Utah Jazz Off-Season -- Some random August Tid-bits . . . .

May 7, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) and San Antonio Spurs forward DeJuan Blair (45) battle for position during the first half of game four in the Western Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at EnergySolutions Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

It's August 27th, I need a break from the long post I'm doing right now. As a result, here's an odds and ends piece of some Jazz info:

  • Mo Williams is a deadly three point shooter right now in his career. He's a career 38.7 3pt% shooter, and he's had 5 seasons out of 9 where he has shot 38% or above. But . . . he wasn't ALWAYS this great at hitting the deep ball. In his Freshman year at Alabama he went 33/126, only 26.2 3pt%. Sophomore season had him doing a little better, going 57/180, a 31.7 3pt% clip. Then he went to the NBA and his rookie season had him shooting 10/39, only 25.6 3pt%. His second year in the NBA had him shooting 32/99, a four year best of 32.3 3pt%. That four year (2 NCAA, 2 NBA) had him going 132/444, with a final average of 29.7 3pt%. His career NBA average is nearly +10.0 3pt% higher. After that fourth year in a row of non-three shooting he surged up and knocked down 38.2 3pt% in his third year in the league. He is clear evidence that you can join the NBA without an NBA shot, but if you work hard at it, you can make it nearly automatic from range.This is good to hear, as we have a bunch of guys on our team right now who do not have killer three point shooting abilities that we'd love for Mo to rub off on. (UDQM Level 5 alert!)
  • Marvin Williams still has a 7 feet 3.5 inch wingspan . . . he's not going to be the best defender we've ever seen, but once he and Paul Millsap bet on who gets more deflections this year you know he's going to be way better at this than Josh Howard ever was.

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  • Yes, that pretty much made my day because I love Myck Kabongo. (Who said anything about PGs being able to improve their three point shot?) The #1 quality that makes me drool about Kabongo is that his head is in the right place. He's professional and mature - as a former refugee of the DRC / Zaire who with his family fled to Canada he knows how crazy this world can be. He's not going to take his chance to make it in the NBA for granted. He's a strong leader who is a throwback PG. If there was ever a spot made for him it would be here, where Jazz management has done a great job of drafting players who need the ball and should be taking the shots. Kabongo really seems like a type of player whose best talents on the court are getting the right guys the ball.
  • It's way too early to talk draft, so let's get back to our team . . . did you know that Alec Burks went 12/14 from the FT line against the San Antonio Spurs? And when he was in the game, he was playing against Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Danny Green, Stephen Jackson, and the rest of the guys who shut down all our other guards? I'm impressed by him going 85.7 ft% from the line (he only shot 72.7 ft% in the regular season). But I'm even MORE encouraged by his free throw rate. In the regular season he averaged 2.4 FT attempts per game. In the playoffs, when we had more turn overs, less over all possessions per game, and were playing a great defensive club, he went to the line 3.5 times a game. That's turning it up +1.1 times a game, WHILE ALSO shooting +13.0 ft%. Burks didn't shoot well in the playoffs, but his NBA level talent right now is slashing and getting to the free throw line. He only played 63 minutes in the playoffs (8th most on the team), but only Derrick Favors (29), Paul Millsap (16) and Gordon Hayward (16) (who all played about 120, or twice as much) had more playoff free throw attempts. For the regular season Burks averaged 5.5 FTA per 36 minutes (tops on the team), and despite playing 1136 less minutes than Big Al, had only 34 fewer free throw attempts for the regular season. Free throw attempts do matter, because it means the other team needs to perform illegal moves (fouling) in order to stop you. It gives you points at the line, and makes their defenders more timid. You get to score and buff up your successive offensive attempts in the same move. It's basically an encounter power that he uses as an at-will. I'm really excited to see more of this in the next few months.
  • I know very few of you would believe I'd ever say this -- but I think Al Jefferson is going to have a whale of a season, and it's going to make next off-season less easy as we may have hoped.
  • Chris Bernucca (not Chris Sheridan) said that the Jazz aren't going to make the playoffs, despite getting better. (Which he admits) He also feels as thought the Jazz don't have a log-jam inside, and that (paraphrasing) 'with a few injuries and perhaps trading the expiring contract of Jefferson . . . the Jazz actually have a pretty shallow frontcourt.' (The direct quote has him saying "woefully shallow") For which teams do having a few injuries and ALSO trading away a starter not create the problems of shallow depth? If his justification for there being no log-jam is that we may have injuries and roster moves . . . then I can see why he's in such demand right now by national media outlets. (I'm going to tell the next healthy patient I see that he needs his legs amputated . . . you know . . . if he eats poorly, gets diabetes, and gets gangrene. *IF* those things happen it's clear that you're not as healthy as you thought.) It seems silly. But in a less silly way he is right. If the Jazz get a number of injuries and trade Big Al away (probably for a PG you know, why the heck not -- we need 5) we'll be woefully shallow inside. Let's completely forget that over the last 5 seasons: Millsap has played in 96.5% of available games, Kanter 100%, Favors 96.8%, and Big Al 89.2% . . . .why bother using facts? It's easier to just write fairy tales in this era of information. I myself think injuries may help get some guys playing time, but our bigs are rocks. They are made of solid stone. Chris probably has rocks in his brain, he must, for he thinks we're missing the playoffs this year.
  • I think this short point form list of me waiting for my spread sheet to open up became an evening downbeat. I'm really bad at this stuff . . . #improveeveryday
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