clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Monday Blues #6 - 2014-15 Season: Week 2 Jazz Stats of the Week

New, comments

Gordon Hayward is, of course, our top soloist of the week.

The Week in Review

Last week, I said that 0-3 was possible (I forgot the Detroit game was Sunday). So I would have said 0-4 was possible. But the Jazz pulled off 2-2.

That's a decent week. We are, once again, reminded that this year's team is likely quite a bit better than last year's. It's easy to assign all the credit to simple things, but in truth there's a lot of reasons the team is better.

  • Coaching
  • Hayward and Favors making some pretty big steps thus far
  • Booker's play off the bench
  • RUDY!
  • Exum, our backup PG, is not JL3

Both wins were, of course, thanks to some pretty dramatic heroics from Gordon Hayward. But the Cavs win in particular shows how so many factors mark the team's improvement:

  • Hayward's shot and overall game
  • Alec icing the FT's
  • Hayward's defensive stop of LeBron
  • Favors blocking a shot and then setting a strong screen on the game winning play

A good team gets contributions from everyone, on both ends of the court. And while I wouldn't say they Jazz are really there yet (a good team), they are quickly moving in that direction. And the more everybody contributes consistently on both sides, the better the team will be.

Note: ESPN's famous committee of one now has the Jazz ranked at #19. Not a bad week for the kids.

Stats of the Week

Hayward, of course, was the king.

Starters:

Starter Week 2 Stats

Bench:

Bench Week 2 Stats

Two Things

Dante Exum

Now, obviously Dante's played well. You can see it in the stats above. He's scoring (with decent efficiency), passing, and generally playing like a good PG.

Here's what has surprised me the most, though: Only 6 turnovers in the season. Only two of them last week (in four games). His assist-to-turnover ratio is 3.5:1 for the season and was 17:2 last week. This has been very unexpected to me ... particularly since I expected turnovers would be a challenge for everybody this year.

Now I am still firmly in the camp that Dante simply isn't physically capable of playing effectively 30+ minutes for 82 games this year. But that's okay ... because it's not about this year. It's about the future, and I am simply oozing with happy thoughts about Dante's future with the Jazz.

Enes Kanter

Obviously, I'm glad he turned things around and had a decent week. But I'm really watching him and how he plays with the starting lineup as the season goes on. This isn't really a "Kanter and Favors can't play together" kind of thing, but it's more wondering: "How many guys with scorer mentalities should be in a lineup at once?" kind of thing. My hunch was that five can't work well, but four can. But I'm kind of revising my thinking as the season ensues. The more I watch, the more I think that three higher usage guys at a time may be best.

I'm thinking back to the best of the Deron years, and that team had three clear scorers in the starting lineup (Deron, Memo, Boozer) with two lower usage/high efficiency specialists in the other spots (AK, Ronnie B., Wesley Matthews). In fact, I think AK's unselfishness (despite being one of the most talented players) made that team work ... and the entire thing would have been derailed had AK had more of a scorer's mentality.

Anyway, it's something I'm watching this season. I would absolutely keep the starting lineup as Trey-Alec-Gordon-Derrick-Enes. But the truth is that's five guys who have scorer mentalities. It will never make for an ideal combination this year. Which is okay, since this year's wins and losses is rather irrelevant as long as the right kind of discoveries and developments are bing made.

My first hope was that Trey would realize he's probably the least effective scorer of those five and play with that mindset. But it's really worth paying attention if the team works better with only three scorers out there. Because that means one of Enes and Favors will have to be the odd man out in the future, as a guy like Rudy (crazy high efficiency, low usage, strong defense and rebounding) becomes the obvious pairing.

But it also matters at the guard spot. Because I think that within a year or so, Dante will be ready to start and be a star. And then even with my projected Dante-Alec-Gordon-Derrick-Rudy lineup, that could be four guys who look to score. And if three is really the ideal, then more shuffling would be necessary.

It's something I hope the Jazz play with and learn this year: How many scorers at a time is ideal?