One word continually came up today talking to players as they prepared for the morning sessions of Day 2 of training camp, pace. An increased pace to everything the Jazz are trying to do offensively.
The Jazz are not about to become the Phoenix Suns, but there is a hope to increase the urgency on the offensive end. They hope to get into plays quicker, get more options on a set and increase the movement from where the offense was last year.
The move to Mo Williams at point guard is a large part of the change. Last year, Tyrone Corbin was continually requesting his point guards to accelerate the tempo and get into the offense quicker.
Too often increased pace is associated with fast break basketball. In this case it would be more appropriate to talk about early offense. The Spurs were able to get up the floor in a hurry and Tony Parker would roll of a pick and roll with 18 on the shot clock. It was reminiscent of the Stockton to Malone Jazz who would get into their “power” set and have a quick post up option.
When a team is able to hit its first part of set with 17 to 19 on the shot clock a world of opportunity opens up in contrast to a team walking up the floor, looking for a play call and getting started on a set at 12 to 14 seconds. Five seconds is 4 passes, another chance to find an open man or more importantly more time to make the defense rotate and break down.
This doesn’t mean the Jazz will rise the charts in pace of play or more possessions used in the first 10 seconds of the clock. Instead, the hope is the action gets started earlier, thus creating better shots and better opportunities.
You aren’t going to see Mo Williams rush the ball up into a quick trialing three ball from Randy Foye or Marvin Williams. Instead, similar to the Spurs the shots will come off action.
Numerous possessions will still end in the hands of Al Jefferson in the post. Hopefully, they will have had some previous action before getting to Jefferson and Jefferson himself will be there and set quicker and earlier in the offense.
The combination of Millsap and Favors being able to run the floor and help create early opportunities with their speed and athleticism coupled with Jefferson’s ability to always be able to get himself a shot should give the Jazz numerous options inside of a 24 second shot clock.