Keyonte George ties rookie record with 9 3-pointers vs. Golden State

Keyonte George flashed his scoring potential with his 33-point outing against Golden State. Has he arrived?
Keyonte George rises up for a 3 over Stephen Curry
Keyonte George rises up for a 3 over Stephen Curry / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

Have you ever heard of "Death Diving"? It's a sport that originated in Norway that has been growing in popularity in recent years. The idea is that participants will take turns jumping from a great height into a pool of water, but instead of gracefully soaring through the air and making the smallest splash possible, they flail through the air and belly flop into the water below. Less graceful than traditional diving, sure, but the results are exhilarating. The screams from the crowd are loud, but the sounds of the divers connecting with the surface of the water is deafening.


Last night, Keyonte George was an NBA death diver. Against the Warriors in Salt Lake, the rookie from Baylor put on a show by scoring 33 points with 9 3-pointers, tying the rookie record for 3s made in a single game. The 3s were plentiful, and George was happy to let them fly.


The other two rookies to hit 9 3s were Yogi Ferrell and Rodrigue Beaubois (I'm telling you this because only an NBA supercomputer could possibly know that information. You're not a robot, are you?). That's an impressive accomplishment, but obviously not sustainable over multiple games. So, what does this mean for Keyonte? Is this a sign of things to come, or should Jazz fans lower their expectations of Utah's 20-year-old rookie?

Scoring was always George's main draw. With a big frame and plenty of athleticism, he was seen as capable and ready to transition to the NBA after his season at Baylor. In a draft profile by Bleacher Report, they noted:

"NBA teams will be after George's confident shot-making, shooting versatility and self-creation for scoring outbursts. Improving his finishing, decision-making and defense will be the obvious priorities."

Bleacher Report

Unfortunately, consistency has been a bit of a struggle for Keyonte up to this point, with his last 4 games point totals being 13, 5, 11, and 16 with varying efficiency. Of course, players always have good and bad shooting nights--that's the nature of the game--so Keyonte's shot selection should be a focus to help him find a rhythm and score at a more reliable rate.

John Collins, Keyonte George
Keyonte George and John Collins get on the same page against the Lakers / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

The aspect of George's game that has really excited the Jazz's front office is his playmaking potential. He's been getting lots of time running the offense, and the results have been very promising. He still has some growing to do when adjusting to the size and pace of the NBA. His shot selection, defense, and overall decision-making need to improve, but Jazz fans should be excited about the potential he shows as Utah's point guard of the future.

Don't expect another shooting outburst quite this absurd, but keep your eyes open for George's production post All-Star Break. With Utah focusing on player development over wins for the remainder of the season, George will be seeing increased reps and (hopefully) improved numbers.

Next. The Jazz fall in a closer than expected game against the Warriors. Keyonte George showed out in the last game for Utah before the All-Star break.. dark