington Wizards
- Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks
- Sacramento Kings vs. San Antonio Spurs
- Houston Rockets vs. Dallas Mavericks
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By Zac Wassink | Last updated 6/26/20
Written by Sean Woodley at Bloguin
The Utah Jazz can defend.
Since trading Enes Kanter and inserting Rudy Gobert into the starting five at the deadline last season, Quin Snyder’s team has undergone a startling transformation. Utah was by the far the best defensive team in the final two months of the 2014-15 campaign, posting a 94.8 Defensive Rating that was three points per-100 possessions better than the second-best Spurs.
It’s no surprise really. Gobert and his front court partner Derrick Favors are two of the most disruptive rim protectors in the NBA. Around those two behemoths, is a collection of long, defensively sound wings that leave few chinks in the Jazz’ armor. Through 13 games this season, Utah is proving last season’s strong finish was no aberration. Snyder’s squad ranks 7th in the league with a 99.1 Defensive Rating. With their ball-stopping ability, the Jazz are right where most people expected them to be – in the mix for one of the final playoff spots in the West.
But for the ceiling of this team to truly be blown off, Utah’s offense needs some revamping. As competent as the Jazz have been preventing opponents from scoring, they’ve been equally inept generating points of their own. In the early going, the team has the eighth-worst offense in the NBA on a per-possession basis and ranks in the bottom-10 in Assist Ratio (29th), Effective Field-Goal Percentage (22nd), True Shooting Percentage (22nd), Three-Point Percentage (21st), three-pointers made (27th) and three-pointers attempted per game (27th). A team that plays at the league’s second-slowest pace needs to score efficiently in order to not get left behind, and they just aren’t doing that so far. It’s been a slog.
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