The Utah Jazz is currently the hottest team in the NBA. After beating the Charlotte Hornets last night, they secured their 8th straight win. They won 12 out of their last 13 games and are looking incredibly solid and deep as a team. The Jazz has a great roster, which has the perfect combination of youth and experience, but on top of that, they have a system in place that develops young players. In a recent interview for The Athletic, the Jazz young center Tony Bradley talks about the workouts young players need to go through to become better players.
One of the drills players go through is called “The Stockton Drill,” whose sole purpose is to see the shotmaking ability in combination for endurance for its players. In this drill, the player speed dribbles the length of the floor with the opposite hand, back and forth, until he makes six layups in 30 seconds. You only get three dribbles each time up the floor. Bradley said the Jazz want have players that can shot the ball properly, especially when you are tired.
“They want you to be able to shoot the ball. And they want you to be able to shoot the ball when you’re tired,” Bradley said. “Some of the drills are difficult, especially because they make you do them when you don’t have legs. So, it tests you. It makes you better.”
The Jazz implemented a system where they hope to take 40 percent from their shots from the 30-point range, 40 percent from the baskets, and only 20 shots from the midrange. Even though the Jazz has a system in place, creativity and adjusting to the style and preferences of a specific player exists. That is also an essential part of the success of any team, and the Jazz coaching staff is aware of that.
“Mitchell is such a good offensive player that it’s tough to limit what his shot profile is. The Jazz simply doesn’t want him taking long two-point shots, which they consider the worst shot in basketball. Niang is going to take most of his shots from 3-point range. And, slowly, he’s providing the needed gravity for the Jazz offense as a whole to have the needed spacing.
The Jazz is a legitimate championship contender, especially with the way they are playing for the past couple of weeks. Their roster is extremely deep, and they have enough firepower to be a dangerous adversary against any team in the NBA. It probably also helps if you make your players go through the Stockton drill.