Sports Illustrated Ranks Three Utah Jazz Players 51, 56 & 57 in NBA’s Top 100
The incomplete list is being revealed chunk-by-chunk, with Derrick Favors, Joe Ingles and Ricky Rubio coming in between 51-60.
Sports Illustrated’s The Crossover, written by Ben Golliver and Rob Mahoney, recently released its Top NBA 100 list for the upcoming 2019 NBA season. Coming in between spots #51 and #60 were three players for the Utah Jazz: Derrick Favors, Joe Ingles and Ricky Rubio.
To view the entire list and read more from Sports Illustrated, CLICK HERE.
Ranked No. 51 – Utah Jazz Forward Derrick Favors
To start, the highest ranked Jazz player outside of the NBA’s top 50 is Derrick Favors. Derrick comes in ranked number 51 on the list. Many fans thought Favors would sign a deal elsewhere last offseason. However, no complaints were heard when he resigned with Utah.
Here’s what Sports Illustrated has to say about Derrick:
“Rudy Gobert casts a long shadow, the kind that obscures just how good his frontcourt partner can be. If transported to another team, Favors (12.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG) could anchor a defense all his own with even greater optionality. Gobert is the sort of defender whose strengths are so specific and so pronounced that they all but commit a team to defending a particular way. Any schematic discussion regarding Favors is more open-ended; his team could drop against the pick-and-roll, pressure the ball, switch outright, or even rotate between those options as some highly effective defenses do. No matter the approach, Favors is the kind of big you can trust to execute it.
Or, if you’re the Jazz, you can roll out Favors and Gobert in tandem to stomp opponents down by 7.3 points per 100 possessions in the regular season and 10.9 points in the playoffs. Consider those data points with the necessary disclaimers (namely, that the Jazz limit the exposure of those big lineups in matchups they’re poorly suited for), but the reality of playing Favors at the four is less dated than one might think. For opponents other than the Rockets or Warriors, Favors can be punishing. Smaller forwards just don’t have much recourse when Favors rolls to the rim, but playing a more traditional big to counter Favors then plays right into the hands of the Jazz defense. Players don’t need to be dominant to help turn a specific matchup. They need only to have the right combination of skills at the right time, as Favors often does.”
Ranked No. 56 – Utah Jazz Guard Joe Ingles
Two years ago, this ranking may have warranted a spit take from most fans. If you would have told me Joe Ingles (signed off waivers, looks like an agin math teacher) would even be considered for this list, I’d have called you insane to your face.
But here we are. Joe Ingles, one of the most talked about Jazz men nationally (and internationally) is a legitimate NBA star. The lovable, foul-mouthed father of two-year-old twins comes in at number 56. Here’s what Sports Illustrated had to say about the Aussie:
“If you were to ask a basketball coach to describe their ideal role player, they might unknowingly profile Ingles (11.5 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 4.8 APG). Think about it. They’d want someone who’s easy to play with, like a pass-first wing player who also happens to be one of the best three-point shooters in the league. Beyond that, they’d want someone with enough of a handle to initiate some offense and enough vision to make smart plays. Defensive commitment is a given, and the ability to guard multiple positions is a perk. The player would need to be intensely competitive, but it’s best if they’re also unassuming. Coaches would want the kind of player who understands his team’s principles enough to know when to break them—a delicate blend of reliability and creativity.
It’s not hard to find more athletic or higher-scoring players. The trick is finding many who are as good as Ingles when it comes to supplying the things that teams actually need.”
Ranked No. 57 – Utah Jazz Guard Ricky Rubio
Towards the beginning of the 2017-2018 season, it’s been well documented that the Jazz were in a bad place. A bad record, injuries and inconsistent play was seriously hampering the team, which still seemed to be reeling from Voldemort(GH)’s departure.
It was at this time that Jazz fans, myself included, began to call for a change. At the top of our list for potential players to trade was Ricky Rubio.
Let me just take a moment to publicly announce how wrong I, and all of Jazz Nation, truly was.
Ricky went on to be one of the most effective point guards in the league. He even outplayed last season’s MVP Russell Westbrook in the first round of the playoffs.
Look for Ricky to start the season better this year. The learning curve and adjustment periods should be well behind him. Here’s what Sports Illustrated had to say about the Spaniard:
“Rubio (13.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 5.3 APG) is prone to weeks-long mirages of effective shooting, in which it appears—for some fleeting moment—that his long-range accuracy has turned a corner. The back half of last season was the most prolonged and compelling fantasy yet: 41 games in which Rubio made 41% of his threes, coinciding with Utah playing genuinely dominant basketball. That figure will not hold. But to be fair, it doesn’t have to. Given where Rubio is coming from (31.5% shooting on three-pointers over his first six years in the league), even modest, reliable improvement could be transformative.
When you’re already one of the best defenders, passers, and rebounders at your position, a smaller step forward can feel like a stride. There are two factors at work (and thus two parallel reasons to believe in his progress last season): Rubio has now posted a career-high effective field goal percentage in three straight seasons, showing a clear developmental arc; and separately, only now is Rubio playing for a coaching staff that seems to really understand him. You can’t just plug Rubio into any system and hope for the best. Utah gets that, and has found ways to push their point guard without missing the boat on what makes him so valuable in the first place.”
About The Jazz Fan Show
The Jazz Fan Show is a podcast and blog focusing on all things Utah Jazz. It was started by Ryan Van Dorn and Kelby Jones in September of 2018.
You can hear the show on Sunday mornings from 9:00 – 10:00 AM MST on 1280 AM and 97.5 FM The Zone. If you’d like to be notified when articles and podcast episodes are released, subscribe below!