EMPTYING THE NOGGIN
• Wire to wire win for the Jazz. A very solid night top to bottom against a tired road weary team.
• If we could play Eastern Conference teams at home every night that would be awesome.
• Jazz starters got the Jazz on a 14-2 start and then when they came back in the game with 4:30 left in the 2nd quarter and up by 9 they stretched the lead to 16 and the Jazz were in total control.
• The Sixers never got inside 14 points in the second half of the game.
• The growth of Kanter and Burks in their first 82 game schedule is fun to watch. Remember these guys played only 66 games last year in a truncated season and this year they are flourishing in the second half of the year. Kanter has developed more and more offensive moves and is really learning how to score. He has different moves and is getting better at reading situations. He even passes. Burks is so much better defensively. He is playing the game harder. The success of his game used to depend entirely on the making shots but he has developed so much more to his game, his rebounding and his defense have become staples that he can rest upon. Terrific to watch these two guys make the jump from year 1 to year 2 and then the big jump happens next year in year 2 to year 3.
• Ron Boone talked in Postcast about a new play the Jazz are running that is being initiated by Hayward and has a ton of motion and movement. Phil Johnson built on that in his visit on the broadcast saying the Jazz ran it 5 straight times and scored on 4 of them and had scored on about 6 of the 8 times they ran it tonight.
• Millsap had great hands tonight and had 3 steals he has had 2 or more steals in 6 straight games.
• Great to see Randy Foye hitting shots. Jazz need him badly in the home stretch and he hit 3 three’s tonight. He opens so much up for Jefferson and Milsap
• 9th straight game big Al went under 20 points, he only played 18 minutes due to foul trouble and a hard elbow to the nose and mouth.
• Solid all around night – Jazz had 7 players in double figures and no one played over 31 minutes
• Get the home wins and grab a few road wins late and we can still make the playoffs.
An old staple within Jazz basketball returned today in conversation at shoot around, 3 stops in a row. It sounds so simple but in the NBA getting 3 stops in a row is almost impossible.
The Jazz are looking to get 3 stops in a row twice a quarter and preferrably have 1 of those happening in the final minutes of a quarter so that you close on a run.
It’s worth keeping an eye on tonight to see if the Jazz can get the number 1 pace of play team to slow down at all and get those 3 stops in a row at any point during the game.
If a team does accomplished this 8 times in a game they will almost always win the game. It sounds so simple and as you read this you must be thinking how can they not do that, but you would be surprised how rarely 3 stops in a row happens during an NBA game.
The other discussion was how to get off to faster starts. Coach Tyrone Corbin took some time with Mo Williams after shoot around in a 1 on 1 conversation to try to discuss with him what he could do to help the team get started.
In addition, Corbin met with Paul Millsap about his back to back slow starts. Corbin knows the team needs Millsap to show the energy early in the game and for the rest of them to build off the energy of Paul.
A hot debate in the Jazz fan community right now is how to equate the minutes the starters are playings (and most often being outscored) and those the bench are playing (and most often outscoring the opponents).
One theory is that if you flipped the groups around you would end up with the same exact outcome. Our Jazz team is currently constructed of a group of non all-stars that are very equal 1-13 so when they play a Hall of Fame or All-star laden starting line-up they struggle but the bench is very deep so it has success.
The other is the bench players would do much better than our current starters.
At the Sports Nation site SLC Dunk Amar did terrific work this week delving into what percentage of minutes each player is playing against the other team’s starters contrasting to the other team’s bench players.
The results were our starters are playing about 76% of their minutes against other teams starters. Gordon Hayward is playing about 50/50% in 25 minutes, Favors and Burks have been playing about 40% v. Starters in their 20 minutes and Kanter is at 33% v. Starters in his 15 minutes.
This was terrific work by Amar.
Let’s take the next step and put this into actual play.
Jazz starters play 25 minutes a night v. other starters and 8 minutes a night v. Reserves. Hayward is 12.5 of each, whereas Favors and Burks play 9 minutes v. Starters and 11 v. reserves. Finally, Tyrone Corbin has been very careful to protect 20 year old Enes Kanter and he is playing just 5 minutes v. starters and 10 v. reserves.
What jumps out to me from Amar’s work is what an enormous jump of competition it is to be a starter.
If Favors were to start he is moving from 9 minutes a night v. front level guys to 25 a night and even Hayward goes from 12 to 25. Favors is undertaking 3 times as many minutes against the best talent.
What Kanter is doing tonight, thankfully v. the Bobcats, if he starts is even more stunning. Kanter will move from 5 minutes a night to 25 minutes against front line players.
Looking at this gives me two different conclusions. First, comparing starters performance to bench players performance are apples and oranges. On the other hand, a team better start its best players to handle the difference in talent a team is facing throughout the game.
1. Crash the offensive glass. The bucks are the worst defense rebounding team in the NBA.
2. Handle the guards in transition. Force Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings to play a half court.
3. Find al Jefferson looks. With double team is coming out still needs to get his shots.