Is Tyrone Corbin Competing? - The Downbeat - #653

We've talked a lot about what the expectations for the team should be this year and what its goals should be. Are they contending? No. Are they rebuilding? No, according to the Jazz. Are they competing? For the first quarter or so.

One thing we haven't looked at though is what are the expectations for Tyrone Corbin? The expectations for a rookie coach are different for a team that's rebuilding versus a team that's contending. So what are the expectations for a coach that's just expected to compete? That's a hard thing to quantify and I suppose that Corbin will be given a pass for this season. Like I've mentioned before, I don't envy his position. He's in a difficult position, one with vague goals. He's still trying to find the best units to put out on the floor. In fact, in just four games, he's had 52 different lineups on the floor at any given point. He told the Deseret News that he's trying to tighten the rotation to 8 or 9 guys. The problem is that our top five units as far as minutes go stink. The first unit that has a positive overall rating has only played seven minutes together and that was all against Philly.

This won't be a fair season to evaluate Corbin. Certainly if he's able to turn things around and bring the Jazz up to mediocrity, he should be commended. It's been a perfect storm of lockout, poor player personnel combination, and a franchise that was shook up less than a year ago. Corbin won't use that as an excuse of course. He's going to have his guys ready to play every night. The question is what guys should that be?

Looks like Andrei Kirilenko will be staying in Russia. Here's AK's statement,

During this month I considered different options, weighting out all pros and contras, and I came to the conclusion that I should finish this season with CSKA. We developed great team chemistry, the real team in the first part of the season. It would be incorrect to stop halfway. It would be unfair toward my teammates and, more importantly, toward fans. I know how many people count on me. To play for CSKA is a great pleasure and fun, and I will do my best to win all the tournaments we are participating in. I am thankful to club's management for patience in my difficult situation. Thank you very much to all the fans for their support! Come to our games to cheer for CSKA!

He had been courted by the Kings and Nets primarily. CSKA Moscow has a phenomenal team right now though and will do well for the rest of the season. AK seems to be at home both literally and figuratively in his new role. The CSKA Moscow schedule goes through the first part of May, so he won't be opting out to return to the NBA late in the season either to help a playoff team. He does have the option to opt out after each year of his deal to return.

I wonder then if we'll ever see AK back in the NBA? Part of the reason why he might not have returned was that his asking price -- reportedly around $8-9 million per -- was too high for most teams. I don't think that price is too high but those that had the salary cap space to sign him didn't have the need. In New Jersey's case, they had the cap space, but then used it when they traded for Memo.

I suspect next year more teams will have a need, and more importantly the cap space, to sign AK.

So, it looks like Fess going to Golden State broke down at the last minute after a "mutual decision" between both parties after he showed up. From Marc Stein,

Fesenko was injured playing for Mike Fratello-coached Ukraine during the European Championships late in the summer and is in the final stages of his recovery. The Warriors' interest in Fesenko faded, sources said, once he arrived in the Bay Area and it became clear that he wouldn't be able to play immediately.

He's still recovering from his injury and according to the article would need 1-2 weeks to get back into playing shape. Fess has never been known to be ready to start the season even when he wasn't injured. It looks as though now he could be heading to Dallas.

A look at some of the advanced stats from the first four games of the season. Of course take into account the sample size but here are some things to glean from it.

Rk Player MP PER TS% eFG% ORB% DRB% TRB% AST% TOV% USG% ORtg DRtg
1 Paul Millsap 109 23.8 .498 .468 11.1 28.2 18.8 9.0 3.6 22.5 111 104
2 Josh Howard 92 15.7 .468 .350 4.4 10.7 7.2 11.8 9.6 25.1 98 109
3 Devin Harris 96 16.0 .536 .455 1.0 5.1 2.9 25.7 17.0 21.8 102 112
4 Alec Burks 18 42.0 .663 .615 5.6 0.0 3.1 43.0 12.3 40.3 116 107
5 Enes Kanter 63 16.6 .438 .333 12.8 31.3 21.1 2.6 0.0 16.1 111 107
6 Gordon Hayward 117 12.4 .489 .422 1.7 8.4 4.7 22.8 9.8 15.5 106 115
7 Jeremy Evans 26 21.1 .800 .800 3.9 9.5 6.4 14.0 0.0 8.5 168 110
8 Al Jefferson 90 16.0 .430 .408 7.8 26.0 16.0 13.9 7.2 27.3 92 109
9 Jamaal Tinsley 16 10.1 0.0 15.4 6.9 35.6 100.0 5.6 60 101
10 Derrick Favors 97 12.7 .513 .515 10.4 30.5 19.4 0.0 14.3 19.3 96 112
11 Raja Bell 79 2.3 .324 .324 0.0 7.8 3.5 7.9 10.5 10.7 70 112
12 C.J. Miles 75 7.3 .440 .391 2.7 4.9 3.7 4.7 15.4 27.0 81 110
13 Earl Watson 82 3.7 .354 .306 1.2 7.5 4.0 20.9 28.8 15.0 68 111
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/2/2012.

  • It's no secret that Paul Millsap has been the best player on the team so far and the numbers back that up. In those that have played significant minutes, he's put up the best PER, the best offensive rating, and the best defensive rating.
  • For as much as we complain about Bell getting minutes, he's had less than both Gordon Hayward (who leads the team) and Josh Howard. In fact, he's 8th on the team in minutes played.
  • Jeremy Evans has had limited minutes but has been ridiculously productive in his time on the floor. That hasn't always been against scrubs. He's the guy bucking for a promotion at work but with no place to put him.
  • Derrick Favors has zero assists on the season. 0. The offense doesn't go through him of course and he's not a facilitator, but even Kanter has one. Of course our entire team has only 73 on the season.

Monday open poll... It looks like the rookies have yet to receive their backpacks for the year. What should Kanter and Burks be assigned?

Due to some tech difficulties, this wasn't published earlier this morning like I thought. It was also incomplete. It should all be there now. 12:47 p.m.

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