SALT LAKE CITY — Quin Snyder had a play. Heck, the Jazz had even worked on it Friday morning during shootaround.
But Bojan Bogdanovic thought he saw a better one.
The play that resulted in Bogdanovic’s game-winning 3 on Friday against the Bucks? That was Bogdanovic’s.
With 1.3 seconds remaining, the Jazz had one final chance to win the game. In the timeout, Snyder designed a play that had Joe Ingles inbounding, Mike Conley sliding to the left corner and the play ending up with either a lob to Donovan Mitchell or Bogdanovic popping out for an above-the-break 3-pointer.
But as Snyder drew up the play in the huddle, Bogdanovic had a suggestion: What if Conley went to the opposite corner to allow Bogdanovic a chance to read the defense and go to where they weren’t guarding.
Then Conley chimed in.
“I won’t go to the corner, but I’ll go to halfcourt to give you more space,” Conley said. “Donovan will get a lob and you might get a read to the corner.”
Snyder’s response to his new veterans?
“Coach was sitting there, looking at us and said, 'Yeah, sure, do that,'” Conley remembered.
It ended up being a bit of inspiration.
With Khris Middleton almost acting like he expected Bogdanovic to pop out high, he was a step slow to recover when Bogdanovic sprinted to the corner. That left Bogdanovic with a clean look to win the game. And when the ball left his hand, he knew it was good.
"I saw it right away,” Bogdanovic said.
AND THEY MOBBED HIM pic.twitter.com/YtYJX1L0CH— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) November 9, 2019
Snyder credited the veterans for coming up with the wrinkle in the original call and for making the right read when the time came.
“He and Mike, in that situation, their maturity, their experience, they executed something that wasn't initially what we had wanted to do,” Snyder said. “But when we left the huddle, they knew what they wanted to do. He made the right read and he made the shot. That's a credit to those two guys, and really our whole team.”
And also a credit to Snyder. He wasn’t just willing to listen to his player’s input in the game-winning possession, but actively run what they thought would work. It showed trust. Add that to the list of things this team likes about playing for their coach.
“That's good about this team and about Quin,” Bogdanovic said. “He listens to the players because we’re there on the court. We are executing.”
And no one was executing better than Bogdanovic on Friday. He had steadied the Jazz offensively all night (he ended up with 33 points and was 5 of 10 from deep) and has already proven to have a flair for the dramatic.
“I think the whole team knew that Bojan wanted the ball and that he was, if not going to make it, could get something good off,” Snyder said. “If you have players that are not afraid of the moment and can make reads and make decisions about the ball, that's the best thing.”
Bogdanovic proved to be all that on Friday.
"It was a different play," Rudy Gobert said. "I mean, I was supposed to get him open, but he just went the other way. Which was great. It worked out pretty well."