Setting the Jazz Rotations

I am not a big Tyrone Corbin fan. He may be an excellent coach. He may do a lot of things really well. Sadly, a lot of things that a coach does is not very visible to fans. The only things that the coach does that are completely transparent to fans are the rotations. That is why I, like many other fans, mostly base my opinions of NBA coaches on the effectiveness of their substitution decisions. That is primarily why I don't like Coach Corbin.

I spent some time trying to figure out how I would set the rotations if I were in his shoes. I do not like criticizing someone else for doing something poorly without having at least an idea of how it could be done better. Creating an optimal rotation plan proved to be more difficult than I imagined. How do we give our youth the minutes they need to develop without upsetting the veterans on the team? The first thing I decided to do was identify how many minutes to allocate to each player per game based on what they deserved as well as what they needed to develop.

The table shows how many minutes they should get this next year compared to how many minutes per game they played last year.

Name Comments
Mo Williams 32 28 +4 Mo will obviously get more minutes now that he is not playing back up to the best PG in the NBA (CP3)
Earl Watson 16 20 -4 While I like Earl a lot, he is not as good as Mo and his play started to decline after returning from injury last season
Gordon Hayward 32 31 +1 Hayward was the only exception to Corbin's "play veterans over youth" position which is why his minutes stay the same
Alec Burks 22 16 +6 Alec burks showed a lot of potential last season and needs more minutes to properly develop
Paul Millsap 32 33 -1 Milsap is currently the Jazz's best player but even he needs to give a little to make room for overall development
Marvin Williams 20 26 -6 I don't know too much about Marvin but he will need to take a cut in minutes as he becomes adjusted to the Jazz system
Derrick Favors 32 21 +11 Favors is key to the Jazz's future and showed tremendous potential last season - he needs 30+ mpg
Enes Kanter 22 13 +9 Enes also showed flashes of great potential and also needs more time on the court to develop
Al Jefferson 32 34 -2 Jefferson is still the Jazz's current go-to-guy and will not be satisfied without 30+ mpg

This does not account for minutes given to Jamal Tinsley, Kevin Murphy, Demarre Carrol, and Jeremy Evans. I do not see any of these guys becoming long-term impact players for the Jazz so I do not believe we need to invest signifiacnt minutes to develop them (although I love Jeremy Evans). They will get their chance to prove themselves in garbage time and as injuries arise during the season.

The PF/C Minutes Problem

It is really easy to say "Player x needs more minutes." It is a lot harder to actually take minutes away from the players that are currently getting them to give to player x. One of the hardest parts of setting the rotations is allocating minutes to the PF and C positions. There are only 96 minutes per game to go around in those positions while there are at least 3 guys that absolutely deserve to be getting 30+ minutes (Milsap, Favors, Jefferson). We also have the number 3 draft pick from last year who also needs 20+ minutes to develop properly. That adds up to 110+ minutes for our big men which cannot possibly be allocated to our PF and C positions.

One possible solution would be to trade one of the big men (my vote goes to Al Jefferson); however, I do not believe this is going to happen. This is also outside of my hypothetical control as I am pretending to be in Coach Corbin's shoes right now.

The Rotation

With trades out of the picture, here is how next season's rotation should go down.

Utah Jazz Rotations
Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48
PG Mo Williams Earl Watson Mo Williams Mo Williams Earl Watson Mo Williams
SG Gordon Hayward Alec Burks Gordon Hayward Gordon Hayward Alec Burks Gordon Hayward
SF Paul Milsap Marvin Williams Hayward Paul Milsap Paul Milsap Marvin Williams Hayward Paul Milsap
PF Derick Favors Paul Milsap Derick Favors Derick Favors Al Jefferson Paul Milsap Derick Favors
C Al Jefferson Enes Kanter Al Jefferson Al Jefferson Enes Kanter Al Jefferson

The only solutions to the big man dilemma is playing Milsap more time at the SF position. Some people say that this would not be a good move; he isn't quick enough to play the SF postion. Experience has proven this view false. Milsap has played the SF and has done an excellent job. While he may struggle to guard very quick SFs, SFs are going to have an even bigger problem trying to guard him when he posts up. He definitely will have the advantage in the majority of SF match-ups.

If you don't think these rotations are good - feel free to post something better.

All comments are the opinion of the commenter and not necessarily that of SLC Dunk or SB Nation.

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