This season the Utah Jazz have done a remarkable job of not getting blown out that frequently, even staying within striking distance of many great teams over the last few months. It's a huge step in the right direction. That said, the team would have to run the table in order to finish the season .500. One of the chronic problems I've seen this season from the team is their trouble at the free throw line. Furthermore, I've seen way too many missed threes, mind you, these are not rushed threes for the most part. This offense creates lots of open threes. And these are the ones that stick out in my mind. Effectively the Jazz are playing really well on defense, but not making it easier on themselves on offense.
Over the last 10 games, as a team the Jazz are making only 32.53% of their threes (while attempting a whopping 24.9 attempts a game), and 67.70% from the free throw line (25.7 attempts a game). So let's look at the last 10 Utah Jazz games and see where each player and position class stands:
|Free Throws||Three Pointers|
The Good News:
- Gordon is getting to the line nearly 8 times a game, and shooting above 85% from the stripe
- Rudy is getting to the line 7 times a game, when was the last time a Jazz center did that?
- Derrick is getting to the line nearly 5 times a game, which combined with Rudy's attempts means the other team has to back off inside
- Jeremy, Jack, and Chris are really good at the FT line
- In the case of Jeremy and Jack, you can see they get to the line even with low minutes, that's icing on the cake
- The wings spread out the three point load very well, with every single one of them taking between 2 and 5 threes a game, this makes you harder to defend
- Joe is killing it right now from downtown, taking nearly 4 a game and making nearly 50%
- Rodney is also killing it right now, taking over 3 a games and making over 45%
- Trevor is making 40% of this threes as a bigman
- Elijah is an inside / outside thread getting to the line twice a game, taking two threes a game, and hitting 35% from deep.
The Bad News:
- Our point guards need to a) learn to get to the line, and b) need to shoot better from the line
- Over the last 10 games the point guards have shot 28/99 from deep, that's only 28.28%, not nearly good enough for this era of the NBA
- I don't know if Trey taking over 6 threes a game is a good plan right now, even if he's the most reliable three point shooter from the point guard class
- Gordon is shooting under 30% from deep over the last 10 games
- Chris, despite having that one okay moment in one game, has now gone 2/15 from deep over the last 10 games, shooting 13.33%
- Elijah needs to capitalize on his FTA game by making FT gains.
- As a collective, the bigmen are shooting 88/140 from the line, which is 62.86%, I don't know if that is good or bad, but I would want at least 65%, right?
- Rudy and Derrick are not making the other team pay when they are sent to the line, we've seen them make free throws when it counts -- but you have to want these guys to get better at this
Next year I expect most of the three throw problems to be fixed as much as possible over one off-season. The three point shooting thing is somewhat system based. We see the point guards (due to minutes on the shot clock) take a higher percentage of their threes as dribble hand-off or isolations / pick and rolls than the wings do. It may not be the majority of their shots, but it tanks their percentages. I do love how (for the most part) when Joe or Rodney is open in the corner they seem to be making that shot. More of that, please!
Also, don't forget to sign up for FanDuel, SB Nation's official fantasy sports partner. Here's the link. Utah has been up and down the last few weeks, but a few of our guys are solid performers every night. It's so easy, you should be making some money playing fantasy basketball!