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Morning links: How the Utah Jazz go from good to great; There will never be another John Stockton

ESPN's Zach Lowe focused on the Utah Jazz and how they can go from a good to a great team.

Lowe writes, "The Jazz have crossed the line from curious to frustrated in imagining what their injury-riddled team might do if it could finally get healthy. They are sick of hearing how they are on the precipice -- how they are one of just four teams that rank in the top 10 in both points scored and allowed per possession, how all the numbers underlying their ho-hum record hint at the great team lurking beneath."

He continued, "There are deadlines approaching, and hard choices for a small-market franchise that will have a tough time paying all five of its best players: Gobert, Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward, George Hill, and Rodney Hood. The Jazz face an urgent need for information about how those players fit."

Lowe then looks at the decisions the Jazz have to make, including whether to extend Favors or Hill and what will happen with Hayward.


There will never be another John Stockton

Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post looked at the state of the point guard position in the NBA and how it relates to former Jazz legend John Stockton.

After talking about Philadelphia 76ers guard T.J. McConnell, Dempsey writes, "Stockton is in the Hall of Fame, he’s one of the 50 Greatest Players in league history, he’s the NBA’s all-time assist leader — and he’d never get a meaningful chance to do any of those things if he came out of college now and played in today’s NBA."

Dempsey then goes on to look at those playing the lead guard spot today before getting back to Stockton.

"Point guards come in all shapes and sizes now. But they don’t come like Stockton, who stood all of 6-foot-1 and weighed 175 pounds. Those dimensions barely get anyone playing the position in the door these days. They definitely don’t get you the keys to a team."

Demspey continued, "No one will ever be compared to the best passer of all-time because they’ll be tossed aside before their career even truly starts. Eventually that’s going to mean a player who could have blossomed into something special won’t get that chance."


Jonny Linehan still smarting over fourth-and-19

Much was made of the Cougars' decision to fake a punt on fourth-and-19 from their own end zone in a one-point loss to Boise State.

That play is still on the mind of the player who was charged with executing the call, punter Jonny Linehan. He brought it up in response to a question on Twitter.