Evan Dunlap at SB Nation takes a look at some advanced stats to find who the best point guards are in the league. Make sure to click through for the whole thing, but here's on graph that he uses that combines shooting and passing efficiencies:
NBA.com has their mid-season report card up and give the Jazz a solid B. If you click through for a more detailed breakdown, they somehow score a B- on defense. I would think that would be a C- given that they're going off defensive efficiency where the Jazz rank 17th.
An overall B is about right though. Despite the recent .500 play, the season overall has been good.
How much do those losses against the Wizards and Nets hurt? Had they won those, they would be in sole possession of third in the west, just two games back of the Lakers for 2nd. Instead, they're tied record-wise with the Mavs and Thunder but sit 5th because of tiebreakers. They also sit just a 1/2 game in front of the Hornets who are hot.
The Mavs and Thunder are off tonight so after the Boston game, they could either be in 6th with a loss and a Hornets win, stay in 5th if they both lose, or be in sole possession of third with a win.
This is how the rest of the season is going to be. The Spurs and Lakers are likely to pull away from the pack while teams 3-8 (assuming Phoenix, Houston, or Memphis don't make a push) will be jockeying for seeding the rest of the way. That's why these two losses are going to hurt.
Since they tend to play up or down to their opponent, maybe we'll see some inspired play tonight from the team.
Who would you guess said this (if you haven't already read it),
I think at times one or two of the guys out on the court do not know what we are running
I thought maybe the quote got mixed up with something Deron said. Instead, it was Big Al that said it. Maybe I'm reading too much into how he said it, but is he talking about other players or is he including himself when he says that? Because the guys he's out on the court with primarily are Deron, AK, Millsap, and Bell. All of them should know where to be. And to clarify, he is talking about offense and not defense in this case. I just thought that was an interesting comment given that he's the one learning the new offense.
On defense, it appears to be much of the same where someone is zigging and the other players are zagging. Deron states in that article that they've struggled with PnR D ever since he's been with the team. The only one I can think of right off the top of my head that seems to play well in PnR D is Elson. He doesn't allow the guards to penetrate yet still recovers in time to get back to his own man.
Salt City Hoops takes a look at Paul Millsap's numbers compared to the other forwards mentioned in Bill Simmons' All-star article from yesterday. They're closer than you might think.
It's not that Millsap isn't an All-star but there are just so many good forwards out there right now in the west that he would have to be playing out of his mind to get selected by the coaches.