This past week the Utah Jazz began the Rocky Mountain Review a little rocky, losing its first two games to the San Antonio Spurs and the Atlanta Hawks. Kosta Koufos, the Jazz’s 23rd pick in the 2008 draft showed an unimpressive five points and four rebounds starting his debut with the Jazz on last Fridays game against the Spurs. The Jazz made an embarrassing 29% from the field, losing 57 to 82.
“We all play hard as a team,” Koufos said. “We’re just learning.”
“Koufos needs to adjust to the quicker speed of this pro summer league and to the way NBA officials call the game,” said Jazz assistant Tyrone Corbin. “Not getting frustrated under adversity will help, too.” After each game Koufos says he gains confidence. “Yeah, definitely, I’m feeling more and more comfortable as each day passes; I’m still learning the system, I’m just glad to be with the Utah Jazz.”
Considering Koufus is only 19, the Jazz can’t be more pleased after he denied a $5 million deal to play for the Olypiacos club team in Athens. Koufos, proving himself dedicated to the organization, decided this summer he would play for the Jazz in the Rocky Mountain Revue summer camp.
Last Thursday, the Jazz were given another chance for redemption by playing the up-tempo fast-breaking Atlanta Hawks. Morris Almond started the game with a block into the crowd eliciting a huge uproar from fans. Acie Law answered for the Hawks by making two easy fast break dunks.
The second half was all Almond and no Koufos. Morris Almond’s inside shooting and physical drives drove Atlanta almost entirely out of the game. Almond shot 10 for 19 from the floor and a 1 for 3 from behind the three-point line. Not until the end of the fourth quarter did Luke Jackson and Brian Randle step up to make the game interesting with 14 seconds left in the game, being down only by two. The Jazz pulled it together and came out on top winning 83-78.
Morris Almond ended with a camp high 29 points while Kosta Koufos had only nine points. “I’m glad to come out with a win,” Koufos said. “We just ran through the coach’s system and it works. I’m just glad we came out with a victory tonight.”