Morning links: Where do the Jazz’s best teams rank all-time; Frank Jackson impressing; Delon Wright’s first draft night experience
The Jazz may not have a championship to their name, but according to ESPN’s Kevin Pelton, Utah still has two of the top 50 teams of all time.
Pelton constructed a formula based on both regular season and postseason point differentials to rank the clubs. For the teams that didn’t hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy, Pelton adjusted their playoff differential “effectively giving them a five-point loss for each game they came up short of the title.”
The 1996-97 Jazz was Utah’s highest ranked team, coming in at No. 35.
“The 1996-97 Jazz put together the best season in team history, winning a franchise-record 64 games and going 11-3 en route to the Finals," Pelton wrote. "Alas, they ran into a historically great Chicago team, Utah made the series competitive, but three Chicago wins by four points or fewer — including Michael Jordan's buzzer-beating jumper to win Game 1 and Steve Kerr's tiebreaking jumper off a Jordan feed late in the deciding Game 6 — gave the Bulls the title.”
The Jazz returned to the Finals in 1998, but that wasn’t the other Utah team that made the list. The 1995-96 Jazz, who lost in the Western Conference Finals in seven games to the Seattle SuperSonics, finished No. 39 in Pelton’s rankings. And if they had found a way to win the title, they would have been much higher.
“Without the adjustment for losing in the Western Conference finals, Utah's playoff run would rank 10th in NBA history,” Pelton wrote. “Six of the Jazz's 10 playoff wins came by at least 20 points (tied with the 2013-14 Spurs for most in a single postseason, according to Basketball-Reference.com), including a 35-point smackdown of the Sonics in a must-win Game 6 of the conference finals.
“Utah outscored Seattle by 18 points in the series, but the Sonics' 100-96 win at home in the deciding Game 7 still eliminated the Jazz on the doorstep of the NBA Finals.”
Even if 1995-96 Jazz would have made it past the Sonics, they would have had the 72-win Bulls waiting for them in the Finals. The team that Pelton ranked No. 1 all-time.
Frank Jackson impressing at Top 100 camp
Lone Peak’s Frank Jackson is turning heads at this week’s Top 100 camp, held at the University of Virginia.
While he hasn’t had the buzz of a lot of the other prospects of the class of 2016, there may not have been a more impressive performer in the camp’s first two days than Jackson according to NBC Sports.
Jackson won’t just be attending the camp during his time out East. The point guard prospect, who has risen to No. 11 on scout.com’s ranking and No. 20 on ESPN’s, is planning on visiting Duke, North Carolina and Maryland in the coming week.
Delon Wright following his brother’s foot steps
Bleacher Report did a piece on how former Ute guard Delon Wright, who is expected to be taken in the first round of next week’s NBA draft, has learned from his older brother, NBA player Dorell Wright.
In the article, the elder Wright talked about his draft night experience, and how his younger brother didn’t make it the most pleasant memory.
"I won’t do him like he did me on draft night," Dorell said. "I’m sitting on the couch, and the 10th pick goes by, and the 11th pick goes by, and Delon keeps on running up to me like, 'Why didn’t they call your name yet? Why didn’t they call your name yet?'
"He kept asking me, kept bothering me, and I’m like, 'Mom, can you please tell him to get out of my face and leave me alone?!' I won’t do him like that because it’s very nerve-wracking."
For Delon though, it was just a little bit of payback.
“When I was younger, he used to give me a hard time, so it was natural for me to shoot back at him and bug him. I wasn't doing it to be mean, though. I just didn't know any better."
— Take 2: Best backup quarterbacks in the Pac-12? (ESPN)
— How Royals fans have turned MLB’s All-Star voting into anarchy (Yahoo)