Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE
Utah Jazz Preseason 2012-2013:
Not everyone 'round these parts loves Points per Shot. It unfairly hurts guys who don't get to the free throw line, I get that. But I instead come from the school of thought that getting to the line is an NBA level skill that good players should benefit from; instead of absolving bad offensive players from not getting there themselves.
So, five preseason games in . . . this is what it looks like.
Some points -- not everyone on the team is shooting the same number of shots, the same quality of shots, and are not all as open as one another is. For example, a dude like Al Jefferson will elicit much more defensive pressure against starters than Kevin Murphy will as an unknown rookie playing in garbage time.
I did put Randy Foye in the PG group because he's had to play PG for us, and he's taken shots that he has created -- like a PG would. He has not had a lot of time running around screens and just spotting up and firing. Running around screens and spotting up are his talents. Because Earl Watson is injured he hasn't been able to play to his strengths.
Our wings have been carrying us on offense, in terms of efficient scoring. This is due to their ability to BOTH get to the line and also hit threes. There are only 6 guys under the overall total Jazz PPS, and way more above it. So you can see how skewed it is in terms of who takes more shots . . .
Lastly, for the Jazz, Bigs, Wings, and PGs I took the sum and did the calculation for each group. I did not simply average the calculations (which would have been deceptive and wrong). What do we know about how the team shoots, vis a vis PPS, after five games?
Well, we know that Big Al isn't doing as well as we'd want him to. And as our veteran leader, and first option, we all wish him well. This season our progress will be partly measured by his progress from a good player to hopefully an All-Star / All-NBA type. So far in this contract I think Jazz fans would not mind seeing him score at a more effective rate. Especially since he played against only one starting center in these five games. (No Andrew Bogut, no Kendrick Perkins, No Dwight Howard x2)
But it's not all Al. And it's not ONLY Al. Everyone has to play better. The Jazz will win and lose as a team this year. Especially in a year so many people are in contract years. I hope the brass will keep the players who play for the name on the front of their jerseys this season, and not the one on the back of them.