BREAKDOWN—The next D is on its way

De-Fense. De-Fense. De-Fense.

Utah’s defense over the past season has not be adequate. In the offseason, general manager Dennis Lindsey was very clear that the defense must improve. During the opening portion of the season, the Jazz’s defense was the worst in the NBA. However, over the last 10 games the Jazz have made tremendous strides.

The Jazz have altered their pick-and-roll coverages and changed how they are practicing pick-and-roll coverage and rotations. The impact has shown on the floor.

Using Dean Oliver’s four factors from Basketball on Paper, here is a look at the defensive improvement (shown by how the Jazz rank in the NBA).

defensive imporovemtn 1-3What I see here is a team that has learned a new method of playing defense. They players are executing the principals of the defense but are not being aggressive. As they get more comfortable they will begin to force more turnovers.

Having three of the four factors in the top half of the league is the foundation of a top-15 defense, which would be a huge success this season.