PODCAST – Locke joins Scotty G and Hans

Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke talks with Scotty G and Hans about how well the Jazz are playing before leaving on the road trip.

TIPOFF – March 4 – Jazz continue to amaze

(Audio Only) Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke gives you the NBA 5 and why the league will never go to 16 best playoff teams, and then digs deep on the Utah Jazz.

POSTCAST – Locke and Boone recap Utah’s win over Memphis

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Do it enough and it becomes real

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN

  •  This is getting real.   For 34 games we are 18-16.  Since Feb 1st we are the #1 defensive team in the NBA.   Over the last 9 games we are allowing 85 pts a game and have won 7 of 9.   Since All-star break the numbers are just crazy.

 

  • To win a game on the road against an elite team you have to have the big dogs deliver.  Hayward had 13 points in the 3rd quarter to get the Jazz going and Favors then carried the mail home in the 4th quarter with an array of offensive moves.  Memphis coach Dave Joeger  about Favors and Hayward “they were excellent in the second half. I thought individually they just rose up and they were tremendous”

 

  • This might have been the best offensive sequence I have seen from Favors.   Back to back post moves early in the 4th stretched the lead to 7.  Then he hit a 10 foot turnaround to bring it back to 6 after a Memphis surge and then the capper a 13 foot jumper off an Exum give to cap it.   He had 8 4th quarter points to seal the win

 

  • Gordon Hayward had a miserable first half and couldn’t buy a shot.   He answered with a 15 points, 4 rebound, 4 assist, 3 steal 2nd half.   Big time.

 

  • The Jazz interior defense was crazy good.  Memphis shot 22 of 52 in the paint.   IN THE PAINT.  They were 5 of 12 in the first quarter.  5 of 12 again in the 2nd and 6 of 16 in the 3rd quarter.  Through 3 quarter they were 16 of 40 IN THE PAINT.

 

  • Without Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol had to be the offense and he couldn’t get a rhythm.  Gasol finished the night 6 of 15.    Conley is the bell weather for the Grizzlies, in wins Conley shoots 47% and 44 % from 3 and in losses he shoots 39% and 26% from 3.  Tonight, he was 4 for 11 and 0 for 2 from 3.   Dante Exum was spectacular on Conley.  Trey Burke had a good game on him as well.

 

  • Rudy !!!!! Absurd.   15 points, 24 rebounds.   I took a huge step recently and thought he could average 10 pts, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks.  Now I wonder if that is not enough.   He is getting better around the rim as an offensive player every game.  He is understanding his spacing and his floor placement and how to make himself available.  He runs – RUDY runs.   His rebounding is ok right now and he is still grabbing huge numbers.  He is going to be so much of a better rebounder when he gets stronger over the next years and he is already grabbing a ton.  He could become a DeAndre Jordon rebounder.  Rudy grabbed 33% of all rebounds when he was on the floor tonight.  That is crazy

 

  • Dante Exum made three of the best defensively plays I have seen from a point guard.  The most obvious was an open floor transition defense of Mike Conley where he picked his pocket and then collected it for an outlet pass.  He got switched on Jeff Green and Green started left and spun back to his right and Exum cut him off on both.  On the left side of the floor Dante was guarding the ball and they ran a wing to wing pick and roll and he got back out on the shooter to affect a three.  The kid has special talent.

 

  • Rudy threw the best outlet pass of the season to Gordon after one of his rebounds.

 

  • You leave Slow mo Joe open and he is nailing it.

 

  • Rodney Hood played with a confidence tonight.  He had 13 off the bench and is a good defender as well.

 

  • Jazz got another 7 steals tonight.  They are playing collective defense at a really special rate.

 

  • Wonderful to see Jeremy Evans get time and contribute.

 

  • One NBA executive told me he see no reason why the Jazz aren’t top 25% defensive team next year.  That makes you a legit contender for the playoffs and on the road to great things.   This is incredible.   I am blown away at how this has taken place and with the speed it is taking place.

 

  • Quin is really special.  I hope everyone is aware that Quin is really special .

STAT CHECK — An introduction of PAAC

My fundamental belief in evaluating the game of basketball is to narrow it down to the efficiency of a single possession.  The value of players should be based on how they impact each of those possessions.   Defensively this is very difficult.  Offensively, I believe this takes a huge stride in showing the value of a player inside of a game.

I have created Players Points Above Average Created (PAAC).   PAAC (this stat needs a new acronym)   shows what players have the largest offensive impact on every game.    PAAC evaluates how each player uses a scoring opportunity (FGA or trip to the free throw line) in comparison to the average in the NBA.  Therefore, by the end of a game PAAC shows how many points his team has gained or lost compared to an average player in the NBA using those scoring opportunities.

Kevin Durant leads the NBA at 3.9 PAAC (pts per game above average).  Steph Curry (3.5) and James Harden (3.3) are next.    If a team increases their offensive efficiency (pts per 100 possessions) by one point over the course of a season it translates to roughly 2.7 wins.

Last year, Kevin Durant and LeBron James had historic offensive seasons.  Durant lead the NBA with a PAAC of 4.8 and LeBron James was a 4.5.   The next closest was James Harden at 3.2 PAAC.

Lance Stephenson does the most damage to his team leaving the Hornets -2.9 pts below league average in his scoring opportunities each night.   Michael Carter Williams and Kobe Bryant (-2.7) have the next highest negative impact on their team.

Last year, the 3 players with the worst impact on their team, who played at least 40 games were Josh Smith -2.7 PAAC, Michael Carter Williams -2.1 and Trey Burke -1.8.

Fundamentally, if a player is scoring 23 points a game but using an excessive amount of scoring opportunities he is not helping his team win even if he is scoring 23 points a game.   On the flip side it is possible the player using just 10 scoring points a game is doing it with such an amazing efficiency that he is putting the team further above the average than players who score at a higher volume.

The most interesting finding with PAAC is the value of dunkers and 3 point shooters.  Dallas is +2.6 above the league average on the few scoring opportunities used by Tyson Chandler. Chandler ranks the 6th best PAC in the NBA.   Despite only using 7.5 scoring opportunities a night Tyson Chandler has the 6th biggest positive impact of an offensive player.   Other dunkers, DeAndre Jordan is 8th, Hassan Whiteside is 11th and Brandan Wright is 14th.

Kyle Korver only uses 9 scoring opportunities a night, but is the 4th highest impact player in the NBA.   Korver is +3.1 pts per game above average on his scoring opportunities.   Only Durant, Curry and Harden move their team further above average on a nightly basis.   Other high volume three point shooters are also on the top of the list, JJ Redick is 10th and Wesley Matthews is 17thin PAAC.

TOP 10 PAAC

Durant 3.9 PAAC

Curry 3.5

Harden 3.3

Korver 3.1

Anthony Davis 2.7

Tyson Chandler 2.6

Klay Thompson 2.2

DeAndre Jordan 2.0

LeBron James 1.9

J.J. Redick 1.8

 

TIPOFF – March 3 – Introducing “Points Created Above Average”

Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke shares a new stat he created—Points Created Above Average—for evaluating offensive players.

TIPOFF – March 2 – Amazing, simply amazing

Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke breaks down some impressive teams in the NBA and then shows how amazing—simply amazing—what the Jazz have done this year.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Tough wins are better wins

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN

  •  What a game.  Yes, tons of turnovers and missed shots but this might have been the two best defensive teams going head to head.  The Bucks are the #2 defense in the NBA for the season and no one has been better than the Jazz defensively for a while.  Couple that with neither team having an individual player who is going to dominate a possession and this is the game you get.  I kinda loved it.

*  The Bucks are the #1 team in the NBA at forcing turnovers.  Not that surprising that the Jazz committed 23 of them tonight.   What is stunning is the Jazz forced 23 of them tonight.

  • It is hard to play defense when you are not scoring and these two teams amped their defense up even higher every time they didn’t score.  It was sort of awesome.

 

  • Derrick Favors couldn’t have made more big plays late in the game.  Huge blocks defensively.  An offensive rebound put back in traffic for the biggest basket of the game.  The rebound on the following possession.   Wow he was BIG !!! 16 points, 12 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 blocked shots.

 

  • This was a mentally hard win on a back end of a back to back.   Quin talks a lot about moments where the team wouldn’t have been able to do that before.  This is one of those nights. The Jazz couldn’t have won this game as many as two weeks ago.

 

  • The 5 man defensive communication with the Jazz is incredible. The Jazz are really tight on the rotations.  They are running some very complicated switching systems and they are doing them perfectly.

 

  • I have no numbers on this but Derrick Favors got switched on a small numerous times and they did not beat him very often if ever.

 

  • Trey Burke has been very good since the all-star break.   One of the reasons Trey has been so bad defensively is teams were putting Trey in the pick and roll with Enes Kanter and it was a disaster.   His defense has been much better when he is put in a pick and roll with Favors, Gobert or Booker.   We might need to re-evaluate what Trey can do defensively.  Time will tell I it is because of something Trey has developed.

 

  • When Trey is good the Jazz win.   Tonight he was very good offensively – 23 points when no one else could find a window to score.   He had 6 assists and just 1 turnover.

 

  • Rodney Hood closed the game

 

  • Elijah Millsap had the best 0 for 6 game – 7 rebounds and 3 steals.  Millsap ability to cover the main pick and roll ball handler has helped alleviate the burden on Trey Burke defensively.

 

  • 6 offensive rebounds for Trevor Booker. The Jazz are the #1 offensive rebounding team in the NBA and they are best offensive rebounding when Trevor Booker is on the floor.

 

  • Gordon Hayward had a tough shooting night but there was nothing soft about his play.  He gamed it hard at the end.

 

  • Jazz have won 6 of 8 and 16 of the last 31.

 

  • I really like this win.  Maybe like this win more than San Antonio or Portland.  This is not a better team but it is a tougher team and nothing was going right for the Jazz offensively and they won the game defensively.  That is a huge statement of who this team is becoming. The pride they are playing with is impressive.   Wins when things are going wrong are the sign of a good team.   Jazz showed that tonight.