Sunday Syncopation # 48

FOUR GAME WIN STREAK-OPATION!! And a nickname for Enes Kanter, courtside seats, and more . . .

Four Game Win Streak

To be perfectly honest, I did not expect this Jazz team would have a four game win streak. A few three game streaks? Plausible. A bunch of two game win streak? More than reasonable. But a four game win streak? Out of the question. Last season the Jazz had a 7 game, and 5 game win streaks. Two seasons ago the Jazz had a 9 game win streak, and three other streaks of 4 games. Three seasons ago the Jazz had a 12 game win streak, a 5 game win streak, and a 4 game win streak. Those were all better teams than this one. And no way are we going to string up a double digit win streak this year.

The major criticism of this win streak is that they all have been games where the other team was at less than full strength, while we were. A line-up comprised of the guys who were injured (guys we did not have to play against) would be a pretty solid line-up:

See, that’s a pretty good team, and we lucked out by not having to play those guys.

That said, looking back at those win streaks over the previous three seasons I’m sure we played some teams that, had they been healthy, would have broken our streak. But I’m not going to go back and look at each boxscore over a 7 or 9 or 12 game win streak to see who played and who did not. History does not care who did or did not play in this situation, the only thing that matters is the winning. And years from now when some intrepid guy who can’t sleep starts a holo-cerebro-blog about the Jazz and looks up how the Jazz did in the previous 7 lockout shortened series’, even he will not look up this season and look over who and who did not play in this present four game win streak.

Matt Moore (of Hardwood Paroxysm and a billion other things) said it best today in a tweet to me:

He’s right, you know. We should accept this win streak and be happy for our team. I’d be very surprised if we get another one this long the rest of this season. And if we do get another one, again, we should just embrace it. Why?

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…because we’re still not a great team.

Against these teams missing their best parts we still managed to almost lost each of these games, save for the one against the Milwaukee Bucks. We also had the advantage of being at home for each of them, save for last night against the Golden State Warriors.


Oh yes, there’s going to be some numbers in this section . . .

The Jazz, for the season, average 90.4 points per game (ppg). And what of our stellar four game win streak? A whopping 90.3 ppg. What about on defense? For the season give up 93.9 points per game. And during the streak? The Jazz are holding teams down to 83.8 points per game. That’s a greater than -10 points per game improvement on defense. Is it that we’re playing better defense, or that the other team just happens to be missing a guy who could, easily, score 10 ppg?

It’s probably a little of both. Our normal point differential is -3.5. During this win stretch it was +6.5. That’s a 10 points swing. We’re doing better, and our defense is performing better; however, that’s not the main problem. The problem for me isn’t that we’re winning, and it’s not that we’re winning by more than 5 points on average. The problem is that *if we were a legit low playoff team we should be beating all of those clubs handedly. If anything, these last four wins have made us feel good, but masked how bad we still are.

Yeah, that’s kind of a bummer. But I think it’s true. We’re getting better. We’re playing better. And we’re winning more. But after next week’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers we play the Los Angeles Lakers again. And that game (provided one of their stars doesn’t get mysteriously injured between now and then) will be a healthy dose of reality.

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Unless, of course, we beat them too and keep on winning . . .

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Nicknames

I hate bad nicknames. More than that, I hate truncated names being used as nicknames. You know what I mean . . . J-Kidd, C-Webb, D-Rose, D-Will, and so on. If this was the standard, nay, zenith of nicknames back in the good old days Larry Legend would have been L-Bird, Magic would have been E-Johns, Dr. J would have been J-Earv, and more close to home, the Mailman would have been K.’Lone. These are horrible abortions – not nicknames.

Gordon Hayward has a lot of cool things about his game, and as a result, he has a ton of nicknames. Regardless of what we fans want to call him, last year his teammates used to call him Casper. Alec Burks is the corner pimp, based on one radio interview – but has he even shot a corner three this year? (Synergy says yes, one, a miss) Perhaps that name is a bit premature. Or maybe my nicknames just suck.

Maybe. They. do.

But I’m willing to give a shot for Enes Kanter. My Elevator Evans one didn’t suck. Kanter is a big, tough, dude. He’s not a Big Turkey. He’s from Turkey. But it’s not like people called Andrei: "Hey, Skinny Russian is open!" Turkish history is pretty rich. Let’s start there . . .

Some of the best, most loyal, and tough soldiers came from the Ottoman empire’s warrior class called the Yeniçeri, which we used to call Janissary. Many of them were actually born in Europe, but were raised and educated in Turkey, and ended up being so damn good at what they were trained to do that they were very highly regarded. Enes Kanter was born in Europe (Zurich, Switzerland), and highly regarded enough to be drafted third over-all. He’s also a Turkish bad-ass who goes to war in the paint and backs down from no one. It’s pretty obvious to me that Kanter would have been one, had the Sultanate continued there. And it’s even more obvious that he plays like one on the court.

Or you know, we could call him the Sultan of Swats Rebounds Boards Glass The Paint. That’s not so hot. Let’s stay with The Jannisary.

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Stats Class

still working on this one, will update this post when it’s done…

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Hope you didn’t miss . . . .

Usually, I’d like to give like 8 links here, but I’m trying to save them up for the future . . .

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Did you know . . . ?:

. . . Klay Thompson and Alec Burks were drafted one after the other in last summer’s draft. Did you also know that they both played one another last night? If you did, then you know that they both had pretty interesting (read: poor) games:

Player G W L GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Alec Burks 1 1 0 0 13.0 1.0 6.0 .167 0.0 1.0 .000 0.0 0.0 1.0 1.0 2.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.0
Klay Thompson 1 0 1 0 23.0 1.0 6.0 .167 0.0 1.0 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 3.0 1.0 0.0 2.0 2.0 2.0
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/8/2012.
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