It's no secret that the Jazz have been terrible in the first quarter of games. Deron explains some of the causes for that (from the Trib),
It's not Jazz basketball. ... We're not screening, we're not running the floor, we're not jelling
Maybe Dr. Scholl should be called in for some consulting work?
it's pretty much given that in game threads, the early consensus is missed jumpers, not taking it to the hole, and not screening, etc. So the question is this: how does this get fixed? Will time heal all wounds? Is the lack of practices with their heavy early schedule to blame in part?
We expected things to come together sooner, that's for sure. The Jazz have won games they should have lost (a certain 4-game road trip comes to mind) and has lost some games that they should have won. Deron stated that the team's 23-11 might be hiding some of the team's problems. Yet, the saying goes is that you are what your record says you are.
There is no doubt though that they can't continue to get behind early and not pay the piper later. With that, you can't continue to do the same thing and expect different results.
So what change would you advocate? A different starting lineup? Will more time to jell take care of things? This next stretch of 15 games or so it certainly relatively favorable for the Jazz. No game is a given but they've been afforded a little extra time before they hit some of the meatier parts of the schedule.
So if you're Sloan, what would you do starting today?
Some great stuff from Kirkland's interview with Gordon Hayward
Video Courtesy of KSL.com
My two favorite parts,
I saw your post(game reaction) to the Clipper game when you had that 17-point second half which is kind of your staple right now, were they (teammates) really saying "Too Big Yo" from your bench when you were hitting shots?
They were kind of joking around with it a little bit yeah...just having some fun with it I think...
You are kind of a sneaky good dunker, we have seen you go left, we have seen the two-hander in Minnesota.
I think I am more athletic than people give me credit for, sometimes I realize in this league if you go up soft and lay it up, they are not going to bail you out. You just gotta try to go up and dunk it and if you get fouled, you get fouled, you should go hard to the rim.
The fact that the bench yells out Too Big Yo from the bench slays me. That's exactly the treatment you should be getting as a rookie. Harpring brought up the rap song in the post-game show from Saturday. You can tell Hayward hates it.
I wish the second comment would be our big men's mantra.
Deron's not just getting 22 points a game from chucking. He's actually one of the most efficient scorers in the league amongst those averaging 20+ a game.
It looks like we dodged a bullet on Saturday night. The Grizzlies just went into LA and blew out the Lakers, 104-85. I say dodged because Rudy Gay was out against the Jazz and poured in 27 on 19 attempts. They forced the Lakers into 20 turnovers and scored 18 points off those. We just need to somehow bottle that performance and give it to the Jazz to drink then next time that they're in LA to play the Lakers.
As much as I love seeing the Lakers go down and struggling (they've lost 4 of their last 6), I'm not getting my hopes up. They're still going to be in the top 3 in the conference when all is said and done and will go deep into the playoffs. They might have some better competition this season in the west but I'm not going to write them off. However, if Kobe keeps chucking and Gasol only gets 9 shots, we might have something.
I was reminded of this article from Kevin Pelton a couple of seasons ago when Millsap recorded his 19 straight double-doubles in the place of Boozer. Pelton determined, and rightly so, that when a good player was given more minutes, he became better.
We're seeing that this year. His FG%, TS%, and PPG (even PER 36) are at career highs. We can also see that one of the fears about Millsap fouling out by giving him more minutes wasn't true. In fact, his fouls per 36 minutes are at a career low at only 3.7 PER 36.
The only thing that has been a bit of a disappointment this year is his offensive rebounding. He's been getting the same amount of defensive rebounds as he has throughout his career. He's getting the almost the same amount of offensive rebounds per game, but he's playing more minutes to get them.
I think some of that has to do with that he's taking more outside shots which doesn't leave him in position to get the 1 or 2 more offensive boards a game he might have got before. He's also taking more shots in general period so he's not cleaning up from everyone else.
So when you compare him and Boozer for this season and factor in their salaries and age, the Jazz made the right call. I'm interested to see what the Jazz do to keep Millsap in a few years when his deal is up.