In the NBA bubble, the young players at the end of the Utah Jazz bench are more important than ever

Utah Jazz forward Juwan Morgan (16) splits the Houston defense during the Houston Rockets at Utah Jazz NBA basketball game at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020.

Utah Jazz forward Juwan Morgan (16) splits the Houston defense during the Houston Rockets at Utah Jazz NBA basketball game at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. | Steve Griffin, Deseret News

Rookies Rayjon Tucker, Juwan Morgan, Miye Oni, Nigel Williams-Goss and two-way players Jarrell Brantley and Justin Wright-Foreman have become invaluable for things that won’t be seen on any stat sheet

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — The most prevalent sound in the NBA bubble arena is not the music or the talking on the court. It’s the cheering from the team benches.

It’s pretty easy to tune out the artificial crowd noise and the virtual fans during the game, but it’s impossible to ignore the chatter and support that teammates are providing. It’s also incredibly noticeable when the bench quiets and fails to step up to plate as the only source of encouragement a team has.

“Oh, man, they’re super important right now. Normally back home, you don’t necessarily have to stand up on every play or you don’t have to be the loudest one in the gym, but you literally have to be the loudest ones and show the most emotion and just really be behind each other because at this time, we’re all we’ve got.” — Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley

Players on the bench cheering for their team is nothing new in the NBA, but it’s gone from something that is easily overlooked to being vastly important, and that task that’s usually performed by thousands of diehard fans now falls largely on the low-minute players and rookies that make up the end of the roster.

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Utah Jazz rookies Rayjon Tucker, Juwan Morgan, Miye Oni, Nigel Williams-Goss and two-way players Jarrell Brantley and Justin Wright-Foreman are part of large contingent of players in Florida who will likely not see very many minutes, if any at all, during the seeding games or playoffs, but they’ve become invaluable for things that won’t be seen on any stat sheet and won’t garner them any love from scouts or other team executives.

“Oh, man, they’re super important right now,” Mike Conley said of the group providing energy while on the bench. “Normally back home, you don’t necessarily have to stand up on every play or you don’t have to be the loudest one in the gym, but you literally have to be the loudest ones and show the most emotion and just really be behind each other because at this time, we’re all we’ve got.”

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Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

      

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