The principles of our defense are as follows: -
Force Middle on dribble penetration
Show and Recover on Ball Screens (most of the time unless your Millsap in which case be as lazy possible).
Double Team as little as Possible
Never ever front the post
Lock and Trail on Cutters
None of our defensive principles are out of the ordinary except for forcing middle. Basically, no other team in the NBA does it. The best defensive teams have the following principles: -
Force baseline, close out hard on 3's, force long two's wherever possible, get back on D and ignore offensive rebounds.
Unfortunately, under Jerry Sloan (and now Corbin), our defensive traits remain opposite in almost every regard.
Lets compare last seasons Jazz roster to the Bulls this season: -
Rose V Williams
Bogans V Mathews
Deng V Kirilenko
Boozer V Boozer
Noah V Okur
To my eye, if the Jazz last season didn't have a better starting team in terms of D it was very close. As we know, this seasons Chicago Bulls were one of the best teams defensively and as per the last 5 years, our D was middle of the road in most statistical categories.
Noah is a great defender but I believe our 1,2 and 3 last season were superior defensively to this years Bull's and Boozer should no longer be the scapegoat.
The main issue is forcing middle. By forcing middle, help comes from the top, not the baseline. Rotations up are more difficult than rotations down and forcing middle opens up the 3 point shot and allows corner 3's almost at will. The offense can also penetrate and have better vision of the floor, attacking the rim at will and forcing help from the bigs later (further into the penetration closer to the basket) and drawing more fouls on our big men.
Think of the sideline/baseline as an extra defender which the Jazz have completely ignored and all the best defenses embrace.
Without a traditional shot blocker, it's arguable that forcing middle is appropriate (stats would sill refute it), with Al and Favors, we have two shot blockers and the philosophy must change.
As many commentators have mentioned, the O is fine, its the D which needs work. I couldn't agree more. Personnel is fine, philosophy needs to change, BRING ON THE PLAYOFFS NEXT YEAR.