So, if you subscribe to the notion that the Jazz have a personnel problem this year, it could be explained by the following facts:
- Too many good players, not enough minutes
- Many of the more experienced veterans on the team would shine under a style of play which you could describe as: Half-court, inside-outside, isolation
- Many of the younger players would shine in a more up-tempo, athletic type game
- The future of the team is tied up in players who are playing behind the exact players who give us the best chance of winning in the short term
For the record, I would classify myself as seeing these as good problems for a franchise to have. We have a legitimate chance at making a playoff run this year, which is good. And we have a bright future with several players who have a real shot at becoming elite players in a few years, which is also good.
The question is how does Ty Corbin divide the minutes, so that he can maximize both our current and future potential?
It has been clear to me that his approach has been to give the minutes to players that he feels give us the best chance of winning. Now you could rightly argue that the minutes that Josh Howard and Raja Bell received last year were not the best strategy in the short or long term. But I believe that Coach Corbin gave them those minutes because they gave him the best chance at producing W's. And that would give him the best chance of keeping his job.
Now we turn to this year, with our current crop of players. Bell and Howard are out; The Williams Brothers and Randy Foye are in. I believe we improved significantly, where we weakest last year. Namely, outside shooting and overall depth at the wing spot.
Of course we still have those issues that I outlined at the top. How do we divide the limited minutes and also maximize the strengths and style of all the players?
My proposed solution is to have a Starting 5 who will thrive in half-court sets and will have enough inside and outside scoring capability to shoulder the required offensive load. The group of the bench will then be filled with energy and hustle guys. The relative split the two groups get can be determined by the effectiveness of the second unit at producing (+/-).
So without further ado, I give you a proposed lineup:
- Enes Kanter - Forward/Center
- Al Jefferson - Forward/Center
- Paul Millsap - Forward
- Mo Williams - Guard
- Randy Foye - Guard
Group B/Second Unit:
- Derrick Favors - Center
- DeMarre Carrol or Jeremy Evans - Forward
- Marvin Williams - Forward/Guard
- Gordon Hayward - Forward/Guard
- Alec Burks - Guard
The main advantages to this lineup, is that it puts the pressure on Favors and Burks to produce off the bench. Favors, will be expected to improve his offensive game. Without a true point guard, I envision the offense will need to run through Burks and Hayward. I see this as a good thing.
In the first few games of the season we have seen Coach go with Foye over Burks off the bench. This is understandable as Foye is the better player now. But I don't see much reason to give so many minutes to Tinsley and so few to Burks. True, Burks will never be a true point guard. But Burks is better now and he has huge upside potential in the years to come.
The main disadvantages to my lineup is the stated lack of point guard in the second unit, and the apparent demotion of Gordon Hayward and Marvin Williams to the bench. I would play these two off the bench first, giving them almost as many minutes as if they were starting. Hayward and Ma. Williams would come in; Kanter and either Foye or Mo Williams would come out.