FanPost

"Trending in the right direction" - Dennis Lindsey & the Month of January


So just looking at some January splits so far in which the Utah Jazz have had 8 games thus far; 5 of them on the road and 3 at home, Utah is 6-2 (better than 6-9 in December where 8 games were on the road and 7 were at home).

Al Jefferson is averaging 19.0 ppg on .504 FG% shooting, .848 FT%, along with 8.9 rpg, 1.1 spg, and 2.5 apg (passing the ball more).

Paul Millsap is averaging 17.9 ppg on .495 FG% shooting, .816 FT%, along with 7.5 rpg, 2.8 apg, 2.2 spg, and 1.0 bpg.

Gordon Hayward is averaging 15.8 ppg shooting .473 FG% .571 3P%, .786 FT%, along with 2.5 rpg and 2.5 apg. And he's doing that in 26.5 mpg. Give him 10 more minutes on the court per game (take Foye's time) and I think we'll see some dividend pay off from that extra time (not just a linear increase of what we're seeing but a little extra in trips to the line and defense).

So for the month of January thus far, Big Al, Millslap, and G-time are averaging about 53 points per game between the three of them.

Randy Foye is also shooting above 50% from the arc (.543) through the 8 games in January thus far, although he hasn't improved anywhere else substantially.

We've also seen Demarre Carroll and Alec Burks getting more time and stepping up their games a bit as well. Both are shooting better than 36% from the 3-point line.

These are all mostly basic offensive stats and nothing too defensively in-depth. I'm sure if I went to one of the many sites available for parametric stats concerning defense efficiency, etc, I could find some encouraging stats there as well. Instead I'll save my time and just say that it's obvious the team has realized they cannot get too comfortable with any large lead, and they have demonstrated a few times in the last month the ability to play strong defense and shut teams out (Dallas, Detroit, Miami).

I know some might say that this is to be expected with Mo Williams out, but it isn't necessarily expected that their shooting, passing, and defense would improve. I think a combination of players realizing they are having to step it up along with just natural expected growth through the season as well as building confidence with different rotations has contributed to the recent trends of this month. Personally, I like it, because if the core players of the Utah Jazz can improve their individual and team game now while Mo is out, hopefully that means Utah will be slightly more versatile, confident, and better all around when Mo comes back healthy.

Hopefully this momentum will continue to build into the series of home games over the next month and a half. I think the best is still yet to come! I also think Utah can realistically move up to the 5th spot in the conference be the end of February/beginning of March (don't forget Stephen Curry is out indefinitely with a sprained ankle so they're likely to be moving down the ladder a little with him out).

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

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