During Utah Jazz’s eight-game winning streak, much attention has (rightly) been focused on the performances of Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. Both players dominated, with Mitchell in particular forcing himself into MVP conversations with his All-NBA level play. Yet the Utah Jazz, like any other team, are a sum of their parts. One player in particular, Bojan Bogdanovic, has quietly played a vital role in Utah’s success.
For the season, Bogdanovic is averaging 17.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists with shooting spreads of 47.4 / 42.2 / 92.0%.
In the last eight games, however, Bogdanovic has averaged 15.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists on shooting spreads of 50.0 / 45.8 / 90.5 /%.
On the surface, Bogdanovic’s goal production has declined. This, however, does not give a good picture of his performance. On the one hand, Bogdanovic played incredibly effective on Utah’s winning streak. He’s only shot less than 50% from the field three times and lowered his spin rate to less than one per game. Additionally, Bogdanovic posted a plus-minus plus-12.4 average and a respectable match score of 11.4.
Most importantly, Bogdanovic played with a high level of commitment and effort. When motivated to do so, Bogdanovic has the ability to play hard-hitting defense. During Utah’s winning streak, he did a good job focusing on solid spins and limiting silly mistakes. Since joining Jazz in 2019, his production has always depended on his confidence and effort. At the moment, he plays clearly posed, assertive and loose, which is a major asset for Jazz. While none of the above numbers are obvious, his impact as a highly effective role player who has a quick trigger and plays respectable defense should not be underestimated.
Obviously, Bogdanovic bends the opposing defenses with his perimeter shot, spacing the ground and creating easier shots for Utah handlers and big balls. Almost as important is Bogdanovic’s consistency. This season, Bogdanovic has scored just half the 10 points and brought a more consistent level of effort. Having less volatility among Jazz players has a significant impact on Utah’s success. As long as Bogdanovic can play a similar level in the playoffs, we should all be happy with his output.