Thought I'd share what I thought were the main take-aways from the interview with Dennis Lindsey today, where he was calling from Chicago between scoutings.
1. At first, I thought Lindsey said he was "pretty sauced" after he lost the call, but then I realized he probably said "pretty soft", right? Because he's a southern raised man trying to make it in the Windy City. If I had spent 2 hours looking over analytics, and I like analytics, I would probably feel like getting a little sauced myself, but then I am curious why if he spent the entire 2 hours just comparing other basketball players in the same age groups as our players, and if that was all he looked at - but probably not. Why and how that can have value is for another discussion I suppose.
2. He admits the team is "headed in the wrong direction in a couple of areas", rationalizing some of that with previously injured players getting back into the mix, their legs under them, etc.
3. Their biggest concern is defensive habits, need to focus on getting back, defending the pick n roll.
4. DL said they value the lateral quickness component of players as a key factor in determining better potential defenders for the future. They've had these discussions with their scouts. Said they were familiar with bigger players having trouble to get back quickly enough if they got out too far on defense attempting to defend pick n rolls (Yao Ming). It is encouraging to here DL acknowledge this.
5. Also referred to the close games that were by a three, a free throw or a missed layup. Personally I think they played for how they usually do in road games; I believed they sensed the urgency, and played competitively in 3 straight road games decided by less than 5 points total. All those games were also without Al Jefferson. But that's for another discussion. Even though I think Lindsey was clearly outlining the big pink elephant in the room; that overpaid offensive-oriented center that is probably receiving a little overkill on the criticism, but I also think the general fan base like to believe the obvious can be confirmed by reasonable, rational decisions in the future, given all the same information.
6. There has been some grass-roots level criticism on Corbin; is it justified? Lindsey said "It's a difficult position we've put Ty in, to rebuild and win."...."we've skipped a few steps in the rebuilding process, which a couple of veterans helped them play through".... "younger guys on an individual level have exceeded expectations".... from a rotation standpoint, admits there are a lot of ways to look at it. The young guys are all contributing to that, but doesn't think Corbin can come up with a perfect equation to satisfy everyone,
7. "We're playoff competitive, and set in a rebuilding" - DL
8. Said the players have done what they've asked them to do. Proud of them.
9. Knows "we're not a perfect team"
10. Is anxious for the group, not to be in charge unilaterally making decisions. Is anxious to see their young 20-year olds turn into mid-20-year olds. Is very glad and feels lucky to be with Utah.
11. Will continue to adhere to the Jazz culture, try to out perform their draft position, knows what that means. Says there is good news on the horizon, said he just spent 2 hours looking at their players relative to the same age range, some of the older vets in their upper 20's ranked high in their age group. Believe they will make something good happen this off-season.
**12. Referenced how John Hollinger obviously had a positive statistical advantage in guiding the Grizzlies to make the Gay trade, where they've now gone 14-1 since then. Pretty crazy if you ask me, but if everyone uses metrics you've developed, then Hollinger might as well get his piece of the pie. When asked about how often the Utah Jazz use similar metrics and analytics, Lindsey said "on a daily basis, We've hired some analysts and consultants". Referenced how old school Utah Jazz staff utilized analytics in Layden and LHM days; says they have a talented developer working daily. "We look at the metrics on an everyday basis." - DL
14. Said it's incumbent upon the management to acquire top, smart players. Believes a smarter team is going to be able to better withstand an 82 game season on average.
**15. Said the "danger in analytics" in being able to "paint any picture with the numbers". Said Kanter's game against Charlotte has to be a measure of really who he was playing against, as opposed to having a more objective reference frame, I suppose.
That's what I took from the interview. I thought it was pretty good. I don't know how much more was revealed about what we know about what the management knows, since sometimes we have big forums discussing statistical analysis but at some point realize that the management has not only seen the same analytics, but probably a lot of others, and some of them for decades, and then the puzzle simply becomes why did they go in that direction, or not do this? I don't know man. I do believe him when he says, "you can paint any picture with the numbers". The field of sports analytics is definitely a robust and influential growing movement, in sports and all other aspects in the world. Go figure. The math geeks and computer nerd got the good stuff.