Yes, there was no Sunday Syncopation #21. Or maybe there was. The truth is out there. Or maybe I just couldn’t get it done. Anyway, here’s #22 – the moving on edition, if there ever was one.
- There are a number of points we need to go through here that I haven’t since covered in standalone posts. They are: the trade, the all-star game, and moving on.
- The All-Star game is a very special celebration of the NBA, the star players, and a lot of sloppy play. Over the years, we’ve been lucky to have a number of players don an All-Star jersey as members of the Jazz franchise. These players are: Adrian Dantley (6 games); Andrei Kirilenko (1 game); Carlos Boozer (1 game); Deron Williams (2 games); John Stockton (10 games); Karl Malone (12 games); Mark Eaton (1 game); Pete Maravich (2 games); Rickey Green (1 game); and Truck Robinson (1 game). Of course, some of these guys have been selected for more games, but for whatever reason, did not play in them. (Injury, then replaced) And yes, some of these guys were injury replacements themselves. (Memo was, and let’s not forget that AK was not)
- Have you ever wondered how well these players did in the games that they played? Sure you have, here are the stats . . .
The "Normal" Five Statistics
Wow, Carlos Boozer looks really good here, but he only played one game and didn’t do anything in it besides shoot and rebound. Karl Malone has been in way more, and his numbers would look much better if in the later stage of his career he’d actually play in the games instead of stepping on the court for 3 mins and then taking the night off. Memo and Mark are on opposite sides of the production spectrum. If you somehow combined them, not only would you have a great center, but you’d probably have had a championship parade down there in Utah by now.
Of course, my pet project: Gestalt Offensive Rating
Andrei and Mark need to pace themselves in All-Star games – we don’t want them to use up too much of their offensive abilities in an exhibition game. John Stockton having a greater rating here than Deron Williams (despite Deron being a more significant scoring threat) is interesting; no doubt it is due to John’s efficiency and Deron’s bad habit of picking up turn overs.
Points per Shot (aka Shooting Worth in Amar-lingo)
Ah, here we see how inefficient Boozer was in his single All-Star game appearance. He was straight up jacking in order to get as many points as he could. Malone, on the other hand, has a Points per Shot value in All-Star games that’s greater than Boozer’s career value (Playoffs and Regular season combined). Karl got his against Barkley, Ewing, and crew; while all those games of Boozer beating up on Golden State inside still make Carlos inferior (1.31). Because I don’t want to here anyone bwaa, Karl’s career (Reg Season + Playoffs) points per shot value is 1.39, so yeah. Best power forward ever.
Back on topic though, Memo has a PPS of 2.0. It’s amazing because he took and made all of his shots. What is even more amazing is that he also had some FTAs – and he missed both. (He missed the first, and then missed the second on purpose because Tracy McGrady told him to do so, so the second round virgin would get the offensive rebound and dunk it – which he didn’t.) He could have had a PPS > 2.0.
- Which player is the next most likely on the Jazz to be an All-Star in our uniform? Well, if recent history is any indication it is very hard to be picked as an All-Star in the West if you are on a bad team in a small market. The Jazz will need to be at least respectable going into the coaching voting. (Yeah, we’re not voting any of our current guys in either) The likely candidates are Al Jefferson (who did not make in as a Timberwolves player) at center; Paul Millsap (who was a 20-10 guy early on this season) at forward; or Devin Harris at guard. It may be a long time before we have another one though, so we should cherish the few that we’ve had.
- If Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors aren’t on the Soph teams next year that means we’ve failed at developing two Top 10 picks . . . there are 8 spots on that team (if I remember correctly). You do the math.
- Speaking of Devin Harris and Derrick Favors . . . we did get them in a trade for the departed Deron Williams. Devin Harris is a shoot first, shoot second type of point guard, but he has been hiding these tendencies somewhat in the halfcourt. A virtual blur in transition, this guy seems to endanger his health by taking it into the tall timber whenever he can. A more traditional point guard would try to draw the defense on the break and pass off to a scorer. I think our franchise is kind of divorced from tradition right now though.
- Favors is very raw. I’m happy to pick up a Top 3 pick when we could have had nothing (when Deron would have left in Free Agency down the road). I’d be happier if it was a Top 3 pick that was ready to go. There are two factors that are going to hurt him, though. The first is that he’s not going to be playing with an All-Star point guard who makes life easier for his bigs. Second, he’s not going to be able to get all the minutes he would have gotten on a crappy team because he’s playing behind Millsap and Jefferson (again, they leave a maximum of 26 mpg to go around the 4 and 5 spots). That said, he’ll be playing against these two guys in practice daily who should push him – if he has the fire to want to get better / want to start. Karl would have taken his lickings after the season, and come back after the summer with 3-4 new moves and a stronger body. We can only hope that Favors is old school in that regard.
- Regardless of what school he is from, the Jazz need to hand him a one way plane ticket to wherever in the world Karl Malone is as soon as the Jazz season is over. I don’t care if it is Alaska, Louisiana, Tajikistan, or Zimbabwe. Tell Favors there is no holiday this year. Tell him it’s just him and Karl. And tell him that he’s only getting a one-way ticket because after a summer with The Mailman, he’ll know how to get back home on his own.
- We have a number of draft picks (in theory) that we can play around with. There are different ideas on what to do, but I think that holding onto a lot of lotto picks in a weak draft doesn’t make you a winner. Furthermore, building depth solely upon lotto picks in consecutive years doesn’t make you a winner either – it makes you the Oklahoma City Thunder (before they got smart and started to trade guys on Rookie contracts away from legit NBA veterans with playoff experience). If the Jazz were smart, they could find a way to send this draft pick to a team mired in trouble, and reloading this off-season. We may be able to pry a veteran rotation player out of it, instead of another young rookie who will not play for us.
- Speaking of which, apparently Jeremy Evans is being called up back from the NBA-DL. If you blinked you may have missed his focused seasoning and development – you know, what we are supposed to do with our players when we send them to the Flash. He played two games – and more importantly – played 32 mpg. He was close to a double double in both games, and swatted a ton of shots. Of course, the Millsap injury is why he’s being called up so soon. Glad to know that the Jazz are maximizing having an in-state, hours away, development league affiliate.
- No Millsap means more minutes for Favors. Or at least, that’s the logical thing to do. Putting money in the Francisco Elson pot isn’t going to pay off in the future for us. He’s the type of vet off the bench a playoff team needs. He isn’t going to improve with more playing time. That said, a guy like Favors probably will.
- The alternative, mind you, is more Andrei Kirilenko at the four spot. Since his breakout game vs Minnesota (when D-Will was injured and it didn’t look good for our team, pre-Sloan retiring, pre-trade with Nets) AK-47 has been averaging 15.3 ppg – and since the trade 16.3 ppg. He’s only scored in single digits once during this span (the longer one starting on January 30th), and that was the first game against Phoenix where he only played 13 minutes because he got injured in the 2nd quarter and did not return. In that game he was 3/3 fg, and 2/3 ft.
- Playing power forward is more than just scoring though, but Andrei has been looking more active on defense with his steals, blocks, and even boxing out guys. Furthermore, his ball handling and court vision are always appreciated. If he starts at the four (or plays more minutes there), I fully well expect for Al Jefferson to find the ball in his hands from even more absurd angles than he was already getting it from in this offense.
- The last question, with 19 games remaining, is: should we tank or not? Now, I fully well expect that no Jazz team would ever tank. That said, I fully well have resigned myself that if this team tries their hardest this season, they will not get a Top 4 seed in the conference. What’s worse, half-tanking to get a pick in the 6-14 range; or struggling to make the playoffs – lose in one of the first two rounds– and get a pick in the 15-18 range?
- Of course, there’s the outside chance that we’d get a Top 5 pick, or win two playoff series . . . but I wouldn’t put my money on either.
- 82games.com finally updated the page I needed information from. Expect some more stats stuff this week. If you don’t like stats stuff, then, uh, maybe I’ll make another unintentionally hilarious Photoshop abortion for you to laugh at this week.
- . . . as always . . . if you have any questions, comments, or things you’d like investigated / looked up, post it here in the comments section, or hit me up on twitter . . . I’ll do my best.