Danuel House finished the game against the Suns. What does that mean going forward?

Utah Jazz Danuel Home Jr. defends in opposition to Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon (10) in the course of the second half of an NBA basketball sport Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, in Salt Lake Metropolis. (AP Photograph/Rick Bowmer) (Rick Bowmer, Related Press)

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PHOENIX — It was a call that Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder hasn’t had the luxurious to make.

Like so many others earlier than him, Royce O’Neale struggled in opposition to Devin Booker and had a tough time navigating screens and staying linked to the Phoenix All-Star. Up to now, Snyder did not actually have some other choice to show to within the state of affairs.

Abruptly, he does.

Danuel Home Jr. performed practically eight minutes within the fourth quarter; and in what was considerably of a shock, he completed the sport rather than O’Neale.

The end result? Booker was far more restricted with Home on the ground and the Jazz got here away with one in every of their greatest wins of the season.

Home was wonderful in getting round picks and making life exhausting for Booker and the Suns. Home picked Booker up at full court docket, stayed linked to him and compelled the ball out of his palms a number of occasions. He dove to the ground, bought his palms in passing lanes and was all-around a nuisance.

“My job was to guarantee that I keep in entrance of my man and make it exhausting as potential tonight as a result of he is a proficient scorer,” Home stated.

Truthful sufficient. It is simply that job is often reserved for O’Neale — no less than late in video games.

Does that imply Home has abruptly taken O’Neale’s spot within the rotation? In all probability not (O’Neale, in spite of everything, is the higher all-around participant). What it does imply is Snyder is not afraid to place Home on the market, if want be; and after years of desperately looking for one other wing defender, Home’s efficiency — and Snyder’s determination — is important.

For a number of seasons now, the Jazz have been a superb staff with a deadly flaw. As soon as the playoffs rolled round, they did not have the personnel to constantly defend the sport’s high wing and guard scorers.

Home has by no means actually been often called a real defensive stopper however has constructed up a strong repute throughout his time in Houston as a hard-nosed and hard-working man on the perimeter.

“That mindset is absolutely nice to have,” Rudy Gobert stated. “Being so aggressive defensively after which it is inspiring for different guys. We step it up a notch.”

Home has solely been a full-time member of the Jazz for a few weeks, and really effectively would be the staff’s greatest perimeter defender. That is how dire the state of affairs was — and nonetheless could also be.

Snyder stated that with the staff’s further depth, there will likely be alternatives primarily based on matchups for various guys to play. He credit his gamers for accepting that and rooting for one another.

“Danuel was doing a superb job, and Royce was the primary one on the bench speaking to him,” Snyder stated. “The identical factor with Hassan (Whiteside) and Rudy — how Hassan was taking part in, you possibly can end the sport with Hassan. Mike (Conley) stated possibly let Jordan (Clarkson) end — in order that form of collective mindset and whatever-it-takes mentality and whoever it takes is one thing that is actually essential.

To Donovan Mitchell, that angle is one thing he thinks makes the staff distinctive. He stated egos may come into play when choices are made about taking part in time, however he does not see that inside the group.

“You take a look at Royce after, he’s as excited as anyone. I believe that is what makes this staff so particular,” he stated. “… Typically you simply take what’s working and that was tonight, after which we play Houston and it might be a special story.”

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