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As a part of the Utah Jazz’s summer schedule, the team invited three guest coaches to join the Summer League coaching staff, and one of them has some pretty important ties with a very important player on the Jazz roster.

Lassi Tuovi is Lauri Markkanen’s head coach on the Finnish national team and is on the Jazz’s Summer League staff as a guest.

“I’m used to talking about all of basketball for Finland and so for us it’s an opportunity,” Tuovi said. “I’m really excited to be here every day but also to build the relationship between Finnish basketball and the Jazz, hopefully for years.”

Tuovi actually came to Utah for the first time in January, an important stop on a trip that included visiting multiple college teams to learn from other coaches and programs. He noted that he felt a togetherness when watching Markkanen and the Jazz playing from afar, but felt it even more when he was able to see how they operated in person.

“When you watch them playing I think the team was super fresh and they play basketball in a nice, fresh way, but the main thing was that there was a chemistry and they played together,” Tuovi said. “And then when you walk in this building, I think you understand why it happens and what the front office has built here.”

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What Tuovi said that he was most interested in learning from observing other coaches and programs is not what they were teaching but how they were teaching.

“Every coach, especially in basketball, is a fan of X’s and O’s because that’s the fun thing, that’s the romantic thing,” Tuovi said. “But you don’t do anything with it if you don’t know how to teach it ... what I always follow is how they treat humans, how they teach, how the relationships are built in different places.”

After spending a week with the Jazz in January and then taking a tour through some NCAA programs and now returning to Utah for another short stint, Tuovi has been most surprised at how open the coaches and administrators have been about sharing what they know and how they do things.

“That’s the best way for a coach to learn, to see other coaches,” he said. “And I need to say that I’m super thankful that the people here are very open. Because that’s always something that you may think that they’re closed off. But they’re sharing and you’re always always free to talk. I have been surprised.”

New with the Jazz

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Jazz assistant Evan Bradds soaking up the opportunity as Summer League head coach

How to pass the offseason

I’ve been excited about the new Netflix series “Quarterback” and I’ve absolutely loved the first couple of episodes.

The show follows NFL quarterbacks Kirk Cousins, Patrick Mahomes and Marcus Mariota through last season. Produced by Peyton Manning, the show had unprecedented access to the teams and the players throughout the year. It’s incredible.

In the offseason I spend a lot of time reading books, doing jigsaw puzzles and watching TV. This offseason has been extremely busy with the Jazz having so many draft picks, the preparation leading up to the draft, and then there’s been the movement and news that’s been going on since free agency and during Summer League. So I haven’t had a lot of downtime.

But, this week, I fully intend on bingeing the rest of “Quarterback.”

Stat of the week

Houston Rockets forward Jabari Smith Jr. scored an incredible 71 points across just two games played at Las Vegas Summer League before the Rockets decided to shut him down for the summer.

Utah Jazz rookie Keyonte George, despite playing just 212 games in Las Vegas (he left the third Jazz game just before halftime after suffering a right ankle sprain), was ranked 12th in total points heading into Friday after racking up 65 points.

From the archives

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John Collins ready for a fresh start with the Utah Jazz
Catching up with former Runnin’ Utes standout Timmy Allen

Extra points

  • Keyonte George’s biggest offseason priority will be gaining strength (Deseret News)
  • 76ers match Utah Jazz offer sheet for Paul Reed (Deseret News)
  • Keyonte George puts on 33-point show in Vegas in front of Jerry West (Deseret News)
  • Here’s who the Utah Jazz will play in the NBA in-season tournament (Deseret News)

Around the league

Up next: Las Vegas Summer League

July 14 | 8:30 p.m. | Utah Jazz vs. Phoenix Suns | NBATV
*Additional game times and opponents will be determined after Friday’s slate of games. You can find an updated schedule here.

Despite playing just 2 1⁄2 games in Las Vegas, Utah’s Keyonte George was ranked 12th in total points heading into Friday after racking up 65 points. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News