FanPost

Defending Big Al

 

Do you know why Jerry Sloan has never won coach of the year award? People here on SLC Dunk have touched on this several times, but it comes down to Sloan is always expected to do well so the media never gives him credit for what a good job he does. It is constantly posted on here about how the media has their expectations and so while we can see the injustice of Scott Brooks getting a coach of the year, the same time that Durant, Ibaka, and Westbrook start coming into their own, we also need to be able to see past when our expectations are too high, or not focused on the same thing as the players focus. A lot of us expected Al to come in and average 23 and 13, but when you look at his actual numbers they are not as bad as people would have you to believe. It comes back to expectations. If we had thought it would take Al a while to learn the offense, the team to adjust to the first low post player we have had in a decade and for him to be playing through a jacked up knuckle on his shooting hand, we would have gladly accepted his numbers this year. So next time we get ticked at the media for them making their decisions based on expectations we need to remember that we are all guilty of this at times.

 

 

 

Remember back to last year when what everyone talked about the thing we needed was a big man to help us beat the elite teams in the west. Remember that the Jazz centers since the departure of Ostertag had never blocked even 1.2 shots a game. Remember the Lakers big men having a lay up fest at our expense. Remember Jarron Collins, Mikki Moore, Curtis Bochardt, Ben Handlogton. Remember Fes last year against the Lakers in the playoffs. Remember a combo of 6’7” Millsap and 6’8” Boozer. So the next time you think about bad mouthing Al, please remember where we came from.

 

 

 

If I would have told you last year that the Jazz could bring in a center that would average 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks a game, I think we would have been happier than someone seeing a double rainbow. But all I have read on here lately is what is he isn’t doing. I have seen it all, “He doesn’t shoot a high enough percentage,” (though he shoots the second highest in our starting lineup) “he doesn’t know the offense,” “it is taking him longer to get the offense than I thought,” “He is a black hole,” “He is a solar system,” etc. etc. I will be the first to admit that he isn’t Moses Malone, but he isn’t Fes either.

 

 
When I saw people saying that Fes needs to start over Big Al I about lost it. You want to replace your 3rd leading scorer and leading rebounder and shot blocker for a guy that shots 37% on FTs. Fes’s PER is 7.35  and if he played even 36 mins at his current rates he would  foul out in 28 mins and a night would be averaging 9 points, 8 rebounds, 7.5 fouls and 1.4 blocks. Plus I know the thing we get mad at Al for is his FG%, but Big Fes is shooting 3% less than Big Al. And Fess is putting up these numbers against primarily back ups. Let’s also not forget that Fes’ FT% this year is 19% lower than Shaq’s.

 

 

We give Fes a pass all of the time because he is young. Well Fes is 24, and Big Al just turned 26, I don’t hear any “let Al develop,” “Al is still young,” “Al needs a chance.”  I do see, “I’ll give Al a pass this year, but if things don’t change, I think we need him gone.” Really if he keeps putting up top 10 center numbers instead of top 5 numbers, he is no good. Really other than Deron he is the best player at his position that we have.

 

 

We are also quick to forget as fans that the first year with a player is a work in progress. Look at Memo’s first year with the Jazz. 12.9 points, 7.5 Rebounds, 0.8 blks a game. What about Boozer’s first year? 17.8 Points, 9 rebounds. The other thing I noticed is that both Boozer and Memo got more assists than Al, but they both turned the ball over a lot more than Al. The truth is that Al’s TO ratio is number 1 among centers in the whole NBA. Millsap who has a reputation of not turning the ball over has a higher TO ratio than Al.

 

 

Look at the top centers in the NBA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Basic Stat line

 

 

  FG FG% FT FT% STL BLK TO PF OFF DEF TOT AST PTS
Dwight Howard, ORL 7.7-13.4 0.571 6.8-11.6 0.586 1.1 2.2 3.5 3.4 4 10 13.4 1.2 22.1
Al Horford, ATL 7.0-12.4 0.566 2.1-2.6 0.821 0.8 1.1 1.4 2.6 3 7 9.7 3.4 16.2
Nene, DEN 5.5-8.6 0.646 4.2-5.5 0.755 1 0.8 1.8 3.3 2 6 7.5 2.1 15.2
Andrew Bynum, LAL 4.5-7.9 0.578 2.3-3.4 0.667 0 1.9 1.2 2.7 3 5 7.5 0.8 11.4
Joakim Noah, CHI 5.2-10.1 0.514 3.6-5.0 0.725 1.2 1.6 2.1 3.2 4 8 11.7 2.7 14
Brook Lopez, NJ 7.0-14.7 0.473 5.3-6.6 0.801 0.7 1.5 2.5 3.3 2 4 5.9 1.4 19.2
Tyson Chandler, DAL 3.2-4.8 0.677 3.2-4.1 0.778 0.5 1.2 1.1 3.4 3 7 9 0.4 9.6
Al Jefferson, UTAH 7.0-14.5 0.483 2.7-3.5 0.77 0.5 1.9 1.3 3 3 6 8.8 1.7 16.7
JaVale McGee, WSH 3.8-6.8 0.554 1.7-2.7 0.626 0.6 2.6 1.3 2.8 3 5 8 0.4 9.3
Andrew Bogut, MIL 5.7-11.8 0.487 1.6-3.9 0.409 0.7 2.7 1.9 3.2 4 8 11.6 1.9 13.1

 

 

Hollinger Level Stats

 

 

 

GP

MPG

TS%

AST

TO

USG

ORR

DRR

REBR

PER

VA

EWA

Dwight Howard, ORL

43

36.1

0.597

5.2

15

25

12.6

30.3

21.6

25.12

336.3

11.2

Al Horford, ATL

43

34.5

0.597

18.7

7.7

19.2

8.8

24.3

16.7

22.7

267.8

8.9

Nene, DEN

40

30.9

0.694

14.4

12.1

16.8

6.6

21.1

14

21.42

199.8

6.7

Andrew Bynum, LAL

22

24.3

0.607

7.2

10.8

17.9

12.2

22.3

17.5

20.87

82

2.7

Joakim Noah, CHI

24

36.8

0.57

15.6

12.4

16.8

12.9

23.3

18.3

19.59

118.4

3.9

Brook Lopez, NJ

45

34.1

0.545

6.3

11.5

24.8

8.2

12.2

10.2

18.62

183.6

6.1

Tyson Chandler, DAL

41

27.8

0.734

4.8

13.9

11.6

10.7

26.4

18.8

18.59

135.9

4.5

Al Jefferson, UTAH

46

35

0.521

8.7

6.8

20.7

8.9

21.8

15.4

18.4

187.1

6.2

JaVale McGee, WSH

43

27.3

0.577

4.1

13

13.6

12.7

21.4

16.9

17.7

124.3

4.1

Andrew Bogut, MIL

35

35.7

0.484

10.9

10.8

18.4

11.2

26.9

18.7

17.41

126.9

4.2

 

 

So Al is one of only 3 centers in the NBA to average 16 and 8 and one of only 2 to also block over 1.5 shots per game. He has the lowest turnover ratio of any center and is number four in estimated wins added.  He is number 2 in assist to turnover ratio.

 

 

 

So these are the facts. When people start crying over what Big Al isn’t, just think about the alternatives. So unless Orlando or Atlanta suddenly is willing to give up there centers for Kosta and a couple of picks we should be happy with the deal we got.

 

All comments are the opinion of the commenter and not necessarily that of SLC Dunk or SB Nation.

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