Blinded by veteran status... or, the coaching staff and its failures

I recently looked at a statistical breakdown of how each of our bigs and each of our wings affects the success of the team when they're on the court vs when they're off. I also compared overall individual performance (PPS, offensive rebounding, defensive efficiency, etc).

While none of these by themselves means much, looking at the big picture is pretty scary; especially when there's an overwhelming amount of evidence that points to the same conclusion.

First, I looked at our bigs. I compared Jefferson to the other three bigs. In a lot of these examples, Millsap's numbers will be lower than I expected them to be, and I think a lot of that has to do with the unit he's forced to play with every night; his defensive numbers suffer when he plays next to Jefferson and Foye.

Here's what I found (all stats pulled from

Jefferson is inferior in most categories. His points per shot rating is a 1.07, which is worse than all but 5 players (Mo, Watson, Foye, Marvin, and Favors - and I don't think it's coincidence that 4 of the starters have such crappy PPS). When compared side-by-side with the other bigs, it looks even worse. Millsap, Kanter, and Favors all take a higher percentage of their shots from close and inside - Favors 38% and 56%, Millsap 28% and 34%, Kanter 44% and 58%. Compare that to Jefferson at 20% and 27%, and it shows that despite having a "polished" post game, he's unsuccessful and timid when it comes to getting a high-percentage shot down low.

73% of Jefferson FGA are jump shots, compared to 44% for Favors, 66% for Millsap, and 42% for Kanter.

He also has the lowest percentage of tip-in attempts, and converts them into buckets at the lowest rate out of all four big men. He gets to the FT line 3.8 times per 48 minutes; Favors, Millsap, and Kanter ge to the line 8.8, 8.1, and 4.6 times per 48, respectively.

Jefferson has the worst offensive rebound rate, his defensive efficiency is worst among the four. Jefferson gives up 26.4 PER to opposing power forwards, and 18.7 PER to opposing centers. Favors gives up 12.4 and 17.6 to opposing PF and C, respectively. Millsap gives up 17.5 to opposing PF (I didn't count SF and C because he's played so few minutes at those positions). Kanter gives up an impressive 13.7 PER to opposing centers.

There's a lot more, but frankly I'm tired of thinking about it, so I'll move on to the wings. I examined Burks, Hayward, Carrol, and Foye; here's what I dug up:

Despite being a "great" shooter, Foye has the worst PPS out of the 4. He's at 1.04, while Carroll, Hayward, and Burks are at 1.09, 1.07, and 1.11. His defense is a mirror image; he gives up 1.13 PPS, while Carroll, Hayward, and Burks give up 1.01, 1.07, and 1.08, respectively.

There have been recent posts that pointed out Foye's rebounding deficiencies, so I won't really go into that. Just know that he's atrocious on an individual level AND he makes the team's offensive rebounding go way down.

He has the fewest blocks/48 and also turns the ball over at a relatively high rate despite rarely handling the ball. Foye is -115 individually; Carroll is +71, Hayward is +18, and Burks is +5.

Looking at overall team success when each player is on the floor vs when they're off, we find that the trend continues. When Foye is on the floor, the Jazz get outscored at a clip of 8.2 points per 100 possessions; we outscore opponents by 7.8 when he's off the floor, a difference of 15.9 points per 100 possessions. Carroll, Hayward, and Burks have the opposite effect on the team, giving us +14.1, +4.8, and +3.3 per 100 possessions.

In other words, Jefferson and Foye are killing this team, and the coaching staff is standing idly by and watching it happen.


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

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