After several seasons of aiming for the title, without success, the Jazz blew up their group last summer. Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert are gone, Quin Snyder too. The face of the team for this 2022/2023 financial year was therefore radically different from that of the 2021/2022 season.
Danny Ainge wanted to start from scratch, for a total reconstruction, with Will Hardy in charge. But in the end, with a Lauri Markkanen who became All-Star, the Jazz will surprise and achieve a much better season than that expected last October.
With 37 victories, before the last game of the season, the Jazz simply failed at the gates of the “play-in”. There will surely be regrets, however, it is still a success for Hardy, especially for a first experience on a bench.
Will Hardy accelerated the reconstruction
“There are people who work with us and with me, people I work for, and also a whole team of players that I have coached all year. You can ask them what they think about it,” list the coach for the Deseret Newsbefore nevertheless accepting the praise. “I’m proud of how this year has gone. No question, for me, of not leaving the season with my head held high. »
How did Hardy manage to create a new chemistry with a group without any common experience? Remember that this workforce was formed with players from Cleveland, Minnesota, Los Angeles, following various transfers.
“We wanted to make sure everyone on the team felt like they were part of the team,” replies the coach. “The NBA can be very heavy sometimes. There are the stars, who have the ball all the time, and it’s all about them. We only talk about them, and there are the others. We wanted to create an environment in which everyone felt part of the group. »
Kris Dunn, symbol of a workforce of revenge
The example of Kris Dunn speaks volumes. The playmaker arrived during the exercise, at the end of February, for a 10-day contract. He clearly and quickly regained feeling and showed that he could play again at this level, with 12.3 points, 5.1 assists and 4.1 rebounds on average in 25 minutes. And as Hardy wanted the question of his management to be put to the players, the former Washington testified.
“The coach made me feel like I was part of the team,” confirms Dunn. “It’s a great group, with good guys. With his system, the coach wants everyone to touch the ball. And when everyone has the ball, they feel part of the group. We feel like we are doing something good on the floor. »
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