Jazz Provide Blueprint on How to Rebuild?
The Kevin O’Connor Rebuilding Master Class gave a free seminar to the entire NBA on Tuesday night. “How to Rebuild and Stay Relevant” is the working title and the Phoenix Suns provided a telling contrast to prove his thesis.
It was all on display: The results of fleecing trade partners, keeping salaries manageable, mixing affordable veterans with promising young players, maintaining a winning culture and building for the future.
On the vet side, Al Jefferson (18 points, 16 rebounds) returns to the playoffs for the first time since his rookie year in Boston. It was fitting that he scored eight straight points down the stretch to put the game away and couldn’t keep the smile off his face when he was finally taken out of the game to a standing ovation.
Paul Millsap moved over to the small forward spot and abused the Suns with 26 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block. In his vacated power forward spot was the other side of the O’Connor rebuilding equation: Derrick Favors, with five blocks in the first half to go along with his totals of 13 points and 11 rebounds. Gordon Hayward quietly had a career-high eight assists to go along with 11 points.