By now you have probably heard about NBA.com's writer Sekou Smith's future All NBA team article in which he made some favorable predictions about Utah Jazz big man Derrick Favors. From the article:
F Derrick Favors, Utah Jazz: Favors has been on a steady climb since moving into a starting role for the Jazz after Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap departed the premises during the free-agent summer of 2013. A no-frills performer who avoids the media glare at every turn, Favors has a hard time doing the same on the court. The league’s leading rebounder in each of the past two seasons (15.3 this season), Favors also averaged 16.3 points, 3.4 blocks and 1.9 steals for a Jazz team that battled all the way down to the last week of the season for the eighth and final spot in the West. He finished third in the voting for the Kia Defensive Player of the Year award and is living up to the hype that suggests he might be a young Dwight Howard.
I don't want to debate whether or not, Derrick Favors can achieve those numbers and expectations. I think this post was in good fun and a bit tongue in cheek, if you read the rest of it. But it is a fun read that allows Jazz fans to hope a little bit about the future, and right now, I think that is healthy.
It also gives me a reason to talk a little bit about Derrick Favors' ability to rebound the ball. I don't think we have talked enough about his rebounding this last season.
The highlighted section is defensive rebounding percentage which is the number of available defensive rebounds that a player grabs while in the game. So if the opposing team misses 10 shots and Derrick Favors grabs 3 of those defensive rebounds, he would have a DRB% of 30%. The fact that Favors' percentage has had a nice steady incline, is a good sign. And 24% is really a pretty good number, especially considering how often Favors has to move out of the paint, and how often he challenges shots at the rim.
If Kanter and Favors are going to be the future front court of the Utah Jazz, they could be monsters on the defensive glass, a very important factor to playing good defense.
Dean Oliver is a basketball statistician who was very prevalent in the advancement of sabremetrics in basketball. He has worked in a couple of NBA front offices and is probably most famous for his "four factors" theory about winning basketball, which are:
1. Shooting- measured by effective field goal percentage.
2. Turnovers- measured by turnover percentage.
3. Rebounding- measured by rebounding percentage.
4. Free throws- measured by Free throws per Field Goal Attempt.
I don't want to spend a lot of time talking about these right now, but I just think it is valuable to understand what is generally considered important factors to winning basketball and to refer to this from time to time to evaluate the team.
Just for record, the Jazz were 18th in the league in defensive effective field goal percentage, 22nd in defensive turnover percentage, 21st in defensive rebounding percentage, and 26th in defensive free throw rate. So there is some room for improvement there.
General Manager Dennis Lindsey had his usual weekly interview with 1280 the zone on Friday and I thought is was a good one. He seemed more subdued and calculating in his answers. I think that means that he was either less excited to do the interview, or he feels a bigger need to safe guard information with the upcoming draft. Or maybe neither. The whole interview was very good, as usual, but I found these tidbits particularly interesting:
-He acknowledged that the 2014 draft is expected to be very strong.
-"We've added some overseas scouting experts/consultants, so our coverage has been really good on all the international players, including Dennis (Schroeder)....I really feel comfortable with where we are at with all our evaluations of the international players."
-"You get in those little projects where you say, 'okay, this is the scenario. we think we can make this trade and move up. We can take this player's contract and the incentive for taking the contract (is) the 'x' pick in the lottery. What are we doing with our 3 first round picks?' So you're constantly asking quick questions and scenario playing and then trying to make good decisions that come out of that. As you can imagine when it gets closer to the draft, the conversations get more emotionally charged."
Hoopsworld had two really good articles this week about draft prospects that I think are of particular interest to the Jazz and Jazz fans.
German Point Guard Prospect Dennis Schroeder Fulfilling Promise to Late Father
Six Potential Sleepers in the 2013 Draft
I'm not Nostradamus, but I'd put $5 on the Jazz taking one of those six guys in the 2nd round.
If you ask almost any Jazz fan what the Jazz need the most in this upcoming draft, I think "starting point guard" would be a very common answer. Here are some other needs the Jazz will look to fill on June 27th:
1. Third/fourth big man
The Jazz will need a big man to either develop or pair with Favors and Kanter.
2. Starting caliber wing
I don't think Alec Burks is a long term starting shooting guard in the NBA. You may feel differently.
3. Backup point guard
If the Jazz feel that there isn't a starting caliber point guard in the draft, they will use the 21st or 47th pick to address this need.
4. Three point shooters
Can't ever have enough of them in my opinion.
I'll just leave a few of these right here for your viewing pleasure: