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The J-Notes composite '18-19 NBA Awards predictions

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SANTA MONICA, CA – JUNE 25: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz accepts the award for Defensive Player of the Year during the 2018 NBA Awards Show on June 25, 2018 at The Barkar Hangar in Santa Monica, California. Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Utah Jazz had one NBA Award winner in Rudy Gobert last season. Can he repeat this time around? We here at The J-Notes came together to predict all the awards for 2018-19!

The Utah Jazz made sure to get the 2018-19 season started off with a bang on Saturday night by putting on an absolute show against the Perth Wildcats. We all know that the NBL squad would be outmatched by such a talented NBA team like the Jazz, but the way Utah executed was impressive.

Typically you see some rust and bumps in a preseason contest, and while I won’t go as far as to say the Jazz were perfect, they definitely put together a buttoned-up performance. Clearly their cohesion from last year to this one is going to pay off in a big way.

As we get psyched up for not only the start of the Utah Jazz season, but also for the NBA season as a whole, we here at The J-Notes wanted to take some time to peer into our individual crystal balls and try to make educated guesses on an exciting aspect of the NBA – the end of season awards.

Last year, Utah’s very own Rudy Gobert took home the Defensive Player of the Year, while Quin Snyder was a finalist for the Coach of the Year recognition. Can Rudy defend his throne and can Quin finally step up and take home the prize? Will the Jazz be in the running for any other significant awards?

Come see for yourself what the J-Notes crew believes will be the varying outcomes–



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Ekpe's Book Club, the J-Notes edition

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SALT LAKE CITY, UT – JANUARY 30: Ekpe Udoh #33 of the Utah Jazz runs up court during a game against the Golden State Warriors at Vivint Smart Home Arena on January 30, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)

As many Utah Jazz fans know, center Ekpe Udoh is an avid reader. He even has his own book club, known as Ekpe’s Book Club.

Rather than having Ekpe Udoh take charge of this particular ‘Book Club’, I’m going to take the reigns this time and suggest the second-year Jazzman reads this article about his NBA journey. It may not be a book, but it will get the job done. Sit back, relax and let’s get into the J-Notes edition of Ekpe’s Book Club.

Prologue

On May 20th, 1987, Alice and Sam Udoh welcomed the newest member of their family to the world. Ekpe Udoh saw life for the very first time in Edmond, Oklahoma. Little did Sam and Alice know, their son would develop into an NBA player and one of the best shot-blockers in the world. In fact, doctors told Ekpe’s parents that he would NOT grow to be tall. Sam and Alice are of average height. Luckily for Ekpe, his grandfather on his father’s side was seven-feet tall.

Ekpe attended Sante Fe High School, which is located in Oklahoma. It’s also the same school that Reggie Smith, a former NFL player, attended. Ekpe then played college basketball at the University of Michigan for a few years, before transferring to Baylor for his Junior season. Even though he only played one year at Baylor, he cemented himself as one of the best players in program history. Back in 2010, Udoh helped the Bears win their first NCAA Tournament game since 1950. That was a six-decade drought.

HOUSTON – MARCH 28: Ekpe Udoh #13 of the Baylor Bears relaxes in player warm-ups before Baylor takes on the Duke Blue Devils during the south regional final of the 2010 NCAA men’s basketball tournament at Reliant Stadium on March 28, 2010 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

That phenomenal year at Baylor resulted in Udoh being drafted by the Golden State Warriors with the 6th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. The great NBADraft.net compared Udoh to Chris Gatling, who ironically spent most of his career with the Warriors. Gatling spent 11 productive years in the NBA, and was even an All-Star in 1997.



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The J-Notes' post-free agency West power rankings

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Utah Jazz Donovan Mitchell Klay Thompson

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – JANUARY 30: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz looks to shoot in front of the defense by Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors during the first half of a game at Vivint Smart Home Arena on January 30, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)

How do the Utah Jazz currently stack up against the best squads in the Western Conference? Will the same roster yield better results?

August is upon us and the NBA’s free agent frenzy is in the rear-view mirror. Of course, if you’re a fan of the Utah Jazz, there was never any frenzy to speak of.

In the end, the Jazz band stood pat. Derrick Favors, Dante Exum, Thabo Sefolosha, Ekpe Udoh and Raul Neto will all be back next season. In fact, the only new face on the team’s 15-man opening night roster figures to be rookie Grayson Allen. Clearly, continuity was the keystone for the team’s offseason plans.

Meanwhile, the rest of the West saw some major changes; none bigger than the Los Angeles Lakers’ move to bring LeBron James into the fold. Elsewhere, in San Antonio, the Kawhi Leonard situation came to a close with the Spurs moving the former NBA Finals MVP to the Toronto Raptors for DeMar DeRozan.

So, given the new landscape of the conference, where do the Jazz sit among the West’s pantheon of teams? For my money, their spot is right near the top.

Here’s how the Western Conference looks to me in the wake of all that went down last month…



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The J-Notes' 2018 composite NBA mock draft

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Utah Jazz DeAndre Ayton Arizona Wildcats Utah Utes

TUCSON, AZ – JANUARY 27: Tyler Rawson #21 of the Utah Utes defends Deandre Ayton #13 of the Arizona Wildcats during the first half of the college basketball game at McKale Center on January 27, 2018 in Tucson, Arizona. The Wildcats beat the Utes 74-73. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

Business is picking up in the Association; the 2018 NBA Draft is finally here. To see who the Utah Jazz and the rest of the league’s teams might pick, we’ve pooled our respective mock drafts here into our second annual composite mock.

The 2018 NBA Draft is finally upon us and questions abound ahead of the big night. Will the Utah Jazz attempt to trade up once again for a player they like? Will they flip it for a veteran? If they stay at No. 21, is the draft really as deep as it seems?

These are some of the things Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey will be considering as he works to cement the team’s status as a contender.

Finally, who’s going No. 1 overall? Is it DeAndre Ayton? Luka Doncic? Maybe Jaren Jackson, Jr. slips in there.

Today, myself and the rest of The J-Notes crew will join forces to answer those very questions ourselves.

In the basketball blogosphere, every hoops scribe has his or her own biases and opinions as relates to draft prospects. No one person has all the answers about who the best prospects are or who will be successful at the next level. And even the best of us are going to end up looking silly in a sizable portion of our evaluations.

I’ll call foul on myself right now. Last year, I had the Boston Celtics taking Josh Jackson while Jayson Tatum fell all the way to No. 8. That was me. I did that.

So, once again, we’ve attempted to circumvent all of that by taking a “wisdom of crowds” approach to our official mock draft.

In an effort to figure out what the Jazz and the league’s 29 other teams might do, our staffers have all completed drafts, which were plugged together to comprise a composite mock draft.

Here are the results….



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The J-Notes

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Utah Jazz Donovan Mitchell intro presser

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – JUNE 28: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz speaks to the press after being selected in the 2017 draft at Grand America Hotel on June 28, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images) Donovan Mitchell

With the 2018 NBA Draft nearing, the J-Notes crew got together and compiled our favorite prospects for the Utah Jazz at pick No. 21.

We all know that this is not a perfect world, and more often than not, our plans get altered due to outside forces that we can’t possibly control. Nothing embodies this idea more than the NBA Draft.

Teams have already put in hundreds of hours of scouting, and will still put in hours upon hours of work leading up to the draft. They do this to cover all their bases, and to narrow things down to that one perfect prospect. Then…he get’s selected just before they’re on the board.

“Oh, come on!”

Of course, teams know that the likelihood of this happening is high. That is why they spent those hours scouting. So when the player they wanted gets taken, they have backups. Then, they backup their backups. Every team heading into the draft has a draft big board, ranking prospects from their top targets on down.

What if everything shook out perfectly, though? What if the Utah Jazz identified the top player on their board, and he actually fell to them? Who would that player be?

I partnered with a few of the writers among The J-Notes staff to see who we are each favoring for this draft! We tried to be realistic with the draft range. So while Luka Doncic may be the best prospect for the Jazz, there’s no realistic way that will be happening. We selected prospects that have a reasonable chance of falling to No. 21, and if that were to be the case, who we’d each like Utah to draft.



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The J-Notes staff composite first round playoff predictions

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LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 8: The Utah Jazz bench celebrates during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on April 8, 2018 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

The NBA Playoffs are officially here! And as excited as we are to see the Utah Jazz make a return to the postseason for the second straight year in which they’ll face the Oklahoma City Thunder this time around, there are plenty of other matchups that are bound to be absolutely exhilarating as well!

And as such, we here at The J-Notes couldn’t wait to gaze into our respective crystal balls and try to determine the outcome of each compelling series. All of our thoughts and predictions have been compiled here for your viewing pleasure! Give it a look and see how your predictions line up with ours:



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The J-Notes Flash Briefing skill for Amazon Alexa

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J-Notes staffers evaluate every NBA trade deadline deal

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Jae Crowder Utah Jazz

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – FEBRUARY 14: Jae Crowder #99 of the Utah Jazz brings the ball up court against the Phoenix Suns during a game at Vivint Smart Home Arena on February 14, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)

With the Utah Jazz and the rest of the NBA entering the final stretch before the playoffs, The J-Notes crew joins me in looking back at the trade deadline.

It’s been less than a week since NBA All-Star Weekend and fans are still riding high on Utah Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell’s Slam Dunk Contest title and LeBron James’ MVP performance in the big game on Sunday. That said, for armchair GMs everywhere, the real action took place a week earlier at the league’s trade deadline.

While it wasn’t a crazy free-for-all with multiple All-Stars switching cities, there were still several significant deals. Some of which could have major impact on the stretch run of the 2017-18 season and the race for playoff positioning.

The Jazz were involved in one such deal, swinging Rodney Hood and Joe Johnson for Jae Crowder. It’s early yet, but the move looks to be benefiting all parties. For their part, Crowder and the Jazz are suddenly surging after some early season struggles.

But what of the rest of the Association? Obviously, there’s still a lot of basketball to play this season, but what’s the snap judgment on all the deals that were completed ahead of the trade deadline? Who were the winners and losers?

The J-Notes staffers are here to answer those very questions.

Before the Jazz resume play on Friday, we decided to take a moment and look back through every trade that went down in the days and hours before the deal-making ceased and give our takes.

Here’s what myself, my co-editor Jared Woodcox and contributors Zack Padmore, Tyler Thorpe and John Keeffer think about what went down. Contributors Tyler Crandall and Hayden Van de Maat and social media guru Jared Barker offered some thoughts as well.

Without further ado…



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