The Jazz defense since the All-Star break is historically good. Since 2001, only the 2004 Detroit Pistons have been better for a 2nd half of a season. Since 2005, no team has been better than the Jazz defensive rating of 93.0 post all star break, the next best is the 07 Bulls.
Without question the Jazz defense is performing at an elite level. Now the question is will it translate to 2015-16?
METHODOLOGY: Looked at the top 5 post all-star break defenses since 2000-01 and look at what they did the following year. Excluded any year involving the lockout.
* Since 2001 no team that has led the NBA in defense post all-star break has been #1 in defense the next season
* 13 of 24 (54%) teams who finished top 2 defensively PASB were top 5 defensively the next year
* 19 of 36 (53%) teams who finished top 3 defensively PASB were top 5 defensively the next year
* 30 of the 60 (50%) teams that were top 5 defensively PASB stayed in the top 5 the next season
* 20 of the 60 teams (33%) that were top 5 defensively PASB fell out of the top 10 defensively the next season
* 6 of the 60 teams (10%) fell out of the top half defending.
* Of the 60 teams that have been top 5 defensive PASB since 2001 they have represented 8 of the 12 teams next season who were #1 defensively, they have represented 5 of the 12 teams that ranked #2 the next season, 6 of the 12 that ranked 3rd and 6 of 12 that ranked 4th.
* The teams that finished top 5 PASB defensively represented 52% of the teams that were top 4 defensively the next season
* On average the best defensive team after the ASB sees their defensive rating increase 4 pts per 100 possessions the next season from where they performed PASB. None of the top 12 teams improved.
* Teams that finished in the top 5 defensively PASB on average see their defensive rating increase 2.2 pts per 100 possessions.
The Jazz defense since the ASB has been unique. The Jazz have a defensive rating of 93.0. Only 1 team since 2007 has had a post all-star break defensive rating within 4 pts of the Jazz 93.0 – 2013 Memphis Grizzlies (97.0).
It is unlikely the Jazz can maintain the insane 93.0 pts per 100 possessions rate they have held since the ASB for an entire season. However, if they follow the trend of adding 4 pts per 100 possessions they would still be an elite defense. One of the 10 best since 2001 (non-lockout). It seems reasonable to anticipate that the Jazz would be on the correct side of the 50% group that stays in the top 5 defensively. However, it is clear there is wide variance year to year.
Next project if you are top 5 defensively what does it mean for your win total