INSIDER – How long do you miss with a fractured finger

Tonight the Jazz rookie Trey Burke fractured the index finger on his right (shooting) hand.

Not all fractured fingers are the same but from a search here are the other NBA fractured finger injuries and the time table.  We will know more specifically on Monday about Trey Burke’s timetable.

Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson both seemed to miss no games and played with broken or fractured fingers.  Here are the mere mortals …..

Kyrie Irving in November of 2012 missed from November 18th to December 11th

Manu Ginobili in Jan 2012 missed from Jan 4th to Feb 8th of 2012

Delonte West Jan 2010 missed Jan 23rd to Feb 11th

Delonte West did it again in Feb of 2012 missed Feb 17 to March 29, he had to have a pin put in his finger.

Raymond Felton Dec 2012 missed from Dec 26th to Jan 26th

Roddie Beaubois March 2012 missed from March 18th to the end of the season

Jonas Valanciunas Dec 2012 missed from Dec 21st to Feb 1st his was referred to as a broken finger.

Stephen Jackson  Nov 2012 missed from Nov 21st to Dec 17th

If you look a month from today you get to November 11th and the Jazz will have only played 7 regular season games

Insider – First Day Observations

Here are a few impressions from the first morning of practice.

Today’s morning session was primarily conditioning with a focus on a defensive conditioning. Coach Corbin and his staff did begin to institute some of the early offensive sets with slight variations from years past. Karl Malone was present working with the other coaches and after practice held a session with the Bigs of the far courts working on various moves and positioning.

The talk after practice was about Gordon Hayword’s increased role as a ball handler this season. Coach Corbin talked about altering some of the offensive and defensive sets this year to better match the personnel.

Coach Corbin was really pushing guys today. You could see a bounce in his step and the excitement to be back out on the floor coaching his guys.

Two highlights stood out from the morning practice. Enes Kanter hit 21 of 23 jumpers from 15 feet during one drill. And in the final conditioning drill of the day Gordon Hayward and Trey Burke had a nice little friendly competition be to see who could get to the line first. Both giving huge effort at the close of the conditioning drill.

INSIDER – Utah Jazz and Dennis Lindsey excited about data on steroids

The NBA announced on Thursday that motion tracking cameras will be installed in every NBA arena. An excited Dennis Lindsey called it “data on steroids.”

The Utah Jazz General Manager has extensive background in camera tracking technology. The San Antonio Spurs have been using this technology over the past season while Lindsey worked with the Spurs. Moreover, while working for the Spurs, Lindsey was sent on a camera scouting mission to Europe to investigate how the cameras were being used in European Soccer.

The possibilities are endless, Lindsey says they are only limited by “good ideas and financial resources.” The Jazz need to make numerous decisions on how they will use this new wealth of data. The Jazz could use the standard information that will be supplied by STATS or they could hire their own developers to try to decipher their own findings out of the information.

The exuberance from Lindsey was obvious as he talked about the agreement between the NBA and STATS. Teams will be able to look at players load, how much they run, how fast they run, the average speed as well as fatigue zones and optimal performance models.

Offensively and Defensively the new system can be used in many different forms. The cameras will give a bird’s eye view to each play as well as having the technology for the teams to overlay data on the screen. The bird’s eye perspective will let teams look at how players are guarded, closely or loosely, and they perform in those circumstances. In addition, each spot on the floor will have xy coordinates.

Lindsey admitted that much of this information simply becomes “atta boy coaches” as it reconfirms what coaches have already implemented into their game plans.

Lindsey became tight lipped on some of its specific uses and areas where it can assist the franchise. The key he said was to “make sure the data base is serving you instead of just constantly feeding it.” The data is robust and the ability to see beyond the initial research into what other areas the data is yielding results will be vital to making this information effective.

In its simplest form Lindsey said “anything that helps you auto-mat tracking is helpful.”

INSIDER – Reasons to be excited about the Utah Jazz

Today I got asked for 5 reasons to be excited about the Utah Jazz. I came up with 8 and could go for more. Here are the 8 I came up with.

1. Engagement. The franchise needed players who are engaged in the future of the franchise. It needed a group of players who viewed themselves as the franchise and view themselves as the core group moving forward. When we played the Rockets last year it was clear Harden, Parson, Lin and Asik felt they were building something for the future. When we played the Warriors Curry, Lee and Thompson were clearly engaged in the their future as the Warriors. The Jazz have told Hayward, Favors, Kanter, Burks and Burke it is their franchise. They will bond and beginning the building for the future. It is their time to lead and their time to establish what is acceptable and what isn’t in this franchise.

2. Fan Engagement. As much as the players needed engagement so did the fan base. The last few years for many fans felt like we were in a holding pattern and as classy and professional as many of our players were you knew in the back of your mind they were likely gone, now the fan can engage in the future pieces of the puzzle.

3. Defense. Young teams are not usually good defensively but as the Jazz build the core of Jazz 4.0 (the Jazz next generation) this will be a group capable of defending. Favors and Kanter can anchor the middle. Burks and Hayward are active on the wings and Rudy Gobert in years could be a major defensive force in the NBA.

4. Over the last three season’s Gordon Hayward has gone from 5 pts a game to 11.8 pts a game to 14 pts a game. Now it is time to see if the member of the USA Elite Team is ready to become a leader of a franchise. Let’s get a little geeky, last year Hawyard used 24% of his possessions to shot a three (hitting on 42%) and he got to the line 12.7 of his possessions. The two most efficient ways to score are shooting a three and going to the line. Only 3 other players in the NBA who played more than 10 minutes a night did what Hayward did last year – James Harden, Danilo Gallinari and Gerald Wallace and none of them shot the three better than 37%.

5. More Gordon Hayward. Last year Gordon Hayward averaged per 36 minutes on the floor 17 pts, 3.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists. The players who have done the same playing on the wing in the last 20 seasons are Le Bron James, Carmelo Anthony, Richard Jefferson, Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter, Kevin Garnett, Antoine Walker, Grant Hill, Juwan Howard, Anfernee Hardaway and Jamal Mashburn. Solid company.

6. Trey Burke. At age 14 Burke’s AAU team was the national runner up, at age 15 Burke won the AAU U16 national championship, at age 16 Trey Burke lead his high school team to the state championship title in Ohio. At age 17 his high school team with Jared Sullinger was #1 in the country. At age 18 Burke was Mr. Ohio Basketball. He went 97-5 in high school never losing a city league game. At 19 he was the Big 10 Freshman player of the year and set the Michigan all time assist record for a freshman and at age 20 he was the national college player of the year and the runner up for the NCAA title. In his first ever post-season college game he dropped 30 on Minnesota in the Big 10 tourny for a new career high. His run in this year’s tournament is legendary.

7. Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. Both of these players are still very young but the prospects are very exciting. Favors has a chance to be the NBA Defensive Player of the Year. He will have to learn a lot about how to play entire games. His workouts with Karl Malone has been awesome and hopefully can allow him to develop a basis for an offensive game. Enes Kanter got a two chances to start against lesser teams, Cleveland and Toronto, and he killed it averaging 21 points and 15 rebounds. In the 16 games Kanter played 20 or more minutes he averaged 13 pts and 8 rebs while shooting 59.7%. He has a legitimate chance to be a go to offensive player in the NBA. Neither of these players are completely ready, but now is the time for them to develop and learn how to become better NBA players.

8. Lastly, I will steal a note from former Jazz great and now Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek. When a player comes to the arena and knows he is playing 20 minutes a night no matter how much he tries to avoid it he is not as engaged as he is when he knows he is playing 30 minutes a night and the team and fans are relaying on their performance. We get to see how Hayward, Favors, Burks, Kanter and Burke react when they come to the arena knowing it is on their shoulders and I am very excited to see that.

INSIDER – Thoughts on Free Agency from the Grand Canyon

Sorry for the lack of news for those of you unaware my family and I are on a cross country RV trip and the internet connectivity has been limited. If you would like more on the trip you can get it here

Jefferson to Charlotte
Al is wonderful man and was a great teammate to Enes Kanter and a super member of the Jazz community but 13.5 million a year for Jefferson is not something the Jazz wanted to do. With the NBA CBA you can have 3 players that earn 40 million or 4 players that earn 45 or you will be in serious jeopardy of going over the luxury tax. No need for the Jazz to put 13.5 million toward Jefferson under those constraints.

It will be interesting to see how the Jazz are defensively without Jefferson. Zach Lowe of Grantland wrote a critical piece on the coaching staffs defensive structure and systems. However, almost everything the team was doing defensively was trying to cover for Jefferson and preclude teams from isolating him. The defensive numbers with Jefferson on the floor were awful and when he was on the bench were ok. If you look at our worst defensive line-ups all of them had Jefferson on the floor and the same groups of 4 without Jefferson were not bad defensively.

On the other hand, Jefferson was the Jazz low post go to scorer. He was remarkable over the last few years late in games and that will be difficult to replace. However, not to the tune of 13.5 million a year.

CLIPPERS ADD REDDICK MOVING BLEDSOE AND BUTLER

I have never been a fan of Caron Butler, he is an inefficient player and I am not totally sold on Eric Bledsoe as a point guard. The addition of Jared Dudley and JJ Reddick two efficicent players to the Clippers are going to make them an offensive beast.

Bledsoe was a good defensive player and that is going to be missed and the Clippers must find a defensive player and a point guard to complete their roster.

This is a nice move by the Clippers. The Suns have now started their franchise Bledsoe and Len. I am not sold on either player but what they do with Gortat and Dragic will determine their rebuilding project.

EVANS TO NEW ORLEANS IN THREE WAY DEAL WITH SACRAMENTO AND PORTLAND

New Orleans becomes interesting. I am not sure if they are good but they are interesting. Holliday, Gordon, Evans, Anderson and Davis. Their guard line can’t shoot from the outside but Anderson can stretch the floor. Evans has a chance to be a good player outside of Sacramento but Holliday was very inefficient in Philadelphia and can’t shoot from the outside either.

I love what Portland did here. Robin Lopez is a nice player who could be a good starter or a terrific thrid big. With the roster the Blazers have Lopez makes for a nice center where Meyers Leonard is not ready.

Sacramento’s new ownership is doing everything they can to restart their franchise but it is going to take lots of time and defensiveless point guard is not the answer but they have little choices.

OTHER QUICK THOUGHTS
* OJ Mayo wants the ball not wins
* Love the Spurs move to get Marco Belinelli
* 6 million for Korver, wow
* The Knicks were screwed by the Luxury tax and had to over pay JR Smith because of it. Interesting how that hamstrings a luxury team.

Lastly, let me be on the record that the Clippers had no choice but the Chris Paul contract is going to be a major problem at the end of the deal.

Would you really be willing to let Dwight Howard have his hands around the neck of your franchise?

INSIDER – Marvin Williams to have surgery

Utah Jazz announced today that Marvin Williams will have surgery on his right heel and Achilles tendon on June 3rd and be out an estimated 6 months.

Here is the impact of Marvin’s surgery.
1) Marvin will certainly opt in for the final year of his contract putting 7.5 million dollars on the Jazz salary.

2) Marvin’s on court role could have taken a significant change this season and still may. With the possible departure of Millsap and Jefferson Marvin could have become the Jazz 3rd big man. Marvin played the power forward a good deal in Atlanta and has the ability to stretch the floor. Marvin seemed more active whenever he played that role this last season.

3) The Jazz lose a good long defender for at least a month of the season. The Jazz had played 17 games by Dec 1st last year. It is reasonable to think the Jazz could miss Marvin for nearly a quarter of their games this next season.

4) This makes a tough call for the Jazz front office in two areas. In the front court when decided what do with Millsap and Jefferson or find replacements the Jazz will likely have to add two big men to the roster to be able to survive the first 20 games.

5) At the small forward position this makes DeMarre Carroll an important re-sign for the Jazz. If Williams was going to play the small forward in the upcoming season those minutes needed to be filled for the portion he is going to miss.

6) I am not sure it alters the Jazz draft day approach.

7) Lastly, Marvin is only out until Dec 1st (estimation) he will be a part of the roster for the other 75 to 80% of the season so any move to cover for Marvin’s injury then could be a logjam move once he is healthy.

8) Ok 1 more, Marvin will miss all of training camp. If Coach Corbin is planning on instituting new system’s Marvin won’t be able to participate in those drills. However, Marvin is a smart player so he should be fine once he is healthy.

Best wishes to Marvin on his surgery and to a speedy recovery.

INSIDER – Defensive Improvement Case Study #8 – Memphis Grizzlies 2003-04

INTRODUCTION
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 IMPORVEMENT CASE STUDY #8 – Memphis Grizzlies 2003-2004

DEFENSIVE CHANGE: 2002-03 Memphis allowed 107.3 pts per 100 possessions (27th) and the next season they allowed just 102.2 pts per 100 possessions (11th).

INSIDE THE FOUR FACTORS: In 2002-03 the Grizzlies ranked 28th in effective field goal defense in 03-04 they went to 10th, they were 20th in forcing turnovers and became the #2 team in the NBA forcing turnovers , 28th in defensive rebounding and stayed that way as they were 29th the next season and were the 2nd best team in the NBA in fouling however, when Hubie had a full season they became the 25th in the NBA at foul rate

PLAYER MOVEMENT: The poor defensive team in 02-03 started Jason Williams as the point guard, Gordan Giricek and Wesley Person were the shooting guards, Shane Battier was the small forward with Lorenzen Wright and Pau Gasol on the front line. Earl Watson and Stromile Swift came off the bench.
The next year with Hubie Brown, added James Posey to replace Giricek and Person, Mike Miller was added to Battier as a wing player. Earl Watson had a minute pick up.
Overall not a huge change, but noticeable that most of the changes took place on the wings.

COACHING: . Sidney Lowe was the head coach for the first 8 games of the 02-03 season before being replaced by Hubie Brown. Hubie Brown was the coach for the entire 03-04 season.

CONCLUSION: A few interesting notes here. One the coaching switch was obviously vital but how they did it on the floor is different than I would have imagined. First, they added wing players not big men that changed who they were defensively. Moreover, this is yet another example of a team increasing its defensive pressure, committing more fouls and forcing more turnovers to become a better defensive team. The foul rate increase seems to be corresponding to better defense which is very surprising.

INSIDER – Defensive Improvement Case Study #7 – 2010-11 Memphis Grizzlies

INTRODUCTION
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 IMPORVEMENT CASE STUDY #7 – Memphis 2010-11

DEFENSIVE CHANGE: This is really a two year span that does include a lock-out season but is still worth involving in this case study. In 09-10 Memphis allowed 109.9 pts per 100 possessions (19th in NBA), then in 10-11 they allowed 105.1 (9th) and in the lockout season of 101.8 pts per 100 possessions. This will focus on the move from 09-10 to 10-11

INSIDE THE FOUR FACTORS: in 09-10 the Grizzlies were 25th in opponents EFG% then improved to 18th , they were 20th in forcing turnovers and made a huge jump to #1 in the NBA, they were 20th in defensive rebounding and they stayed the same and they were 3rd best in not fouling and in the improved year fouled much more putting them 14th in the NBA. The Grizzlies were 10th in pace of play in 09-10 and then in the improved year slowed down slightly to 15th.

PLAYER MOVEMENT: In 09-10 the Grizzlies started Conley, Mayo, Gay, Randolph and Gasol. The bench was Sam Young, Marcus Williams and Hasheem Thabeet. The year of improvement made one signigifant change adding Tony Allen from Boston and Rudy Gay got hurt. .

COACHING: This was Lionel Hollins second year as the head coach of the Grizzlies. The staff was Johnny Davis, Barry Hecker, Damon Stoudamire, Henry Bibby and David Joerger. This was the same staff the previous season.

CONCLUSION: The Grizzlies did this largely by becoming more aggressive and forcing more turnovers and even fouling more than they had in the past. The addition of Tony Allen was a huge part of this however, much of this has to do with Hollins 2nd year as the head man and understanding what his team needs to do to be better. The next year the Grizzlies went to 9th in the NBA. The improvement in condition and play of Marc Gasol is a huge part of this as well.