Closer look at the Jazz offense: Post ups

March 31, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) controls the ball against the defense of Los Angeles Clippers power forward Kenyon Martin (2) during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

According to the data at mySynergySports.com the Jazz are the #11th best team in the league on offensive posts ups, yet they only finish a play via a post up 17.6% of the time. (No doubt a double could come and the ball rotates out to a spot up shooter, or the ball reverses out of the post and the team re-sets for either a pick and roll or a cut) The Jazz live in the paint, so let's look at how they do with Post ups:

Post Up
Bigs # of plays % of plays PPP NBA Rank FG%
Al Jefferson
495 49.5% 0.96 19 47.5%
Paul Millsap
223 24.5% 0.81 69 38.5%
Derrick Favors
175 33.1% 0.74 93 39.1%
Enes Kanter
86 28.8% 0.70 104 36.5%
Jeremy Evans
6 15.0% 1.00 NA 60.0%
Wings
Raja Bell
1 0.5% 2.00 NA NA
Josh Howard
36 8.1% 0.61 122 19.2%
C.J. Miles
5 9.0% 0.40 NA 25.0%
Gordon Hayward
11 1.7% 0.91 NA 28.6%
Alec Burks
5 1.3% 1.20 NA 60.0%
DeMarre Carroll
NA NA NA NA NA
Point Guards
Devin Harris
NA NA NA NA NA
Earl Watson
1 0.4% 0.00 NA 0.0%
Jamaal Tinsley
13 10.1% 0.23 NA 14.3%

The first thing we notice is that our wing players and point guards don't get to post up much, and even when they do, they're not really that good at it (Sorry Josh and Jamaal). I'm only really including that data as a frame of reference. IF there was a guy we should post it who isn't getting chances there it's probably Hayward. But the Jazz never ever posted up Andrei, even when defended by a PG, so good luck there Gordo.

Of our bigs, Big Al is the man. He's taken 495 post up possessions. That number doesn't include passes he makes from being posted up (to a cutter or to a spot up guy), nor does it include post up attempts that he doesn't shoot. The ball goes into him, an half of the possessions that end with Big Al end with a post up. Should this number be higher? I don't know -- but he's the #19 Top Ranked Post up guy in the NBA in terms of PPP. Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors are two other guys in the Top 100, and Enes is #104. The Jazz almost have four guys in the Top 100 in posting up. There are 465 players in the NBA this year. That's four guys in (almost) the Top 20%.

Of course, if you add all the possessions that end in a post up for the OTHER 4 bigs they still equal less than the 495 attempts Big Al has had. I don't really have a problem with this though. Paul Millsap is most dangerous as a cutter, and Evans off of cuts as well (lobs count as cuts). Favors is most dangerous in transition (he's 3rd best on the entire team, despite being a big -- yes, I want him to run the floor like Karl Malone more). And right now Kanter does the most of his work on the offensive glass with putbacks and occasional pump fakes. Big Al is the best post up guy we have. And he takes the most post ups.

All of our bigs are pretty good at it though. Al is great at it. That said, if he got to the line more on post ups (like Karl did) it would only help him out more, and help our team out more a lot too. It would even boost his PPP on posts ups over 1.00.

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