This isn't a Jerry Sloan team anymore

In the D-Will era (someone with a longer statistical memory will have to comment on the Stockton/Malone era), the Jazz were notable statistically for such things as

  • heavy fouling
  • often going to the free throw line
  • reluctance to take and guard 3-point shots
  • very strong rebounding, particularly offensive rebounding
  • relatively high forcing of turnovers
  • average to more than average turnovers on offense
  • high FG%, though EF% a bit lower because of lack of 3-pointers
  • high assists

These characteristics were often attributed to Sloan's style, though of course player personnel plays into it. When Ty took over, I remember there many who hoped that he'd be able to change at least some of it (heavy fouling, non-attention to 3-pointers, esp.). So what do the Jazz look like this year?

Fouls: 22nd ranked in FT attempted. 17th ranked in opponents' FT attempted. A rather big change for the better defensively. But the Jazz are not forcing the issue on offense as much as they once did.

3-point shooting: 26th in own attempts, 7th best at preventing opponents' attempts. A very big change for the better defensively. Not so much change offensively. 17th best 3-pt%, 12th best 3-point defense %. Though Jazz games are on the lower end of the use of 3-pt-ers, the Jazz are not getting taken advantage of by the 3-ball anymore. It's basically a wash with the opponents.

Rebounding: 19th best offensive rebounding team, 23rd best defensive rebounding team, .489 rebound %, 21st in rebound differential (-1.9). Jazz are no longer a top-flight rebounding team. Despite the improvement in defense in many ways, the defensive rebounding problems are a drag on the Jazz's overall defense (and yikes! Marvin is currently a slightly better defensive rebounder/36minutes than Kanter).

Turnovers: 12th ranked in preventing turnovers (a real change from November! Thanks Trey & Marvin), 29th ranked in forcing turnovers (another reason the Jazz defense is bad). Much less aggressive both offensively and defensively compared to D-Will era.

FG%: 21st ranked offensively, 26th ranked defensively. Hopefully both will improve with experience. Jazz's 2-pointer defense seems quite poor. Points-per-shot: 26th offensively, 22nd defensively; Effective FG% 23rd offensively, 17th defensively (better than the other figures because the Jazz prevent the 3-ball well).

Assists: 26th in assists/game. Huge change for the worse from Sloan era. But 9th in preventing assists. Not bad at all.

To sum up: Jazz are a rather different style team statistically speaking than in Sloan's later years. Some of the differences are improvements many of us had hoped to see when Sloan left (fouling, guarding the 3, etc.), but some new problems have arisen (rebounding, defending the 2, not forcing turnovers, poor shooting %). This can be interpreted favorably as a more disciplined style, or unfavorably as a less aggressive style.

Interested to see what you think especially in relation to:

  • How much of this is related to coaching philosophy vs. the different player personnel compared to the Sloan era?
  • Which of the current problems that the Jazz have now will be easiest to fix with time and experience--with or without a coaching change--and which are likely to continue over a long period--assuming future rosters look more or less like we're now expecting them to?

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

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