Because the SBN image rules are still in flux (but they are working on it), here's a YouTube video which is already pre-vetted (somehow?).
After the jump we take a look at some interesting numbers that relate to winning games, losing games, and how some teams just do things differently.
Did you know that over the last 5 regular seasons the Utah Jazz have won 230 regular season games? That's an average of 46.0 games a year. That's pretty remarkable and awesome. That's stability - even though in reality the last two years were insane. Did you also know that over those last 5 seasons, and those last 230 regular season wins, the Jazz have 11 playoff wins. That's 11 playoff wins in 5 years, and that's a less impressive 2.2 wins a year. You need 4 to advance. So yeah.
On the flip side, the Oklahoma City Thunder nee Seattle Supersonics have done things a little differently. Over the last 5 seasons they've only won 195 regular season games. That's an average of 39 wins a year. That's a difference of +7 regular season wins for the Jazz. Yaay Jazz, right? Well, over the last 5 seasons they have only made the playoffs three times. But they have won 24 playoffs games in that span. And counting. This year alone they have won 13. Over the last 5 years we won 11.
So, really, all things being equal our 35 regular season win margin evens out with their 13 playoff win margin, right?
The Tortoise and the Hare:
We like to think slow, stable, never rushing Utah is the tortoise. Sorry guys, we're not. We're the hare. We're up ahead, and think we're the bomb. We don't take the hard route or make tough decisions, we feel good about ourselves winning 48 games while OKC wins only 23. Well, we see who's winning the race now. It's them. We were so ahead and now we can't even win a playoff game. I think part of that is because we always want to be ahead, while the actual slow and steady route of gathering talent ended up leap-frogging us. Sorry for bringing a third animal into it. Have some more oreos. Just don't dunk them too much.
That always ruins your snack.
Gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, and gotta know you should play them if you worked hard to get 'em.
I let the numbers do the talking here.
|Playoffs:||Lottery||Lottery||1st Round||West Finals||NBA Finals*|
|Playoffs:||2nd Round||1st Round||2nd Round||Lottery||1st Round|
We've gone through a regime change, but that doesn't mean we need to disregard a successful strategy in favor of holding onto bits and pieces of outdated ideology. No one is out there with brick and mortar putting the Berlin Wall up again. But we're doing something similar on the court - with the expected results.
A more direct comparison:
|Seas Outcome||Lotto 2||Lotto 3||Playoff 1||Playoff 2||Playoff 3|
|Seas Outcome||Lotto 2||Playoff 1||Avg. MPG|
Clearly throwing time at younger guys doesn't automatically a winner make; however, throwing time does give the younger players day in day out consistent experience on the court. Experience that seems to be paying off. Yes, we don't have a Durant on our team. That doesn't mean we should retard the progress of the guys on our club who can become Hardin and Westbrooks, right? Or do we keep trying to get over the hump with Josh Howard taking our first two shots in a playoff game without even thinking of passing?
Clearly we know that our future is already on the roster. Our future will be retarded if we continued to retard their growth. It's up to the team to do the right thing. I believe in the Utah Jazz. I hope they believe in the guys they felt strong enough to draft. They can do that by giving them more playing time. Even if they all don't become starts -- you find that out sooner rather than later, and then move them like OKC did with Jeff Green.
It's not dumb to learn from the positive experience of your peer group. It's dumb to keep making the same mistake over and over again and getting no where.
Again: we have +35 regular season wins. They have +13 playoff wins. They aren't equal.
Beating a dead horse:
No one is saying "play the younger guys less", and if they are, they aren't saying it here. I get that. I'm a numbers guy, I had to look up the numbers to see just how far behind the curve our boys are. I did not think it was this bad. It is bad. They are behind. We should not absolve the Jazz front office / coaching staff of making the same mistake over and over again. And really, I'd rather write a poem about David Benoit than write the same damn post over and over again. Except, this is NEW data. This is a new look at the teams. And this is original content. And it is quantifiable data. This isn't a folksy saying that has no supporting evidence. That's the difference. I'm beating this horse with science. At the end of the day, it's still pointless. Especially when we resign Josh Howard this offseason and Alec Burks continues to come off the bench.