Utah Jazz PnB Awards: Diabolical Play of the Year


The Utah Jazz PnB Awards: Diabolical Play of the Year – Trophy by Dick’s Trophies

These are the 2014-15 Utah Jazz PnB Awards. Our panel of utterly unbiased experts have put our sizable heads together in an attempt to recognize Utah Jazz players that made a difference in a season the real experts picked far too meagerly.

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"I used to be such a sweet, sweet thingUntil they got a hold of meI opened doors for little old ladiesI helped the blind to seeI got no friends ’cause they read the papersThey can’t be seen with me and I’m getting shot downAnd I’m feeling meanNo more Mister Nice GuyNo more Mister CleanNo more Mister Nice GuyThey say he’s sick, he’s obscene–Alice Cooper"

There were many season and franchise changing moments for the Utah Jazz in 2014-15. What was your Diabolical Play of the Year?

Ryan Aston: For my Diabolical Play of the Year, I look to the most unassuming player on the Utah Jazz roster, 19-year-old Dante Exum. The former No. 5 overall pick terrified a cadre of opposing point guards with his ungodly length, but few suffered his wrath like former Jazzman Deron Williams.

Full disclosure, I’m a D-Will apologist. I continue to sing his praises and firmly believe that with the right team and a clean bill of health, he could be a major difference maker. With that being said, few things gave me as much joy this season as watching Exum REJECT Deron in epic fashion despite being shaken by a nifty crossover.

It’s plays like this that give me hope Exum will continue to be a very bad man on defense for a long time in this league. Like a young Rajon Rondo, sans the insanity.

Sorry, D-Will; I still love you, but you definitely got served there.

Jared Barker: Look no further than the Snyder gif.

After that we all did some soul searching and wondered if having the devil incarnate as a coach could be a problem going forward. The gif was an instant hit all over the internet and the coach of the Utah Jazz became instantly recognizable. Imagine being a direct recipient of that gaze and ask yourself why none of the Jazz players have burst into flames.

If you look at the gif too long you’ll start wondering if your face is melting off. Viewer discretion is strongly advised!

Greg Foster: Beat this, guys.

Last season, we saw flashes of brilliance from Gordon Hayward. We witnessed him have some impressive games, make some eyebrow-raising plays and go toe-to-toe with MVP, Kevin Durant. But all of us wondered if he could extend these flashes into sustainable stretches.

This year was G-Time’s season-long tour de force as an All-Star caliber player. Gordon’s coming out party was punctuated in a home game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. A game in which he outdueled LeBron James, en-route to the most exciting Utah Jazz W of the season.

In the contest, Gordon Hayward had 21 points, but none were bigger than his final shot. With 3.4 seconds left and the game all knotted up at 100, Hayward curled high towards the perimeter off a Derrick Favors screen—that made LeBron slip and fall—caught the inbounds pass from Joe Ingles, took a few dribbles to his right, stepped back and drilled a rainbow jumper over the outreached arms of Tristan Thompson as the final buzzer rang.

Game, Blouses.

The shot was nails. Any and all water in Gordon’s system instantly turned to ice. And in the aftermath, Gordon Hayward let out a scream that could be heard from the heavens. It was his moment to own.

The shot was more than a statement; it was a lion’s roar to the entire world, letting any and everyone know that Mr. Gordon Hayward had arrived. He came at the King and he didn’t miss. Instead, he sent LeBron and the Cavs home with their tails tucked between the legs. And in the process, he let all of us know that the Jazz is his team.

No play this season was bigger than that. None.

Clint Peterson: Trey Burke and Gordon Hayward nailed ice-cold buzzer beaters. Rudy Gobert decided he’d had enough and stuffed Andrew Wiggins to his buttocks, flexing over him. Enes Kanter blew a kiss to media before spouting off after demanding a trade and getting it. Trevor Booker had countless moments of badassdom.

All legitimate nominations as diabolical, defining moments in a riveting Utah Jazz season.

Howbeit, we discovered Quin Snyder has a knack for getting his guys’ attention and keeping it. Longtime basketball coaches will tell you that a head coach has a finite number of blowups per season before the roster tunes him out and does their own thing, regardless of what Coach says or does.

We had the death glare in preseason to tip it off. Things were bleak a few weeks later, Utah losing three of four games, the Jazz players coasting, going through the motions, down by as much as 17 points to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first half on November 18, 2014. Quin Snyder had seen enough.

He burst off the bench screaming “WAKE UP! WAKE UP!” I was sure lasers would shoot from eyes and fireballs from his arse.

Snyder’s guys would close the second quarter on a 14-3 run to finish the first half, going on to outscore the Thunder 58-39, winning by 17 — a 34 point swing from early in the game.

Not wanting to use up all of his allotted blowouts for a season, some month-and-a-half later, Snyder did this in a timeout while losing to the Minnesota Timberwolves on December 30,2014.

Naturally, the Jazz came back to win.

Spencer Wixom: I think the most diabolical play happened off the court this year when Trevor Booker called out Enes Kanter on Twitter after the Thunder were eliminated from the playoffs.

As far as an on-court moment, I have to go with Hayward’s game winner against the Cavs. You can almost imagine Hayward running by the Cavs bench like this, saying “LeBron who?”

Ed: We can only assume Michael Tozer was on this escalator going down

In his absence, as senior editor I must make the difficult decision and break the tie: Congratulations, coach Snyder!

Final tally: Snyder 3, Hayward 2, Exum 1

Here’s your prize for the inaugural Diabolical Play of the Season Award, Quin Snyder: A shiny new air horn.

That’ll keep ’em awake.

Utah Jazz PnB Balls of Fury Award winner here

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