So the Utah Jazz lost to the Golden State Warriors, New Orleans Pelicans, Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, and Toronto Raptors -- in a row. The team hasn't won a game since November 18th. Obviously no one is happy with the losses. I'm going to do a full post on the team play, but first I wanted to talk about the individual players, and how they have performed over this seven game stretch.
Yes, the Jazz aren't killing it, averaging only 94.3 ppg during this stretch, and getting outscored by 11.3 points on their way to a 0-7 slide. Some of the players, though, are coming around. Others are staying the same. And a few guys have fallen off of the face of the earth. To make this a quick post, here are all their numbers at once....
- Gordon Hayward is still a boss. He played in all seven games and is averaging 36.1 mpg. In his time he's scoring 20.6 ppg (.461 / .500 / .706), getting to the FT line 7.3 times a game, and hitting two threes a game. His assists have fallen a bit, but if other guys aren't making shots it's not all on him. He is pulling down 5.6 rpg, which is Matt Harpring level. And he's stealing the ball away 1.9 times a game. He has been playing the most minutes and making the biggest impacts -- he's actually a more dangerous player during this slide than he was back when we were winning games.
- Derrick Favors, while he missed a game, is holding things down in the paint. In 31.7 mpg he is nearly a double double guy with 15.5 ppg and 9.0 rpg, while adding 0.8 bpg. He doesn't take bad shots and aside from Jeremy Evans, is the 2nd most efficient player when he comes to on court production over time.
- Enes Kanter is one of the guys I never gave up on, and I'm glad I did not. HE is beasting in 26.6 mpg, getting 14.7 ppg, 7.1 rpg, and shooting 52.9 fg%. He doesn't do much else, he doesn't pass well, and he isn't a defensive force. But as a pure finisher, off of post ups, cuts, pick and roll, and pick and pop, he's doing a great job. He's even more efficient on the court than D-Fav.
Trey Burke is the other guy I never gave up on, and in this stretch he's shooting .462 / .406 / .600 right now, on his way to 12.6 ppg, 6.0 apg, and 1.9 rpg. Those aren't John Stockton numbers. But they aren't John Lucas III 's numbers either. Compared to the alternatives he's doing okay on offense.
- Rudy Gobert, though off the bench for only 16.5 mpg, is ridiculously effective when he's out on the fourt. He's shooting 64.0 fg% right now, averaging 5.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg, and 1.9 bpg. He needs to play more.
- Alec Burks, hurt now, was playing pretty okay. His shooting during this stretch was much worse than we'd ever want, but he was still getting to the FT line 4+ times a game and made 84% of his shots there -- if he discount Clark's 1/1 from there, this was the best FT shooting during this slide. He was also 2nd on the team in APG, more than G-Time.
- Dante Exum isn't consistently doing enough on the court with his time, but he's young. He's absolutely going to be a very good basketball player, a real starter at the NBA level. He's just not there. He needs to play more, and play in more varied situations. He doesn't have to start, and looking at his performance of late, he doesn't deserve to start either. Really. He's going to have to do better than shoot 9% from downtown, and average more than 2 points a game before we can seriously think of him displacing Trey Burke. His defense is miles ahead, and he needs to play between 20-22 mpg if possible going forward. He's just not a starter right now.
Trevor Booker came back down the earth.
- Steve Novak can make threes in garbage time
- Ian Clark doesn't look that bad when you compare him to the guy ahead of him on the depth chart
- Toure' Murry hasn't played yet, and thus, didn't do poorly during this seven game slide
- Jeremy Evans had a solid single game in garbage time, then got hurt. I think he can help this team with his activity level, but we'll see if he'll get a chance to prove or disprove that idea
- Joe Ingles must be the pied piper because he has a bunch of people willing to follow him anywhere, despite dubious performances. Super nice guy, a solid vet in non-NBA leagues, knows how not to rock the boat -- great qualities. He's just not playing that well right now, and as a shooting guard shooting 18.8 3pt%, well, that's not good enough. He is a non-impact player right now who PLAYED 21.4 mpg during this stretch. A huge factor was Hood's injury. But it's not like Coach Quin Snyder couldn't have tried Dante or Ian at the 2 a little bit. I'm not crazy about Ingles, but he had a good last game where he went 1/5 from three and had a dunk. Good court vision, but can't dribble and passed up too many spot up shots. In doing so he is technically breaking plays by NOT calling his own number. Don't think some of the other Jazz media will call it like that, though.
- Rodney Hood returned from injury, which is great, but he's currently a little out of game shape and not in rhythm. He's gotta keep shooting though, and doing the other things that keeps a player in a slump out there on the floor. He'll get there, but right now it's hard to ignore that he went .235 fg% and .167 3pt% from deep in his return to action. But like Exum, dude just needs to keep playing his game and getting more experience. He'll be fine
We're not going to point fingers here with fewer than 20 games even played. Some guys got back into form, others have some work to do. The numbers tell part of the story, and this part of the story tells me that, logically, the starting lineup isn't fully to blame for the poor first halves alone. Defense is a problem for everyone, but the offense isn't perfect either. Too many open jumpers are missed -- but the bigmen are starting to roll right now. In particular I think Trey Burke's pick and roll decision making is a lot better than it was early in the season, and he's helping guys like Favors and Kanter get easy buckets.
Gordon is still the closest thing we have to a start right now. But we all know he doesn't just want to be the best player on a bad team. He wants to win.
And for wins we have to look at what the team, as a whole, is doing. So more on that in the next post.