Utah Jazz radio voice David Locke was the guest of Travis Rodgers on KLAA radio in LA today talking Spurs v. Warriors, OKC and Grizzlies and can anyone beat the Heat
The final 4 teams left in the Western Conference this year were the 4 best teams in the West in effective field goal % defense. ( Weighs three point shooting.) The top 5 defensive teams all made it to the round of 8 and the New York Knicks were the only team to make the Final 8 with a defense below the top 15 in the NBA. You must play defense to win in the NBA.
For the last three seasons, the Utah Jazz have finished ranked 23rd, 19th and 21st defensively in the NBA. If the Jazz are competing with the best in the NBA they must become a better defensive team.
Last year the Jazz allowed 104.7 pts per 100 possessions. To move into the top 15 the Jazz would need to allow 103.0 and to move into the top 10 they would need to allow 101 pts per 100 possessions.
Therefore, I reviewed the last 20 plus years of NBA stats and found the 16 teams to have made a substantial (about 5 pts per 100 possessions) defensive jump from one year to the next. Over the next few weeks I will look at those 16 teams to see what made their defensive jump possible.
Note: I have not included any lockout shortened seasons.
DEFENSIVE IMPROVEMENT CASE STUDY #1 –BOSTON CELTICS 2007-08
DEFENSIVE CHANGE: 2006-07 Boston allowed 106.9 pts per 100 possessions (16th). The next season 98.9 (#1 in the NBA)
INSIDE THE FOUR FACTORS: Were 20th in EFG% become #1, were 28th in fouling were still 23rd, and 10th in forcing turnovers and moved to #1. Pace of play didn’t change and offensive rebounding didn’t change.
PLAYER MOVEMENT: The 06-07 team started Pierce but only for 47 games with Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Deltone West, Sebastian Telfair and a gaggle of other players. In the off-season they had major roster turnover and added Kevin Garnett arguably the best defensive player of the generation and the entire culture changed. In addition, Rajon Rondo went from starting 25 games to being the starting point guard.
COACHING: No head coaching change – Doc Rivers head coach. On August of 2007 the Celtics added defensive guru Tom Thibodeau to their staff he had previously been with Jeff Van Gundy in Houston. Other members of that staff were Clifford Ray, Armond Hill and Kevin Eastman.
CONCLUSION: This one is really basic. Kevin Garnett and no Al Jefferson. However, the increase time with a long point guard in Rondo and the addition of Tom Thibodeau to the staff can’t be underplayed. Kevin Garnett was the defensive player of the year.
Utah Jazz radio voice brings you Tip Off your daily dose of the Utah Jazz and the NBA, talking NBA playoffs, Jazz workouts, Ante Tomic, numbers revolution in the NBA and Dennis Schoerder
Utah Jazz radio voice David Locke pulls a coup and takes over DJ’s show interviewing DJ about the Jazz and where they are heading.
Every Tuesday at 5 pm Utah Jazz radio voice David Locke talks with Spence and Gordon on 97.5 FM and 1280 AM about the NBA and the Jazz. Here is the May 7th conversation
Utah Jazz radio voice David Locke talks about the market for Jefferson and Millsap; point guards, Dallas Mavericks, and Festus Ezeli and Enes Kanter
Are the Golden State Warriors the model for the Utah Jazz to follow for the upcoming season. Not in their collection of draft picks such as Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes. Not in way they surrounded their young players with veteran role players Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry who have willing embraced their roles. Not in their fabulous late 1st round and 2nd round additions of Fetus Ezeli and Draymond Green.
Instead the Warriors have done something remarkable on the defensive end of the floor. This year the Warriors defensive rating (pts allowed per 100 possessions) is 102.6. A year ago it was 106, two years ago it was 107.6 and three years ago it was an abysmal 109.4 only to be outdone by the previous years 110.1.
One of the league’s worst defensive franchises has transformed themselves into one of the best. The last two seasons the Utah Jazz have been the 21st ranked defensive team in the NBA. They must find a way to move into the top 15 in the NBA and even the top 10 if they want to be a team that is still playing this time of year.
The 4 best EFG% (weighs three point shooting) defenses in the West are the 4 teams still playing right now. In 2009-10 the Warriors allowed an EFG% of 52.5% this year they allowed just 48.6%.
The addition of Andrew Bogut has been only a small portion of this transformation. Mark Jackson has young group that has bought into his defensive system. The ability to always have a 7 footer on the floor in Biedrins, Ezeli or Bogut is a must and young athletic wings are equally important.
The real area of improvement for the Warriors has been their defensive rebounding. For the last 4 seasons they allowed opponents to garner 31% of their own misses for another possession. This year’s opponent only got 24.5% of their offensive rebounds.
Changing from a bad defensive team to a good defensive team is a very difficult thing to do in the NBA, but the Jazz need to see how the Warriors have achieved this and emulate in the upcoming seasons.
Utah Jazz radio voice David Locke looks at the Warriors success last night, gm and coaching searches in the NBA and talks a little NBA draft.