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Grading the 2014-15 Utah Jazz Season (What Grade do you Give the Jazz?)

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Back before this season started I put together my own little syllabus for this season for certain benchmarks that the Jazz team and players would have to achieve to get an A, B, C, etc.

Click here for link to original post if you wish to see the original criteria/benchmarks

Admittedly, many of the thresholds for A were probably unrealistic standards, so I will also give a grade on a curve that better describes how well the player improved throughout the season.

2014-15 Utah Jazz Final Grades:

1. 2014-15 Utah Jazz and/or Quin Snyder:

Key Performance Achievements:

  • The Jazz finished the season with the league's 15th best offensive rating (down from 14th last season).
  • The Jazz finished the season with league's 12th best defensive rating (up from 24th last season).
  • The Jazz did not make the playoffs, had no all stars, and the jury is still out on All-NBA players, but it is assumed for now that no Jazz player this season made All-NBA.
  • Steve Novak played 5 MPG and only played 22 games for the Jazz before getting traded to the Thunder.
  • Rudy Gobert played 26.3 MPG and played in all 82 games, starting 37 of them.
  • The Jazz finished with 38 wins.
  • Rudy Gobert is likely to finish in the top 5 in the most improved voting.

According to my original criteria, the Jazz only passed one of my A benchmarks (play Rudy a lot, and Novak very little). They got another B benchmark in surpassing 35 wins. They then also got the remainder of the C benchmarks (assuming Gobert finishes top 5 in MIP voting). This would net them a grade in the C+ to B- range. In hindsight, this Jazz team was hardly on par for even a C in the first half of the season, but since the all star break they were on pace for the B, if not A, range. And for that, for the season, I give the Utah Jazz team and Quin Snyder a solid B for the season in general.

Final Grade: B

2. Derrick Favors:

Key Performance Acheivements:

  • Favors finished with averages of 16.0 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 1.5 APG, 0.8 SPG, 1.7 BPG, a PER of 21.9, and a defensive rating of 102.
According to my original criteria, Derrick Favors achieved 2 of my A benchmarks, another B benchmark, and the other 2 C benchmarks. This earns him a solid B in my book.

Final Grade: B

3. Gordon Hayward:

Key Performance Acheivements:

  • Hayward finished with averages of 19.3 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 4.1 APG, 1.4 SPG, 0.4 BPG, a PER of 20.2, while shooting 44.5 FG%, 36.4 3P%, and 81.2 FT%.
According to my original criteria, Gordon Hayward achieved 2 of my A benchmarks (just barely missing out on the 45 FG% one), another B benchmark, and the other 2 C benchmarks, just like Favors. This comes out to a B average with those criteria, but I'm bumping him up to a B+ for achieving those benchmarks while playing 2 minutes less per game this year, great job Gordon!

Final Grade: B+

4. Alec Burks:

Key Performance Acheivements:

  • In the 27 games Alec Burks played in before his shoulder surgery he averaged: 13.9 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 3.0 APG, with a PER of 13.1 while shooting 40.3 FG%, 38.2 3P%, and 82 FT%.
Burks acheived 2 of my original C benchmarks and no A or B ones. I was expecting a big jump from Burks this season but instead he was hampered down by his unfortunate injuries, come back strong next season, Alec.

Final Grade: Too Cool for School; Incomplete

5. Enes Kanter:

Key Performance Achievements:

  • In the 49 games that non-team player Kanter played for the Jazz before getting traded, he averaged: 13.8 PPG, 7.8 RPG with a PER of 17.6 and a defensive rating of 106 while shooting 49.1 FG%.
Anus Cancer Enes Kanter achieved 1 of my original B benchmarks (defensive rating), another C benchmark (PER), and nothing else. That my friends nets you a failing grade.

Final Grade: Disaster

6. Trey Burke

Key Performance Achievements:

  • Burke finished with averages of 12.8 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 4.3 APG, 0.9 SPG with a PER of 12.6, defensive rating of 108 while shooting 36.8 FG%, 31.8 3P%, and 75.2 FT%.
Burke went through some growing pains in his sophomore season here with the Jazz. Drafting another point guard this year in Exum probably made Burke feel a bit more self-conscious and giving him the urge to prove himself this season. I applaud him on a valiant effort, but I would be lying if I said I was pleased with Burke's performance this season.

According to my original criteria, Burke achieved 1 C benchmark (defensive rating) and nothing else. Yikes, I'm still rooting for you and hope you turn a corner next season Burke, but if you keep playing like this you might start losing your backup point guard minutes to someone else.

I give Burke a D (and not lower) due to him maintaining his professionalism throughout this season in what must have been a hard year for him.

Final Grade: D

7. Dante Exum

Key Performance Achievements:

  • In 82 games, Exum finished with averages of 4.8 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.5 SPG, and 0.2 BPG with a PER of 5.7, and a defensive rating of 109 while shooting 34.9 FG%, 31.4 3P%, and 62.5 FT%.
Exum was quite the enigma last offseason, with many people not really knowing what to expect from this Aussie teenager. His projected strengths and weaknesses didn't really appear to be what happened on the court this season. My C benchmarks for Exum were 8 PPG, 4 APG, 40 FG%, 36 3P%, and defensive rating no higher than 108. He achieved none of those, Exum was one of those players who appeared much better by the eyeball test (at least on the defensive end) than what the box score tells you. According to my original (and poorly defined) criteria, which was hard to set up for this mysterious player, he should be getting an F for achieving no C benchmarks, but due to his good attitude, defensive prowess, and unexpected ability to hit the 3-ball, he gets bumped up to a D+.

Final Grade: D+

8. Rudy Gobert

Key Performance Achievements:

  • In 82 games, Gobert finished with averages of 8.4 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 2.3 BPG, with a PER of 21.6, a offensive rating of 122, and a defensive rating of 98 while shooting 60.4 FG% and 62.3 FT%.
Gobert made the jump this year, he achieved 3 of my A benchmarks while narrowly missing out on the 9 PPG average and a bit away from the 70 FT%. For those 2 he achieved the B benchmarks. Amazing work Rudy!

Final Grade: A

9. Rodney Hood

Key Performance Achievements:

  • In 50 games, Hood averaged 8.7 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 1.7 APG, 0.6 SPG with a PER of 12.4, had a defensive rating of 107 while shooting 41.4 FG%, 36.5 3P%, and 76.3 FT%.
Rodney Hood narrowly missed out on nearly all of the B benchmarks, but achieved nearly all of the C benchmarks (only missed out on 42 FG%). I probably set a high bar to pass for the rookies but Hood did a very acceptable job. He gets a B- for the season (an A for the final month).

FInal Grade: B-

10. Trevor Booker

Key Performance Acheivements:

  • In 79 games, Booker finished with averages of 7.2 PPG, 5.0 RPG, a PER of 15.3, and a defensive rating of 104, while shooting 48.7 FG%, 34.5 3P%, and 58.1 FT%.
Personally, my opinion of Booker changes so much over time, not unlike a roller-coaster, sometimes several times within the same game. I did like the leadership he took for our 2nd unit this year. Booker achieved one of my B benchmarks (7 PPG), and another two of my C benchmarks (5 RPG, and defensive rating). He narrowly missed on the C-level PER benchmark of 16+, and was a bit off from the 65 FT%. However he did do better than I expected in shooting in general, especially with the 3 point shooting.

Final Grade: C+

(I left out Jeremy Evans from this since he did not get anywhere near the playing time I was anticipating from him this season. Hope you thrive next season Jeremy!)


Thank you for reading this season's Jazz syllabus.

These are the final grades all together:

Team and/or Quin Snyder: B

Favors: B

Hayward: B+

Burks: Incomplete

Kanter: D

Burke: D

Exum: D+

Gobert: A

Hood: B-

Booker: C+

Avg. Grade: B-

I think that average grade of B- concisely yet accurately captures the Utah Jazz in this 2014-15 season. This team did slightly above average, but at the same time left more to be desired. A burning flame awaits within for what is yet to come in the following seasons.

The bar will be set higher next season for our team's and younger players' goals. If we can achieve those we may just find ourselves still watching Jazz games at this point of April next year.

Let's Go Jazz!!!