Tonight the Jazz will play their last game of 2013. Its been a weird and frustrating year for the Jazz. We saw a complete "retooling" of our team. In 2013 we said goodbye to longtime Jazzman, Paul Millsap. We also said goodbye to Al Jefferson, Randy Foye, Mo Williams, Earl Watson, DeMarre Carroll, Kevin Murphy and of course Jeff Hornacek. We've seen a coach who is in his fourth year being treated as if he were a rookie head coach. Same old story of how hard he has it.
Dennis Lindsey this week (via Moni)
Look, you know, it was, again, a very difficult position that ownership, myself, Kevin, Bob Hyde, Randy Rigby put Ty in with a very, young team; without defined roles...
The average age of our starting lineup is 25.7. The average age of the 2006-2007 Utah Jazz starting lineup in December was 26.7. So apparently one year is the difference between a very young team in a very difficult position and just another Jerry Sloan team who was expected to win. Meh, who knew?
(I chose the 2006-2007 because it seems like thats when Deron was given the team much like Favors and Hayward were given the team this year... a turning point for their careers and the franchise)
Much like our coach, our fourth and third year players, are treated like they are much younger than they are. Its just kind of weird the last few years. It seems like age was never a huge distinguisher until Ty became coach.
Besides saying goodbye to players like Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson, it was a strange year because the Jazz did not make the playoffs in 2013 and they wanted to make the playoffs. The Jazz kept vets, played vets and put off development for a chance to make the playoffs, that gamble obviously didn't pay off. When Max and I attended practice in October, Kevin O'Connor said that the Jazz were trying to make the playoffs and develop when they could. He said the last three years did not pan out how they expected them to do, he said the Jazz were trying to have their cake and eat it too. So its not just the opinion of SLC Dunk that that's what the Jazz were doing the last three years, it came straight from the horses mouth.
2013 is almost gone, two days left in the year and only one Jazz game left. Lets hope that the Jazz are looking forward to the new year with new resolutions like everyone else. The one game left is of course against the Charlotte Bobcats tonight.
Ty in his difficult position will be taking on the rookie head coach, Steve Clifford and the Charlotte Bobcats tonight. The Bobcats have lost three out of their last four games, with their lone win coming against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bobcats played Paul Millsap and the Atlanta Hawks last Saturday, it was a close game and a difficult loss with the Hawks winning, 118-116 in overtime.
The Jazz also most recently played on Saturday. The Jazz lost to the LA Clippers 98-90. I watched the Clippers feed of the game. The announcers sounded completed shocked through three quarters of the game when the Jazz were leading the Clippers. The game was ugly but the Jazz competed. I love that this team doesn't look completely lost and overwhelmed on the road.
Offense and Defense
The Jazz are ranked 30th in defensive rating and 25th in offensive rating. So we're still not that good at anything. The Jazz average 93 ppg and give up 101.5 ppg. The Jazz are however improving on three point shooting. I believe the Jazz are now shooting 39% on three's for the month of December. That is huge. In their 9 wins, the Jazz shoot 45% from three, in their losses they shoot 29.9%. Assists also make a difference in their wins, the Jazz average 23.1 apg and in their losses they only average 19 apg. So like we all knew when the Jazz shoot the ball well and pass the ball well they have a better chance at winning.
The Charlotte Bobcats are actually ranked worse in offense than the Jazz. The Bobcats are currently 29th in offensive rating and 3rd in defense rating. The Bobcats average 92.9 ppg and give up 94.2 ppg. The Bobcats may stink at offense but they can hang out their hats on their defense. The Bobcats are 6-7 on the road. The Bobcats rebound more on the road (45.2 rpg vs 42.6 rpg), they also shoot the three better (33.5% vs 30.9%) and surprisingly average over 2 more steals on the road than at home (7.6 vs 5.5).
Way to go Enes!
Bobcats vs Jazz coverage