Jazz won last night. While there have been many out there saying the Jazz are playing better on the defensive end.....well, they're not. In the Jazz's last 6 games they have only forced one team to have an offensive rating less than 100 points per 100 possessions. That team? The Phoenix Suns average a 100.8 offensive rating on the season. Defense sadly is not why the Jazz have been winning. The Jazz's offense is overpowering teams right now. While that's a great thing that the Jazz are playing efficiently on the offensive end, almost 110 points per 100 possessions a game, this is something that will slow down against better defensive teams. So enjoy it while it lasts because it has been fun.
Speaking of fun...did you see this?
I mean seriously...seriously. Jeremy Evans is at the 3 point line. He's almost behind Tinsley when Tinsley
shoots the floater makes this beautiful pass.
Don't look now but Al Jefferson has been on the good side of the +/- stat for the past 4 games. I KNOW! Yes there have been some sweet defensive adjustments but the biggest defensive adjustment has been the adjustments on the offensive side of the ball. Al Jefferson has been a complete beast on the other end of the floor. The Jazz's backcourt
has finally decided to show up to a game and play consecutively good minutes like they're supposed to has been huge as of late. Mo Williams has been spectacular. He said a few games ago that he was working on incorporating the entire team in the offense early to get everyone going before Al. It definitely shows now. This year's Jazz team will never be a defensive juggernaut. It looks like they're embracing that reality. They are going all out on the offensive end and it is so gorgeous to watch. Beautiful basketball is being played.
I have been known to be an Al Jefferson critic. I can admit that. I can admit that I am biased against players that are not two way players. I never got caught up in the Steve Nash aura. I loved his offensive game but his defense makes me pull my hair out. But when Al Jefferson leaves after this season he deserves the biggest standing ovation and show of gratitude we could possibly show a player. Here's why:
- He has given his full effort during a very rough transitional period from Jerry Sloan to Ty Corbin.
- He has given his full effort during a rough transitional period from Deron Williams to Mo Williams.
- He has tried to hold himself to a higher defensive standard even though he may not be physical capable of accomplishing that standard. He knows his deficiencies and does not try to excuse them.
- He has passed down his valued Jedi post move knowledge to Kanter and Favors. Especially Favors whose offensive game two years ago was as rigid as Kanter at the [redacted by SLCDunk for content. But Hugh Hefner would have laughed.]
- He has stayed positive even in the worst of circumstances. Considering he has only walked out of the locker room once without commenting to the press in his whole stay here is remarkable. Remember how surly Deron Williams was getting at the end of his tenure?
- He and Paul Millsap carried the the Jazz into the playoffs last year and they were WORSE than this current roster. That's remarkable.
- Most of all, he has been all class during his contract year. The writing on the wall is there. He knows this is Kanter and Favors show to ultimately lead. But he has been gracious. He has helped. He has been a pro's pro. Thank you, Big Al. You're a good man.
The best part about the Jazz's uptick in play lately has been the turnover battle. The Jazz's buzzsaw of an offense is amazing. What makes it even more intimidating is it's not turning the ball over a lot. In fact only 6.7 of every 100 Jazz possessions last night ended in a turnover. Let me repeat that. 6.7 out of 100 possessions. The Jazz only had 6 turnovers the entire night. This is important. The Jazz don't have a very good defense. Let alone a good transition defense. Cutting down turnovers and being hyper efficient on the offensive end allows Al, Foye, and Mo to get back on defense much easier and not force them into already bad situations with their defensive inefficiencies. Tomorrow night will be the hardest test. The Denver Nuggets will try to force the Jazz to run and play sloppy. If the Jazz keep the turnovers low the Jazz have a chance of upsetting the Nuggets.