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The Downbeat - 22 November 2010 - #365 - The Free-Throw Edition

I mentioned about a month or so ago that I thought that if the Jazz maintained their high free-throw percentage, it could win them a couple extra games a year. I think that's been the case already. You certainly have to look at game like Miami, Portland and Orlando for examples of even a missed free-throw or two that could have been the difference in the game. Not coincidentally, two of the worst games for free-throw percentages came against Denver and Phoenix in the first two games of the season.

After their 21 for 21 performance against Portland, their percentage sites at 79.8%. Not only can you look at it from a strictly point persepective, but i gives a you an edge strategically and mentally. A free-throw can mean the difference between a one or two possession game if you're trailing. Mentally, if you're making your free-throws, you know you're never really out of it.

If you're ahead, you have the confidence from being able to put teams away and getting easy points; that's something that Miami could have done and avoided OT and a loss.

I thought the percentage increase would be good for a couple of more wins on average over the season, but if the Jazz keep it up, it could mean a lot more than that. Ultimately, it could be the difference between a 2/3 seed and 7/8.

Kevin Pelton tweeted (of course I couldn't find it later) about how the Jazz are near the top of the league in defensive field goal percentage but how they're near the bottom of the league in defensive rebound percentage. The Jazz are also second in the league, behind the Hornets, in effective field goal percentage at 46.7%. The only other team that I could find that ranks high in opponents' eFG% yet has a terrible defensive field-goal percentage is the Lakers.

Of course the biggest difference there is that the Lakers' offensive right now is crazy off the charts whereas ours sputters at times.

If the Jazz finally crack down on defensive rebounding, you could finally have the defense that we've been clamoring for. Hopefully then the offense would catch back up.

The many hairstyles of AK from Portland Roundball Society. I've never thought about comparing him to Busey, but it totally works. Click through for more.

The Gary Busey - This haircut says "I just lost my job, drank a fifth of whiskey, took four percocet and adopted three cats. And I don’t give a damn." I can respect that.


Something that hasn't received a lot of press this year is that CJ is in the last guaranteed year of his 4-year contract he signed. The team has an option for next year at $3.7M. Assuming that there's no lockout, I would assume the Jazz pick up that option.

Night's like Saturday when he goes 7/10 from three makes$3.7 look like a bargain. Yet their are other nights when 0-7 happens. Yet the numbers have shown this season that the best unit on the floor right now is when CJ is in the game.

His offense has been down so far this year. However, his defensive rebound %, total rebound %, assist percentage, steal percentage, block percentage are at or near career highs while is turnover % is at a career low. Could CJ be the reason behind the resurgent defense?

I think CJ would totally have to fall off a cliff for the Jazz not to bring him back next season.

Monday poll,