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Defense And Rebounding - The Downbeat - #655

Good words to hear from Derrick Favors via Brian T. Smith,

I take pride in defense. Offense is cool but I take pride in keeping my man from scoring.

Couple that with Enes Kanter's comment from a day ago about not worrying about scoring and focusing on rebounding and defense and that's music to ever Jazz fans' ears. Kanter, not surprisingly, leads all rookies in rebounds right now. If he had enough qualifying minutes, Kanter would be 6th in the league in rebounding percentage.

With last night's 27 minutes of playing time, Alec Burks qualifies now for John Hollinger's rookie rankingswhere he jumps to #4 in PER with 23.26 behind Isaiah Thomas, MarShon Brooks, and Kyrie Irving. To qualify for the rookie rankings, players have to be playing at least 6 minutes a game. Hopefully he's earned at least that by now. He's high score has been helped by his free throw attempts and assists. His six assists against the Bucks last night may have been the second-most impressive part of his performance.

By making it on the list, he pushed Enes Kanter out of the top 10 to #11 who comes in with a PER of 17.17.

One of the biggest reasons for the poor defense from the Jazz last season was their poor defensive rebounding where they ranked 27th in the league. Only Phoenix, Washington, and Golden State were worse.

This season? They're ranked 6th in total rebounds and 13th in total rebounding percentage. Their biggest flaw continues to be their high foul rate, sending opponents to the line almost 26 times a game. That may not come down for a bit given the team's youth and overall style of play.

Is the heavy schedule already taking a toll on players? Devin Harris (strained left quad) and Josh Howard (strained left calf) both had to leave the game last night. Al Jefferson has been fighting cramps and has had to sit a game out already. I thought Paul Millsap was a goner after hyper-extending his knee last night (the replay made me cringe).

The two days off couldn't come at a better time. I'm worried that if we're seeing this already, what's it going to be like late in March when the Jazz have an unholy amount of games?

Combining two of my favorite things, basketball and Calvin and Hobbes. I'm not sure though what the strip associated with the Jazz implies though.