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Downbeat #2015 - Utah Jazz shooting threes, breaking hearts

Probably need to run the pick and roll a little more though

NBA: Utah Jazz at New York Knicks Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz took Manhattan, the team is playing well and the offense is, well, evolving. We take a deeper look at threes, pick and rolls, and some of our players. Also Charles Barkley is kind of dumb, but I kind of understand him a little more now.


Oh man, the George Hill / Rodney Hood / Gordon Hayward “Triple H” line-up hurt the New York Knicks. But it was Rudy Gobert’s “Statue of Liberty” Jam that killed them. BEHOLD:

It’s going to be a savage year for Gobert this year.

Dante Exum is a thing.

This is excellent. You all need to check this out.

How do you feel about the distribution of the Utah Jazz shots so far this season?

The Jazz are scoring 96.9 ppg (26th in the league), but when you factor for pace (91.2 possessions per game, 30th in the league) that translates to 106.3 points per 100.0 possessions (13th in ORTG). The team is taking 76.9 shots a game, and 25.0 of those are threes. That’s 32.5% of their total FGA. Is that a lot? Is that only a lot if they weren’t shooting 38.3% from downtown? What about the rest of their shots? Well, super brain Ed Kupfer broke every team down two days ago, and this is what the league looks like:

Okay, that may be a little busy, but what it shows for Utah is that they have been taking more midrange shots than league average in their two losses to the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers. (The loss to the San Antoino Spurs didn’t show that it was because of midrange shots.) I’m not crazy about the midrange — and that was before watching Tyrone Corbin build the entire offense around that. Because I’m internally consistent, I’m not a big fan of OUR current offense which seems to degenerate into Gordon Hayward, Joe Johnson, or Rodney Hood going one on one and taking one from about 20 feet. You can compare and contrast that directly to how George Hill (or even Shelvin Mack) will drive and take a shot in the paint. (Or Joe Ingles, who if trapped in iso mode will set up a three pointer.) There are good shots and bad shots.

Usually it’s a good shot if it goes in. Right?

The Jazz have been pretty much on average from taking shots from deep this season according to this data. shows that the Jazz (including the Knicks game data which is not reflected in Ed’s stuff) are 10th in 3PTA/G. That’s not a money shot, but it’s a more money shot than not with how Quin Snyder’s offense creates open looks from outside. But when talking about jumpers we, as always, need to find out what Charles Barkley thinks.

I’m not crazy about this storyline — but this was really worth the read. I’m totally down with personal experiences influencing our opinions and behaviours. After all, Moni did the ground work to find out from Ty’s personal career how he kept getting traded, waived, cut, or lost his job because of “young hot shots” coming in and taking his spot in the rotation. (No doubt, a foundation to why he would play some older guys over lotto picks.) Looking at how Barkley thinks about threes really seems to be traced back to his personal failings from deep in the playoffs.

Good research. It’s worth the click.

Putting it all together, I’d rather have dribble penetration continue to create good looks in the paint for cutters or for ball rotation to open shooters parked outside. Midrange game? I can do without it unless the guy is SUPER open, and not going one on one.

The Pick and Roll

Another artifact of Jazz basketball has been the P&R. Synergy broke it down for us a bunch of games ago, and this is what the league looks like.

The good news? The Utah Jazz are running it about 40 times a game, and they are above league average at it. When you have Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors on your team, yeah, you SHOULD be running it a whole bunch and getting points off of it. I figure that the Jazz don’t HAVE to do the PG/PF(C) pick and roll anymore. With the versatility of Trey Lyes and Joe Ingles . . . you could even do SF(SG)/PF(SF) pick and rolls too!

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Utah Jazz Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports


With the different types of line-ups we’re seeing it’s more than just a “four out” offense. It’s really a “four ballhandlers” line-up as well.

Are we part of the “in crowd” yet?

Remember, you’re not bigtime until you’re in pop culture. The Utah Jazz have a lot of hype this season, but let’s not forget that in the 90s Utah was everywhere. (Even in the D-Will era they were in The Simpsons) If the Jazz make the playoffs this year hopefully we’ll see more stuff like this. Well, uh, not exactly like this.

Gotta shoot your shot.