Over the last 10 games the Utah Jazz are 7-3 and playing their best basketball of the season. Let’s take a numbers look at this 10 game stretch.
Offensive Efficiency: 13th in the NBA (9th for season)
Defensive Efficiency: 15h in the NBA (23rd for season)
Efficiency Differential: 15th in the NBA (22nd for season)
There is a lot to be learned from these numbers. The jump from 22nd to 14th in differential is huge. Realize this 10 games accounts for about 20% of the season so the Jazz were worse than 22nd when this started. More interestingly, the jump has been made entirely on the defensive end of the floor. The Jazz offense has regressed. This is contrary to what the rest of the league is doing right now. The league has had a huge offensive explosion in recent weeks.
The other thing this shows is the Jazz are winning close games. They are not playing dominating basketball. They are finding ways to win games on the defensive end.
Pace of Play: 6th in the NBA (15th for the season)
That is huge increase from what they have been doing all year. The Jazz had been 19th in pace of play. This is unusual as well, usually when a team speeds up the defense gets worse.
Offensive Rebounding: 3rd in the NBA (2nd in the NBA for season)
Defensive Rebounding: 2nd in the NBA (10th in the NBA for season)
This is where the Jazz have changed more than anything else. Prior to this 10 game stretch the Jazz were 19th in the NBA in defensive rebounding. Over the year the Jazz are grabbing 74% of the defensive rebounds over the last 10 games they are grabbing an incredible 79%. This changes everything. This is the reason for the increase of pace of play. This is why the defense is better .
Turnover Percentage: 5th best in the NBA (7th for the season)
Defensive Turnover %: 5th best in the NBA (10th for the season)
These changes are immaterial. For the season Jazz are forcing turnovers on 15% of possessions and in this 10 game stretch it is 16%. That is less than 1 a night.
Effective Field Goal %: 23rd 48.4% (20th for season – 47.7%)
Defensive EFG%: 25th 51.6% ( 23rd for the season 49.7%)
This should be really eye opening. The Jazz are doing a worse job defending the shot than they have throughout the season. You can see the league is shooting much better over the last 10 games. The Jazz have slipped in both areas to a dangerous level. This shows how defensive rebounding has changed everything for the Jazz.
Free Throws Per game: 22.9 per game (24.4 for the season)
Free Throws Allowed Per: 30.3 (26.5 for the season)
This is another large surprise. The Jazz are last in the NBA in putting the opponent on the line which is a terrible sign. Hard to believe the Jazz can be last at putting people on the line and 25th in defending the shot and still be the 15th defensive team over the past 10 games. Forcing turnovers and grabbing rebounds have been the key to the improvement.