March 23, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) holds on to a rebound during the first half against the Denver Nuggets at Energy Solutions Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE
March was supposed to be our hardest month of the season. Instead the Jazz went 11-8. Which guys stepped up?
March was a crazy month, I did not expect the Jazz to actually be a threat to make the playoffs this year. Kudos to them, though, for being only 1.5 games off with less than 10 games to go. Because I'm staggering the end of the month posts (so you guys don't get 20 posts on a Sunday when no one visits the site) the March stats post is happening now. And guys? As much as I want our younger guys to run wild and crazy like young Andrei Kirilenko's out there . . . it's still the vets who really brought it in March.
They may never be All-NBA guys, but we don't go 11-8 without them. And I will not only recognize and respect them for it, but I will champion them for it. They earned it. And no one earned it more than Al Jefferson who had one of the best month's of his life during one of the most difficult months of his life. We all know about his Grandmother's passing, but did you know that he was 4th best in effective assist to turn over ratio on the team last month? Or that he led the team in RPG (like that was a surprise)? Or that he shot 52.7 fg%, his best individual mark as a Jazz player ever? Or that, hey, he hurdled the 100.0 GO Rating threshold? You may not know or care about Go Rating, but it shows which guys in the league are true Go-to-guys, and which guys are not. Al Jefferson broke the sound barrier last month in terms of being a Go-to-guy. Big Al finished March with a 108.1 Go Rating. For their careers David Robinson was a 105.6, and Hakeem Olajuwon was 104.3 in Go Rating. So as far as advanced stat metrics go, that's nice company to keep.
Congrats Al Jefferson and the rest of the Jazz for their surprising month of march. After the jump -- the full stat breakdowns that matter !
I'm always trying to improve the site, and make everything better for YOU the readers. We're all Jazz fans (I don't consider myself someone in the media, I'm just a fan like you), and I appreciate all comments and criticism. This is a blog for the fans, so I love hearing what other fans (again, I'm just a fan) have to say! Anyway, I'm fiddling around with the format of the images so tell me what you think.
- Green background for a players name = starter (this is based upon who the announced starters are, regardless of injury)
- Yellow background for a specific statistic = class leader in a category
- Classes: Bigmen, Wings, and Point guards. I may feel tempted to move Jeremy Evans over to "big" though as there are too many wings.
Blake Ahearn: he'll exist in the next one, so Blake fans don't worry
Full size image here.
- Al Jefferson was the cream of the crop in March. He scored the most on the team (19.5 ppg), while shooting the best (52.7 fg%), he shot the most frequently on the team (1 shot per every 1.9 mins), and kept the pressure on the defense all the time when he was on the court (23.4 PER, 108.1 GO Rating, 34.7% Usage rate). He even approached 80 ft%. He did all of that while still dishing out 2.3 apg, and having one of the best assist to turn over ratios on the team.
- Paul Millsap did not have a bad March, but Jefferson played like an All-NBA player last month. Millsap *only* scored 13.8 ppg, but was very clever and apt at passing as well (2.7 apg, best in his class). Probably a good frame of reference for the whole Go Rating thing is that Sap, as great as he is, was 30 points behind Al last month.
- Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter don't scare anyone on offense right now, especially not with their below average (for what you'd want) free throw %. They aren't in Fesenko territory (his number #44 was also his FT%, wasn't it?), with their style of play they need to improve at making freebies if they want more playing time. And they will, I don't doubt it.
- Gordon Hayward was moved to the bench this month, but still had a number of big games. Due to injuries he still managed to 'start' a number of games; however, if Bell and Howard were able to go they would have gotten the start (according to the official narrative). Gordon was 3rd best on the team in ppg this month, and was #1 in points per shot (PPS). He also led his class with 3.0 apg. Oh, and he finally started to hit threes again (37.8 3pt%). A low 50's GO Rating puts him in the same category as guys like Sean Elliott, Rasheed Wallace, Mehmet Okur ... higher than guys like Gerald Wallace and Dan Majerle for those who care.
- Josh Howard and Raja Bell were promoted to starters for life, but both went down. For the month when they did play they both played 27.0 and 20.0 mpg still, respectively. They both stunk it up on offense though, as Derrick Favors almost equaled them in combined PER rating.
- C.J. Miles quietly started to make threes again (37.3 3pt%), which is second best in the class; and he was best on the entire team in making his free throws (87.1 ft%). I think that Miles is useful on a team as the 4th / 5th wing. When he's thrust into a starting role or the #3 guy is when he clearly looks overmatched. His percentages agree with me.
- Alec Burks had the second best PPS value in his class (1.19) in March, and was #3 in his class in ppg. He also tied C.J. with tops in USG % for his class. If he wants to be a better player he needs to still shoot a better percentage and do more with the ball than shoot it.
- DeMarre Carroll and Jeremy Evans didn't really do much in March. Jeremy led his class in PER (15.9). DeMarre had the longest hair.
- Devin Harris, everyone! He started his career resurrection this month, and finished it by pulling his three point % above 30.0% and scoring 10.0 ppg. It wasn't a great month for Devin, but we needed every point he did produce.
- Earl Watson and Jamaal Tinsley are both very solid PGs. Neither of them is a third string PG. Jamaal killed it in shooting this month (40.0 3pt%? Whaat?), and Earl got injured. When Earl became healthy and Jamaal started missing shots problems started.
Full size image here.
- Here Big Al was also a factor, he led his class and the team in RPG (9.6), BPG (1.6), and of course, over-all PER (23.4)
- If you passed by Paul Millsap anytime during March I hope you checked to see if your wallet was still there. He averaged 2.3 SPG, which was tops on the team, and most likely tops for all bigmen everywhere. He still blocked 1.0 shots a game, and pulled down 8.5 rpg. Also, he led the class in defensive metrics like opponents points per possession, opponents fg%, and Defensive rating.
- Derrick Favors was Mr. Hustle in March. He averaged 3.3 offensive rebounds per game, and kicked butt in Defensive Gambling and Pure Hustle. (again, other metrics I made up)
- Somehow, despite conventional logic about young European bigs who have little experience and are rookies, Enes Kanter had the least fouls per game out of this group. I guess that could be due to his minutes . . . but hey . . . I'll take it.
- Who else, right? Gordon did it all. He hit the glass the most out of his class, he stole the ball, and swatted shots. In fact, he was the #4 guy in bpg on the entire team based on just March. It's obvious that a lot of us are projecting our Kirilenko-philia towards him now. His man did score on him the most out of his class, based on Opponents PPP. Room for improvement.
- Josh Howard and Raja Bell don't do much besides score, so yeah. Howard did board a bit, but Raja was second last on the entire team in D RTG. Ouch. And that's not just his abductor talkin'.
- Miles led his class in SPG, and was quite effective on defense. If he can somehow turn into a poor man's battier who makes spot up threes and plays defense he could yet find a good home and niche in the NBA.
- No one scores on Alec Burks. And this isn't a sample size thing, he played over 20 mpg in March. Burks also hits the class (nearly 3 rpg last month?), but does not get many steals of blocks.
- DeMarre Carroll and Jeremy Evans didn't really do much in March. Jeremy led his class in PER (15.9). DeMarre had the longest hair. This is what I wrote for their offensive breakdown. It fits here too.
- Harris made all the smart moves, but Jamaal really kicked butt last month. Earl, well, Earl kind of fell off -- but he remains our best defender by the metrics.
If you want more info on something write it in the comments section and I'll try to help you out! (Yes, I will write out formulas in full)