EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Training Camp (Day 3)

• This was the fifth practice of camp and the first that wasn’t a two-a-day. At some point in every camp there has to be a lull, but from the mood of Quin Snyder when he met with the media he showed no signs that this was the case today.

• Quin complimented Elijah Millsap for his decision making. He mentioned there was an open corner three shooter earlier in camp that Millsap missed, and since then he has been really working hard at moving the ball and making good decisions. Quin seemed pleased with Millsap’s performance.

• Gordon Hayward continued a really solid camp. Snyder commented on his level of assertiveness on the floor. Off the court, Snyder talked about how much more comfortable Hayward seems every day as a leader. This is a position that you have to grow into, and for Hayward it’s really his third year of the process. His first season he wasn’t connected with the head coach as well as he could have been, which made it very hard to lead. Last year, he made big growth both on the floor and in leadership. The beginning of this season has been another step forward for Hayward. The growth he experienced last year is evident in how he is conducting himself as the leader of the team this year.

• Snyder said some interesting things about leadership, saying the ability to lead comes from practice and from being in the moments previously.

• Derrick Favors is making the same growth steps as Hayward. Snyder said Favors has been practicing as hard as anyone and is showing an elite level of concentration to stay engaged throughout practice.

• Rudy Gobert made enormous strides last season. This year the coaching staff is pushing him to be conscious of the details and to exhibit a high level of precision in his game. This is the next step. Rudy is terrific, but we need to remember that this is his first year as a full-time starter. He needs to be allowed to grow rather than expected to be perfect right from the start.

• Snyder said he wants depth and he wants the ability to play both big and small, fast and slow.

• The Jazz practice tomorrow before flying to Hawaii.

• Also, Chris Johnson didn’t practice after taking an elbow to the head in practice on Wednesday and being diagnosed with a concussion. He is going through the concussion protocol.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Training Camp (Day 2)

• The Jazz defense looks strong—maybe even better than last year in some facets. Tibor Pleiss is really big and long, and if he can play 15 minutes a night then the Jazz will have 48 minutes of 7-foot-2 or more with a reach of 9-foot-7 or more at center. That kind of size is unheard of. This could make the Jazz even better defensively.

• The practice had a defensive focus from the start before moving into some high-paced offensive actions.

• Derrick Favors looked really good today. He has worked on numerous and very specific aspects to his game, and he was able to display one or two of those today. He’s playing the power forward this year, which means on almost every night he will be bigger and stronger than the guy guarding him. This could allow him to bring a post game. He showed a nifty drop step with a left handed finish today.

• Pleiss has really good hands.

• The offense was not as turnover prone today as it was yesterday. Traditionally, the defense is ahead of the offense at this point of a camp. For the Jazz this is true, but it’s accentuated even more because of the quality of the Jazz defense.

• Quin Snyder singled out Favors and Gordon Hayward for their play today.

• Had a really nice time with Thurl Bailey at practice today. Always interesting to hear his perspective. Thurl made a really interesting point about how different the experience has been for Tibor Pleiss over the last seven years playing in Europe compared to coming through the AAU and college games in the United States.

• Interesting point from Snyder about Pleiss and Raul Neto that everything in their lives is different. The language is different. The rules are different. Their teammates are different. The culture, the city … everything. It means they’re thinking when they’re playing and it is a bit more tiring for them moment to moment.

• Effort level is very high and guys are really battling.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Training Camp (Day 1)

• Last year the Jazz opened camp with an hour of transition defensive work. Today the focus fell more on the offense trying to play with thrust and pace in order to get some early action.

• Quin Snyder talked after the practice about the need to cut down on the turnovers, where the Jazz ranked 29th in the NBA last season.

• The scrimmage portion of practice was classified as sloppy and turnover-laden by both Snyder and Gordon Hayward.

• Snyder was pleased with the defensive habits that returned from last season, and Hayward said the team was on point in the defensive drills.

• Hayward had positive things to say about Raul Neto when he’s not thinking. Gordon pointed out that—no different than any rookie—Neto is thinking a lot and that restricts him, but when he just plays he makes nice plays and has good vision.

• Hayward also called Raul “Wolfie.”

* Grant Jerrett did not participate in practice.