April 24, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) is defended by Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat (4) during the first half at Energy Solutions Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE
Basketball is a simple game. You win by finishing the game with more point than the other team. You can accomplish this in a number of ways -- but traditionally it's a mix of scoring at an efficient rate why hampering the other team's attempts to do the same. Some teams go to extremes - some try to ugly up the game and keep it close (Cleveland Cavaliers from the mid to late 90s), while others try to take the game into the space age with endless shots (Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets of early 90s).
Even on a team you have extremes. A guy like Greg Ostertag was only valuable if he was making life hard for his opponent by playing defense. Greg wasn't going to drop 20 on anyone. Of course, the opposite is also true - I don't think I've ever seen Carmelo Anthony play defense. But he continues to be a starter, and effective player, because he does one thing at an elite level. Melo scores. And scores. And scores. As the primary focus of the defense he still manages to do this. So much so that he's not ripped for being a one way player.
If we're trying to 'fix" Al Jefferson - his metamorphosis to be an elite scorer is a shorter gestation than one to try to make him a two way player. He's not going to be Kevin Garnett. He doesn't have the length, agility, motor, and desire to be a defensive guy. But boy, Al can score. He doesn't quite score enough right now to be called an elite 1st option. But maybe we're looking at this wrong? Derrick Favors, Paul Millsap, and Enes Kanter are all better defenders than Al. And Al is going to be on the floor with one of those guys (at least) at all times. Why not encourage Al to be an offensive force?
If Big Al can be an elite first option (24.0 ppg minimum, without playing more inefficiently on offense, about the same fg%, maybe going to the line more, shooting the same from the ft line percentage wise, etc) -- would that mitigate some of the concerns we have for him on defense?
It's super important for me to get this info ASAP -- I'm in the middle of a post exploring all of this. Thank you!
IF Big Al can score 24.0 ppg without a significant drop off in efficiency (e.g. He's not taking 24 shots a game to get 24 points) -- does that help swallow the pill that he's not a good defender?
Yes - Absolutely (49 votes)
Yes - But I'd still want more from him on defense too (93 votes)
Meh - I'd rather worry about the C4's all around game (OFF/DEF) (40 votes)
No - scoring 24.0 ppg doesn't make up for it, unless he's shooting something like 55 fg% (61 votes)
No - Absolutely not (24 votes)
267 total votes