With one game in the books, the Utah Jazz have given us a lot of things to analyze. It’s too early to make definitive conclusions, but here are some things we learned from their first game.
The Jazz starting lineup might be really bad
Yes, it’s one game but the numbers and the eye test show that the Jazz starting lineup was very bad. According to NBA stats the Jazz’s 5-man starting lineup of Talen Horton-Tucker, Jordan Clarkson, Lauri Markkanen, John Collins, and Walker Kessler got torched. What’s interesting is the numbers are better when THT is switched out with Collin Sexton. That can be attributed to some to the team playing against more second unit players, but it’s something to watch. From an eye test perspective, it wasn’t great. The team had no plow on offense and there were a bunch of ugly plays in turnovers. I don’t know how quickly the Jazz would be willing to make a lineup change, but if this trend continues they may have to.
The Jazz can turn things around
One of the most glaring things from the Jazz’s first game was the disparity of 3-pt attempts. The Sacramento Kings took 58 threes compared to Utah taking 28. The percentages weren’t far off either at 37% and 32% respectively. As Will Hardy mentioned that becomes a math problem at some point and that’s hard to overcome. With all the shooting on this Jazz team, there’s no reason they can’t take things to another level. The question is, is it possible with the current starting lineup? What we saw last night was the starting guards unable to set up their shooters with threes. Over the next set of games we’ll see if the starting lineup can improve. If not, the need to make some changes.
Keyonte George looked great!
Consider this the beginning of the campaign for Keyonte George to become the starting point guard for the Utah Jazz (that’s probably too large for a sign). When George had the ball, great things happened. He was surprisingly poised in a chippy, sometimes violent game, and was also efficient (3/5 from the field). What’s better is the offense flowed while he ran the show with players getting into their actions. Open threes were finally being taken! It’s one game and it was against a Sacramento defense that isn’t known for being great, but it was a great sign and should start the momentum to get him his starting role, one he probably should have already.