A lot has been made thus far of the Jazz's inability to put together full defensive efforts for the entire game. After hearing a few weeks of the team preaching nothing but defense, the Jazz have been incredibly disappointing in this regard. But I had higher hopes when I heard Jerry Sloan mention that he would be benching players who didn't commit to playing defense. I believed him at the time and I think it's the only way he is going to get to some of these players. Taking away playing time is really the only way he can effect his team and get his point across. It is where he has the power to...well, motivate, as much as he doesn't think he should be the motivator.
But 7 games in, I haven't seen Sloan stick to his promise. I am not asking for taking a guy out of a game and not letting him play til two games later. I am not even advocating for him to chew out a guy on the sideline in front of everyone. But there is nothing wrong with pulling a guy after a missed defensive assignment, or just a lack of effort challenging the rim, and telling him on the sideline in one sentence that when he goes back in, Sloan needs a better defensive effort from him. It's simple. Sit the guy for a couple minutes and let him rededicate himself to defense. And no one should be immune from this treatment. Sit Boozer, sit AK, Millsap or even Deron Williams. The guy who does get this treatment is Ronnie Brewer. Often. But do it to everyone.
Coach Sloan has something to learn from Scott Skiles. And it isn't the angry "Popeye" face.
Here is an excerpt from John Hollinger, ESPN basketball analyst, that I found interesting. I couldn't just link it, because it from an insider piece on ESPN.com.
"Through two weeks it is not the much-lauded Celtics but the long-forgotten Bucks who lead the NBA in defensive efficiency," Hollinger writes. "Scott Skiles once again has managed to squeeze blood from a rock in leading the Bucks to a surprising 3-2 start, with the help of the league's most underrated defender and the additions of quick-handed point guard Brandon Jennings and defensive-minded wing Carlos Delfino."
"One good example of Skiles' impact is how he handled Hakim Warrick against New York on Saturday. Unlike the others, Warrick isn't exactly renowned for his D. After a couple of soft challenges on Danilo Gallinari jumpers, Skiles yanked him just two minutes into the game. Warrick came back in the second half and defended the way that Skiles demands, and Milwaukee went on to win in a rout."