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“We Are Ready” | Bogdanovic Cracks Top-5 In Utah History | Utah Jazz


When most people think of the Utah Jazz and the greatness they’ve displayed the last couple of seasons, minds automatically go towards Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert — and rightfully so.

They’re both three-time all-stars, widely considered among the best at their respective position groups regarding the rest of the league. Mitchell is knocking on the door of superstardom, putting together an all-NBA season — while Gobert is considered the frontrunner for his fourth defensive player of the year award.

For those who don’t think immediately of Mitchell or Gobert, their minds probably think of head coach Quin Snyder. One of the brightest basketball minds in the world, Snyder is a basketball savant who’s helped turn the Jazz into perennial playoff contenders.

But lost amongst the shuffle of the talents of Mitchell and Gobert and the genius of Snyder is a player who’s as arguable as valuable as all three of them — even if he doesn’t get the same sort of recognition.

Bojan Bogdanovic is the key to unlocking the talents of Mitchell and Gobert and vital to the success of Snyder’s offensive and defensive philosophies. And on Saturday night at the Chase Center against the Golden State Warriors, Bogdanovic proved once again how invaluable he is to the team.

With a three-pointer early in the third quarter, Bogdanovic moved into fifth all-time in franchise history in made three-pointers. He currently sits at 542 made three-pointers, surpassing Byron Russell and sitting 147 away from No. 9 Gordon Hayward.

On the season, Bogdanovic is averaging 18.0 points and 4.2 rebounds on 38.7% shooting from three-point territory.

What makes him the perfect complement in many ways for this Jazz team is that he’s a player who doesn’t care about recognition.

In a day and age where individual accolades typically take prominence over team success, Bogdanovic is the outlier. He’s someone who loves the game of basketball, just wanting to play and help Utah in whichever way he can.

“We have enough veteran players on the team to put the group back together no matter how bad we are playing in certain moments,” Bogdanovic said. “I think that we need every single guy to be to be healthy in order to go deep in the postseason, but I think that no matter how it looks right now, I think that we are more ready than then than we were last year.”

So while Mitchell and Gobert get all the headlines, Bogdanovic is the player who makes all of it possible.

Whether off the dribble or on the receiving end of the pass, his elite shooting is essential for both of Utah’s all-stars. It forces defenses to spread the floor, allowing Mitchell to get into the paint with ease and find Gobert for easy dunks. Defensively, his size (6-foot-7, 225) and footwork allow him to defend multiple positions, allowing Gobert to do what he does and roam the paint like an animal.

It comes as no surprise that during a recent stretch in which Bogdanovic was out with a left calf strain, Utah went 3-6 during that span. The Jazz struggled on both ends of the court as their offensive and defensive ratings plummeted without the forward from Croatia.

But now, with him back in the lineup, it should come as no surprise that Utah’s once lofty expectations are beginning to take shape again.

“We showed this year that we need every single guy, so coming into the postseason, I think that for us, it’s most important to have a healthy team and everyone available to play,” he said. “I know that we are good enough to play against anybody. … We gotta stick together, we gotta get a couple Ws to get that confidence back heading into the playoffs.”

With Bogdanovic back on the court, it’s very possible that a few more wins could be coming Utah’s way — especially if he continues to thrive as he’s done all season long.

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