Morning links: Boris Diaw as hungry as ever; Mitchell is 'ready made'
Former Jazz forward Boris Diaw is preparing to play in his eighth FIBA EuroBasket tournament for his home country of France, FIBA.com wrote.
Though the competition no longer serves as a qualifier for the FIBA Basketball World Cup or the olympics, the article said that Diaw and the rest of the French National Team are still just as motivated as ever to succeed.
“I play every competition with the same motivation and wanting to give my best for the national team,” Diaw said to FIBA.basketball. “The tournament itself is very important. I don’t think about the next ones or if it helps qualify or not for a World Cup or the Olympics.
“I play with the same mentality every summer, always wanting to win. The goal is the same this year as the previous ones: to win a medal.”
The article said Diaw will have to step up even more in this tournament, as many of the top French NBA players, including Jazz center Rudy Gobert and San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker, will be unavailable for the tournament.
However, the article said there will still be some NBA talent on the roster.
“It will help France that NBA players Evan Fournier and Kevin Seraphin are back. Fournier couldn’t play at last year’s FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Manila because of contract talks with Orlando and he wasn’t added to the roster for the Rio de Janeiro Games. Seraphin last played at the 2012 Olympics in London,” the article read.
Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell is ‘ready-made’
Chris Johnson of Sports Illustrated named Utah Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell as one of the ten NBA newcomers worth watching this season.
Johnson said the Jazz’s selection of Mitchell immediately seemed like a prudent move on draft night. He lauded the guard’s play in the NBA Summer League.
The article said that, though disappointed in losing Gordon Hayward, Mitchell could be an important piece in trying to get back into the playoffs with his tough defense.
“Utah has no high-level shot creators in its rotation, so it’s best off trying to suffocate opponents in low-scoring slogs. With Mitchell badgering opposing 1s, 2s and even 3s, the Jazz can shoot for a repeat of their No. 3 ranking in defensive rating a year ago,” Johnson wrote.
Johnson wrote that it will be interesting to see how he meshes with the crowded back court of the Utah Jazz, and that he will have to improve his long-distance shooting to make even more of an impact on the team. However, his other skills should be enough to make him an instant contributor to the team.
“His offensive compatibility with non-shooters like Dante Exum and Ricky Rubio is dubious, but Mitchell flashed an improved three-point stroke during his sophomore season at Louisville.”
Russell Steinburg of SB Nation reported that, among all mid-major NCAA men’s basketball teams, BYU ranked first in average attendance in the 2016-17 season, with 14,476 fans per game.
The Cougars drew the 14th most fans per game of all schools in the NCAA. Kentucky came in first with 23,461 per game.
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Published at Wed, 09 Aug 2017 14:40:00 +0000