As I mentioned in the answer to question #1 and in today’s tip off the best defensive teams in the NBA have a defensive rating of 100 pts per 100 possessions or lower. If you are going to be an elite team in the NBA you have to get to this level.
Can Derrick Favors get the Jazz to this level? Here is some data from last year that leads one to believe he can have that type of impact.
Derrick Favors played 25 or more minutes in 18 regular season games last year. 5 of the Jazz 10 best defensive games were with Favors on the floor for 25 or more minutes and 7 of the top 13 and 9 of the top 17.
In the 18 games Favors played 25 or more minutes the Jazz defensive rating was on average 100.1. In the 48 games he didn’t play 25 minutes the Jazz average defensive rating was 105.4. Only Cleveland, Golden State, Sacramento, New Jersey and Charlotte had a defensive rating worse than 105.4 (according to Hoopdata).
In the 18 games, Favors played 25 or more minutes the Jazz had a defensive rating of 100 or below 11 times or 61.1% of the time.
In contrast in the 48 games Favors didn’t play 25 minutes the Jazz only had a defensive rating of 100 or lower 14 times (29.1% of the time).
A defensive rating of 100 or better was a magic number for the Jazz last year – the Jazz were 22-3 in those games.
On the flip side a defensive rating of 104 or worse was death for the Jazz. (only 6 teams in the NBA were 104 or worse last year) The Jazz had a defensive rating 104 or higher (bad) 30 times last year and won only 7 of those games (7-23).
In the 18 games Favors played 25 or more minutes the Jazz defensive rating was over 104 only 5 times (27.8%) but in the 48 games Favors didn’t play 25 minutes the Jazz had a defensive rating of 104 or worse in 25 times (52%)
This statistical work has a lot of areas where it can be nit picked apart, in the statistically world you would say this has a lot of noise.
Yet, the numbers lead to pretty encouraging picture of how much Favors developing and being ready to play more minutes this year could have a dramatically positive impact on the Jazz defensively.