Sunday Syncopation #13

We're back, hope you enjoy it this week.

First all, Dunkites, I want you to know that if you have any questions / thoughts / points of research that you'd like to see explored -- you can always pose a question in the comments below or find me on twitter . . . without further ado, lets get to it.

  • Jon Massimino (@jmass12 on twitter) asked me if there was a stat correlation between Deron Williams' assists in Jazz wins and losses; and if there was some greater meaning to this. Well, for the 2010-2011 season (including last night's game vs. the Grizz) in wins Deron averages 10.3 apg and in losses only 7.1 apg. I think part of this (or any basketball question) deals in part with a 'Chicken or the Egg' type of deal. For example, is Gordon Hayward playing better now that he's playing more (which gives him confidence), or playing better, so that he's playing more. In the case of the Jazz wins and losses, and Deron's assists I think part of it is Deron breaking down the other team and being active on offense, but the other part is people making shots. Deron could have the most fantastic move to the basket and dish off to a teammate, but if he misses -- then it was worthless. Williams is the engine that runs our team. If he's clicking then we are too. If anything, I think there is a greater relationship between our W/L record, and how well guys make their jump shots. (But when I get the new hot spot data, I will check that out)
  • After watching this, and a very high number of previous Jazz games this season, I am coming to appreciate some of the more overt finishes of Carlos Boozer. I'm not pining for Booz to return, but I do miss his finishing ability when I see Al Jefferson get rejected by O.J. Mayo on a sure bucket. (This particular miss was the product of an amazing move by Deron, and an amazing pass by Andrei Kirilenko) Carlos Boozer had a straight forward game as a power forward. Al Jefferson has a lot of post moves as a power forward. I kind of miss the actual, overt, 'POWER' game of the Power forward though. There is only one Karl Malone though, so the only thing to do is either hope that Jefferson dunks it more, or accept the trade off of post moves vs. finishing moves.
  • Because I am getting all nostalgic . . . here's required viewing material:

 

  • Of course, it was a different time, and there is no real analog of his player type currently dominating the NBA right now, but Karl Malone was really good. He got the ball a lot, and knew what to do with it. Sure, it's unfair to compare a guy like Boozer or Jefferson to him. Yet, I will -- if for no other reason than to show the degree of supremacy that he has against the other 'star' bigmen that we've relied on scoring for. Carlos Boozer is the 20-10 guy, right? He's actually only averaged 20-10 (or better) twice in 9 years. He's close to a third time in this, his 9th season, but he's not quite there yet. Malone had 10 seasons of averaging 20-10. Boozer's not getting a 20-10 at the age of 29. When Karl was 29 he averaged 27 and 11. (with 4 assists, 1.5 steals and a block per game to boot)
  • What about Al Jefferson? I thought we were being sold a 20-10 guy from the Boozer trade. In a much shorter NBA career he has as many seasons of being (on avg) a 20-10 as Boozer, but isn't really thriving with us so far this season. (Of course, when you compare his first season with the Jazz against that of Boozer's horrible injury year with the Jazz then it's not so bad) At the age of 26 Al is averaging 16.7 ppg and 8.8 rpg (not including stats from Grizz game last night where he got all of 11 points and 4 rebounds). Karl? Karl averaged (over 82 games mind you) 31 and 11 when he was 26 years old.
  • Why am I bringing this up? Well, Just to point out that we're used to a lot better than what we've been getting from our top 'bigman' scorer over the last few seasons. The only thing close about all three guys is that they've all been paid 'Karl Malone' money, but only one of them produced like him.
  • Our very own Clint Peterson (@Clintonite33 on twitter) wrote something super awesome. If you did not see it before, check it out now.
  • Rebounds are a big problem this season. Specifically, getting beat on the boards is a big problem this season. Opponents have been having their way on the glass against the Jazz. This is not acceptable. Sure, right now we're going getting *on average* 2.2 less boards a game than the other team. The average does not look so bad. How about so far this season we've almost been out rebounded by a margin (of rounding up) 100 boards? Does that look like something we can sweep under the rug? Maybe I'm wrong about this, but I think that the Jazz would get killed a lot less if they rebounded better vs. their opponents.
  • Jefferson is under 9 boards a game, Millsap under 8, and Kirilenko barely over 5. Fesenko, Okur, and Elson all average 2 a game. Rebounding, especially for your bigs, comes from position. Because our guards have been getting beat on defense, our bigs have to leave their position and go into a position to defend a penetrator. This means the other team (already with the advantage of having beat one guy) have the advantage for an easier offensive rebound, if the shot misses. So, for bigs, they'd board more if the guards defended the ball handler better. 
  • What about the guards? Well, Deron is having a career year in rebounding this season (kinda), but the rest of the wings have to step up as well. I think the offensive rebounds we give up are more the 'tap out' kind rather than the 'unable to keep a body on a beast' kind.
  • So far this has been mostly negative, so i am going to end this syncopation here and reserve the right to add more as Sunday goes on.
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