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Utah Jazz “Friday for the Weekend” Episode 012

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Where’s Exum? Fake news, the untouchables, and THE UNTOUCHABLE

NBA: Utah Jazz at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Breakfast Discussion

What’s up with Dante?

Here’s ESPN leading with FAKE News:

Seriously, does anyone check their sources anymore?

Several Dunkers have speculated on why Mack is playing over Dante (some theories include - Mack’s the golden child, Dante isn’t playing as well as Mack, Mack has dirt on Q, we are all in on win now mode, etc).

It has been a weird season for Exum and Q to be sure. The days where Q would start Exum and pull Exum out when he made a mistake so he could take a few moments to teach, and then plug him back in seem to be gone. How Q’s playing Exum (i.e. third string) seems counter two seasons ago. For instance, looking back on Q’s development days, I found a quote from him in Salt City Hoops dated March 17, 2015 stating:

“Just putting them in situations where they (Dante and Rodney) fail, frankly,” Snyder told me when I asked him what’s been (and will be) most important for their development. “And they can fail, and learn from their failure and go into the offseason. And even this season, the next time something happens, they’re familiar with it. That’s the growth process for both those guys.”

Dante’s had opportunities when Hill’s been out, but with Hill now back from injury, Exum’s playing time has decreased and has led some to speculate whether he is in Q’s doghouse.

The only quote a could find that comes close to addressing Exum’s playing time is the one below found in the Deseret News:

Snyder was asked after Saturday’s shootaround — hours before Exum started for the second time for Hill (big toe injury) — if his Aussie guard has been discouraged.

“I don’t know why he would be,” the Jazz coach said.

Snyder pointed out that it often takes time, energy and adversity for young players to grow. In that sense, this up-and-down period could be quite beneficial for Exum if he takes on the challenge.

“If you don’t have adversity, it’s hard to have the impetus to improve,” Snyder said. “Coach K (Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski) used to always say it takes fire to make steel. So we can get him to walk through the fire a little bit. I have a lot of faith in Dante’s character and his work ethic.”

This brings me to my first theory as to why Exum’s playing time is what it’s been-

Q’s trying to manufacture conditions that will make Exum work even harder then he is now in order to make a jump to that next basketball level.

Another of my theories is that Q is trying to bring Exum along slowly his first year back from injury. No one has told me this; I don’t have inside information, but Exum had an ACL tear - that’s not easy injury to overcome.

Here’s an article from 2012 that I found discussing ACL tears and the effect they have on basketball players. Here’s an interested quote from said article (well, at least it was interesting to me):

Despite the obvious impact on athleticism, players coming back from torn ACLs have generally maintained their performance in the "hustle" statistics--rebounding actually up slightly, steals and blocks similar. The change is most evident in their scoring numbers, as players coming back from torn ACLs tend to use fewer possessions and are much less efficient. They also play fewer minutes and tend to miss more time, playing in 75.7 percent of their teams' games after returning.

How do Exum’s minutes and stats look like compared to pre-injury?

Here you go-

Minutes pre-injury = 46% of available (per 82games)

Minutes post-injury = 33% of available

Rebounds pre-injury = 1.6 per game (per Basketball Reference)

Rebounds post-injury = 2.1 per game

Blocks pre-injury = .2 per game

Blocks post-injury = .3 per game

Steals pre-injury = .5 per game

Steals post-injury = .2 per game

USG% pre-injury = 13.8%

USG% post-injury = 16.8%

eFG% pre-injury = .448

eFG% post-injury = .470

In comparing the stats to the verbiage in the 2012 article, you will note that minutes are down, rebounds are up slightly, and blocks and steals are similar, but Exum’s shooting has been more efficient than his rookie campaign while increasing his usage.

Yes, I’m aware that the two theories I note above are at odds with each other, but if it’s not one, maybe it’s the other. Maybe it’s something in between.

Worst Analogy

Last week’s Worst Analogy contest in Episode 011 garnered several entries. I had a good laugh from mitchdowd24 for his contribution:

I was all about it and had a great one written up and then the scroll on the bottom came up "Engineered for a top Safety rating"

Nope nothing to do with the Jazz. Couldn’t find one thing to analogize too. #injuriesstink

15,806 assists saw the E1c as Rudy’s roller-skate; hamfist thought $7,300 for a three wheeler was like “paying max money for Hayward when you can’t get a real superstar”; jazzyman likened the small car to teams in the NBA going small because it’s cool, but many get destroyed by a semi (i.e. Gobert and Favors) and have no chance of survival; and Fesenko for President saw similarities between the film clip and Donald Sterling’s years owning the LA Clippers.

However, this weeks Worst Analogy Championship Belt goes to Big_B for the following analogy:

Elio - The current Jazz roster.

Our favorite engineer / magician, Dennis Lindsey has put together what could be a game changer….

It started as a dream about our core 4… no wait, make that 5 prototypes, but now it has evolved into something bigger. Lindsey hasn’t even used up our capsace yet. We don’t have to worry about MPG, but that’s efficiently spent resources right there. It’s going to be the best dollars per win in the league.

We’ve all spent money on the kickstarter campaign. (tickets and league pass), BUT, just like that Elio, it has yet to really materialize. We’ve barely even seen our roster actually in action. It’s still parked in that dang garage while we wait for Hill to get back and Favs and Burks to return to true form. Want to take this masterpiece for a ride? Yeah, um… have you seen the demo video? Hop in though… turn that wheel a bit and make some engine noises. It will be great when it’s actually finished, right?

Congrats Big_B! And thanks to everyone else who participated!

This week’s worst analogy is a scene from “The Untouchables”:

Good luck!

Cap Space

Since this is Episode 012, here are some tweets from Brandon Hadley depicting the lead John Stockton has in all-time assists and steals (they also seemed to go well with the “Untouchables” theme from the Worst Analogy section):