clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Taking Notes: Utah Jazz hand out more turnovers than Arby’s

New, comments

An in-depth review of Week 2 of the Utah Jazz season.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Utah Jazz Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz had their first road trip of the season that was more than a game long and didn’t fare well. Utah looked like a shell of itself as the Clippers and, mutters, Phoenix Suns controlled each game from Tip-Off to Final Buzzer. Joe Ingles was recovering from gastric distress—more commonly known as the SoCal Flu—in the Jazz’s first two games, and, without him and Rodney Hood, the Utah Jazz struggled to find a rhythm at all from outside. After a couple days of rest, Joe Ingles looked back to his former self, and Donovan Mitchell showed his flash in the pan during the 4th quarter against the LA Clippers was no fluke as he exploded for 22 points and an early dunk of the year nominee against the Lakers.

Summary

W/L: 1-2

At Los Angeles Clippers: Loss

At Phoenix Suns: Loss

Vs Los Angeles Lakers: Win

The Triad

The Triad stats are Offensive Rating, Defensive Rating, and Pace.

*Nacho Libre Voice* Let’s get into the nitty-gritty.

The Utah Jazz offense returned to Earth in Week 2 of the NBA season. While the Jazz’s Season Offensive Rating fell to 99.8, the Jazz had the worst offense in the league during Week 2. Yes, that’s even counting Donovan Mitchell’s explosion against the Lakers. The Utah Jazz’s offense barely mustered 91.6 points per 100 possessions for the week. Take out the home game vs the Lakers and the Jazz were averaging 86.5 points per 100 possessions. Almost 10 points worse than the next closest team, the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Jazz’s defense fell a few spots, but considering how terrible the offense was, it’s a miracle that the Utah Jazz’s defense didn’t crumble. Instead, it finished out the week as the 5th best defense for Week 2 of the NBA season and held opponents to 97.9 points per possession. If you’re counting at home, kids, that means the Utah Jazz’s Net Rating for Week 2 was -6.3 per 100 possessions. Ouch.

The Utah Jazz’s pace looks to be pretty consistent, still hovering around 94.7. No big hills or valleys with the pace. Jazz are a little bit faster, but still one of the slowest teams in the league.

Triad

Stat Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Week 13 Week 14 Week 15 Week 16 Week 17 Week 18 Week 19 Week 20 Week 21 Week 22 Week 23 Week 24 Week 25 Week 26
Stat Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Week 13 Week 14 Week 15 Week 16 Week 17 Week 18 Week 19 Week 20 Week 21 Week 22 Week 23 Week 24 Week 25 Week 26
Offensive Rating 105.1 99.8 102.4 100.9 104 105
Defensive Rating 99.5 99.1 100.2 102.3 104.3 104
Pace 94.8 94.7 94.7 96.6 96.1 96
Net Rating 5.6 0.7 2.2 -1.4 -0.3 1

Offense

So what went wrong with Utah’s defense? In short, turnovers. I wrote about Utah’s turnovers on Thursday and how it was ... alarming, to say the least. During Week 2 of the NBA season the Jazz coughed up the ball 19.7 times a game. Remember how the Jazz play the 28th slowest pace in the league? Well, hold on to your butts, because the Turnover % is about to get ugly. The Utah Jazz coughed up the basketball on 22.2% of all their possessions in Week 2. Even against the Los Angeles Lakers, the Jazz turned the ball over 21 times. The Utah Jazz are now 6 games into the season and still have a mighty problem with turnovers.

Offense - League Ranking

Stats Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Week 13 Week 14 Week 15 Week 16 Week 17 Week 18 Week 19 Week 20 Week 21 Week 22 Week 23 Week 24 Week 25 Week 26
Stats Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Week 13 Week 14 Week 15 Week 16 Week 17 Week 18 Week 19 Week 20 Week 21 Week 22 Week 23 Week 24 Week 25 Week 26
Offensive Rating 15 26 24 27 24 22
FG % 2 7 17 28 25 22
3P% 13 20 12 22 13 8
AST 3 10 20 22 21 17
eFG% 3 8 16 26 21 18
TOV% 28 30 30 27 28 21
ORB % 27 24 23 25 24 26
OPP PTS OFF TOV 22 30 27 25 24 21

The Utah Jazz still have one of the best eFG% in the league at 8th. That’s pretty incredible. It just goes to show beneath all those errant Ricky Rubio passes, Donovan Mitchell rookie mistakes, and Joe Johnson getting crossed up by Father Time, there’s a competent offense hiding underneath the surface.

The Jazz improved their Offensive Rebounding % in Week 2 and finally started to look like a team that had a frontline with Rudy Gobert, Derrick Favors, and Ekpe Udoh. The Utah Jazz are still a high assist team, but that stat doesn’t mean anything when you have the same likelihood of a possession ending in an assist as it would a turnover.

We talked pretty in depth about turnovers, but we’ll talk one more time about those because it segues into defense. The points off turnovers. I can’t blame this on the Jazz’s defense because it’s the offense that’s severely handicapping the defense. The Utah Jazz give up the most points off turnovers, bar none. It’s frustrating. If you’re looking for the answer as to how the Utah Jazz become a playoff team it’s that one stat: turnovers. Bring down the turnovers and the Jazz are a playoff team. If it doesn’t improve? The Utah Jazz will join the lottery for the sixth time in eight years.

Defense

The Utah Jazz’s defense was remarkable considering it tried to correct more unforced errors than Trump’s Press Secretary. The Utah Jazz’s Defensive Rating actually has improved week over week. Surprising, considering that, well you know, the Jazz have looked atrocious save for the “Donovan Mitchell” game. But how?

The Utah Jazz have forced teams to turn the ball over as much as themselves. Playing the Utah Jazz is entering chaos. The Jazz are going to turn the ball over a lot and make sure the opposing offense feels the same pain. The Jazz’s defense is like Batman’s Joker: some defenses just want to watch the world burn. While the offense struggled, the Utah Jazz’s defense started pulling down more defensive rebounds and kept their blocks and steals going.

However, there are two points of concern. Holding back teams after turnovers is like holding back water with a damaged dam. Sooner or later it’s going to break if Utah’s offense doesn’t get those turnovers under control. The Jazz also have another worrying trend: points in the paint. Teams are testing Rudy Gobert, Derrick Favors, and Ekpe Udoh and surviving to tell the tale. Could that be fatigue from having to work harder defensively just to stay in games? Could it be mistakes from defensive rotations? Could it be playing out of defensive position due to all the turnovers? Probably a mix of all three. But teams aren’t supposed to feel like they can find any safety in the paint when facing Utah. If there’s a flaw in the Jazz’s defensive armor, that’s it.

Defense Ranking

Stats Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Week 13 Week 14 Week 15 Week 16 Week 17 Week 18 Week 19 Week 20 Week 21 Week 22 Week 23 Week 24 Week 25 Week 26
Stats Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Week 13 Week 14 Week 15 Week 16 Week 17 Week 18 Week 19 Week 20 Week 21 Week 22 Week 23 Week 24 Week 25 Week 26
Defensive Rating 8 4 3 3 6 7
DRB% 9 20 19 15 11 10
Opp. TOV% 3 5 3 2 2 2
Steals 2 4 2 1 1 2
Blocks 5 3 3 3 2 4
OPP PTS PAINT 1 7 2 1 2 5

Leading Scorer of the Week

NBA: Playoffs-Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Clippers Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Rodney Hood led the Jazz in scoring per game for Week 2, but only played in two games, finishing the week with 17.5 ppg. Ricky Rubio had a total of 46 points in 3 games and Donovan Mitchell was 3 points behind him with 43.

Rodney Hood averaged 17.5 ppg on 40% FG% and 35.7% from 3. That was good for a 48.3% eFG%. When healthy he looked good, but when he was on, the defense struggled. The Utah Jazz were outscored by 5.9 points per 100 possessions with Rodney this week.

When Ricky was out on the floor this week, the Jazz were also outscored. That’s what happens when you turn the ball over nearly 5 times a game. Donovan Mitchell however was the only player this week that survived with a positive +/- with a +6.6. One interesting thing of note: Quin Snyder opted to play a 3 wing lineup of Donovan Mitchell, Rodney Hood, and Joe Ingles with Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert instead of having Ricky Rubio on the floor. Ricky’s turnovers and lack of shooting could keep him off the floor in the game’s final minutes. Something to watch for.

Worst of the Week

NBA: Utah Jazz at Minnesota Timberwolves Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

While Donovan Mitchell bounced back from the worst of the week honors, the return of the return of the return of Alec Burks hit a dead end. He averaged only 12.3 mpg and was kept completely out of the Phoenix debacle. Some have hypothesized that he found the end of the bench for slamming the ball on the ground in LA and having some choice words with Quin Snyder. That isn’t going to win you any minutes.

While Alec Burks has been on the floor this week, he has looked out of control. Save for the 3 point miss that made Donovan Mitchell’s Dunk of a Lifetime, he hasn’t been the source for good basketball. He had a team worst -33.2 Net Rating for Week 2 and an eFG% of 28.2%. Add in a high usage rate when he was in the game with less than ideal plays, and you can see why he was on the short leash.

An interesting stat with Alec is when he’s on the court the Jazz play at a 3 possession higher pace than when he’s off. That might be the other cause for consternation by Quin Snyder. Alec Burks is playing a little too fast and the offense is not able to play up to his speed.

Alec Burks had an amazing game against Denver and hopefully he can find some of that Houdini magic and bounce back.

Best of the Week

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Utah Jazz Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

This honor goes to Donovan Mitchell. Without his late game heroics against the Clippers the Jazz would have been blown out by 25. Without his 2nd half heroics against the Lakers the Jazz end the week 0-3 with two losses against inevitable lottery teams. Plus, you don’t get the highlight dunk over Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma that winds up on Sportscenter AND not be the Best of the Week.

Donovan Mitchell’s 22 point performance against the Lakers put him into some elite territory when it comes to Utah Jazz rookie history. He became the first Jazz rookie in 27 years to score 22 points or more in one of his first 6 games. The last guy to do it? Fellow Louisville great, Darrell Griffith. Dr. Dunkenstein.

Donovan Mitchell is one of only 3 rookies this year that has scored 19 points or more in two or more of their first 6 games. Donovan Mitchell is special. I have a feeling this won’t be his only week as the Best of the Week in our Taking Notes reviews.