So after last night's loss, I immediately started to hit up the Draft Machine instead of writing a recap. Like a lot of you, I don't follow college ball until the calendar turns over to March. Even then, it's not until 30 minutes before the first tournament game tips off that I start filling out brackets.
With the Jazz getting at least one lottery pick, and more than likely two, I decided I need to start boning up on players. The first place to start of course is with Clark's first and second posts on tournament players.
Chad Ford's draft machine isn't the end all for who will go where, but right now most simulations have the Jazz taking Enes Kanter and Jimmer. It's interesting to note that when the Jazz didn't have the 12th pick, Jimmer fell out of the lottery. I was able to score the number 1 spot a couple of times which has the Jazz going with Kyrie Irving. The best I was able to score though was #2 and #3, which had the Jazz taking Perry Jones and Harrison Barnes..
After tonight, I may be clicking the Play Lottery button a few more thousand times.
It seems as though Corbin could be communicating with his players better as a head coach. When CJ Miles was given the starting job over Bell due to some confusion, Raja felt that Corbin could have handled it differently by talking to him about it more "in-depth."
This isn't a blaming Raja statement, but last night I thought Kirilenko gave the team the best chance to win, yet we saw him only briefly at the end of the fourth when Corbin was subbing for offense/defense on each possession. That was a bit weird in itself in that situation.
However, according to Brian T. Smith, AK said he was fine and felt that Corbin was holding him out for precautionary measures. Not to sound cold-hearted against AK, but why? If he gets hurt again, is that any worse than him sitting on the bench? A loss last night all but extinguished the team's playoff hopes. With AK in the fourth, the Jazz might not have to have a three-point barrage just to have a chance at the end.
So either Corbin assumed AK wouldn't be willing to go instead of asking him or is just dead set on sticking with Raja. Either way, that was one of the biggest things that cost the Jazz the game.
A look at some of Derrick Favors' numbers since he came to the Jazz:
His offense still has a ways to go, but the early returns are promising. In his 11 games with the team, he's shooting nearly 56% from the field and has shown a small array of post moves. Where he could use some work is finishing on non-dunks. By all means, if he can dunk it, then dunk it. He had a nice baseline move in a game last week but wasn't close on the reverse attempt. Developing a finishing dunk around the basket will go a long ways in improving his game on that end. His jumper has been okay, but from 3-9 feet, he's shooting just 44%.
He's been efficient on offense though, putting up and estimated 119 points per 100 possessions and a very will-make-Clark-happy 1.48 points per shot attempt. I also like his face-up moves. He's also almost doubled his assist numbers since coming to the Jazz.
On defense, he's been as advertised. His numbers per 36 minutes in rebounds and blocks are nearly identical to those in New Jersey. Where he hasn't improved yet is on his fouls. He's still over 6 per 36 minutes. I hope fouling as defense is one philosophy that changes with Corbin at the helm.
The biggest thing going forward though is getting him minutes. If this was a contending team and they had somehow landed Favors (had the Jazz won a top-3 pick in last year's draft for example), then I could see bringing him along slowly. He's not going to get more minutes this season though with Jefferson and Millsap. If he's the future, and by trading your All-star PG you're indicating that he is, then he needs more minutes starting next season. That means either a move to the bench and reduced minutes for Millsap or Jefferson or trading one of them.
I'm a fan though of having as much size as you can so I don't like getting rid of good big men like Sap and Al. I don't know how either one would take getting moved out of the starting spot and losing minutes. It's likely that Favors is going to have play so well that Corbin can't keep him out of the starting lineup.
The KOOF will slay you
TBJ exclusive: NBA players go Hollywood from The Basketball Jones on Vimeo.
When this whole basketball thing doesn't turn out, the KOOF and Fesenko will star in their own A&E reality show.
Monday open poll... In all honesty, how well do you think Corbin will do as a head coach?