Okay. It was a crummy loss. We're all mad about it. We're all frustrated with what "competing" is looking like game after game after game. But let's think positively:
- Burks did his thing again.
- Devin played well.
- They got off to a great start.
- There were tons of deflections and steals. Great classic AK-style defense in the first half.
- Millsap shot well again.
- Josh played well.
- Hayward was able to start the game strongly.
- Favors rebounded again.
- Coach Ty again showed creativity in the final minutes game-plan.
Okay, so yeah, you can scratch number nine.
But Deron can remind us that at least we aren't cheering for the Nets:
More positives: Sebastian Pruiti (of Grantland) released his latest rookie rankings and put Enes at number three. He's rising steadily—though with 9 minutes of playing time he won't be surpassing Irving or Rubio. One of my favorite things about Pruiti is he's actually knowledgeable, smart, and able to break down real skills of players. Every week he highlights something new about them. Here's what he's said about Kanter thus far this year:
Rookie Rankings IV (Jan. 31):
The Utah Jazz big is fifth in the NBA in offensive rebound rate and fourth in overall rebound rate, according to Hoopdata.com. The Jazz must be especially pleased that Kanter is taking those offensive rebounds and converting them to points. He shoots 60.7 percent on putbacks, according to Synergy Sports.
Rookie Rankings V (Feb. 7)
Kanter has done a very good job of moving without the ball. When his teammates drive into the lane, he finds space around the rim, catches the ball, and finishes in traffic. Kanter scores 1.192 points per possession while cutting away from the ball, and this puts him in the top 50 percent of NBA players.
Rookie Rankings VI (Feb. 14 - This addresses weaknesses, which Pruiti refreshingly addresses with everyone)
This week, let's focus on one of his weaknesses: scoring in the post. Kanter puts up 0.627 points per possession when he posts up; that places him in the bottom 17 percent of all NBA players. He shoots just 34.2 percent and commits turnovers 17.6 percent of the time when he gets the ball on the block. Two things stand out about Kanter's post game. First, he gets fantastic deep position. Second, he doesn't know what to do with that position once he gets the ball.
Rookie Rankings VII (Feb. 21)
According to Synergy Sports, when Kanter shows against pick-and-roll ball handlers, teams score just 0.622 points per possession. That puts him in the top 15 percent of pick-and-roll defenders. Teams also shoot 32 percent and commit turnovers 24.4 percent of the time when Kanter guards ball screens. And Kanter's sample size is significant — 45.6 percent of his defensive possessions include him showing against ball screens.
All these quotes leave me wishing two things: 1) I wish every sportswriter was as knowledgeable and intelligent as Pruiti, and 2) I wish ... well ... something about Kanter's playing time.
So, here it is. The bump:
I think Jazzfan Twitter exploded with it, with many of us putting our amateur psychologist hats on and going after Hayward for being soft.
I wonder if it really mattered that much. Yeah, Barea was being a prick. But I also notice that nobody seems to care. Not Hayward, not any of his teammates. I didn't see or hear anything from the Jazz coaching staff. Even in the Ricky Buckets triple-double DeShawn clobbered the offender.
In the end, I don't know what I think. I wish Hayward had done something about it (we've seen him be feisty plenty of times this year when battling on defense). I wish a teammate or two had done something about it.
But does it actually matter, mean or show us anything? I don't konw.
The Trade Deadline is approaching (March 15). Even Josh Howard will be eligible for a trade then. Some of us desperately want a change. Others aren't so sure. I thought it interesting to review our team's history of mid-season trades since Kevin O'Connor arose to power:
- February 23, 2011: The Trade. Deron is gone, Devin, Derrick, and the pick that will become Kanter arrives.
- February 18, 2010: Ronnie B. is traded to Memphis for nothing. (Okay, plus a pick shipped to Minnesota).
- December 22, 2009: Matt Harpring and Erick Maynor for the rights to Peter Fehse. Picks were also involved.
- December 29, 2007: Gordan Giricek for Kyle Korver. Picks were also involved.
- January 1, 2005: Carlos Arroyo for Eldon Campbell. Picks were also involved.
And that's it.
So a couple of thoughts. KOC has never done a trade at the trade deadline. They have always happened some time before. The trades have also always involved draft picks. So if any trades happen, we're probably either gaining or losing one. Finally: No mid-season trades for his first 6 years, then two in four years, then three in two years.
KOC's gone crazy on us, hasn't he?
Oh, and who's Peter Fehse? He was drafted in 2002, and he last played meaningful minutes on a semi-pro German team in 2006. Here he is:
[Ed. Note: removed a picture of Peter Fehse]