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You can score a lot against these Phoenix Suns

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This is amazing / upsetting depending on which team you root for

Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz may be somewhat linked in overall outcome, but their methods vary quite a bit. Utah wants stability and gives power to the coach. Phoenix can't fire coaches fast enough. For years Phoenix loved the three, while Utah wanted to bang. Heck, they have a gorilla and we have a bear. One big difference between them and us is that the Phoenix Suns always want to push the ball, while the Utah Jazz have slowed things down. This is the case almost every year over the last few decades and is no different today. The Suns are the 5th fastest team in the entire league clocking in at 98.2 possessions per game. The Jazz are at the absolute opposite terminus of pace, being dead last (30th), and managing only 91.1 possessions per game (and that's even WITH our team's penchant for getting offensive boards!).

Pace is great, but doesn't result in wins on it's own. In fact. it's long been proven that there's a stronger correlation between defensive ability and winning than there is to pace and winning. This season, like almost every season in history, also proves that point. The Jazz are 7th best in Def RTG this year, yielding only 104.1 points per 100.0 possessions. The Suns are 27th 'best' at it, giving up 108.5 in DRTG. If you combine the two points, DRTG and PACE you get the outstanding revelation that the Suns give up 107.7 ppg, while the stingy Jazz fight you for 48 minutes straight and will let you have only 96.1 ppg.

Things have gotten worse for the Suns over the last 25 games -- surprisingly when they seem to be starting Tyson Chandler and Alex Len at the same time. They aren't Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert. But they shouldn't be horrible. (Not all walls are equal.) Over the last 25 games the Jazz are giving up only 95.48 ppg (lower than season average), while the Suns are giving up, it seems, entirely. Other teams are scoring 110.16 ppg on average against them.


2015 2016 Game 77 UTA at PHX - Defense

These results indicate to me that the Jazz, if they want, could put up a lot of points against the Suns tonight. Of course, it's better for the Jazz to slow things down and play their game. Don't look at this game as a "freebie". Utah has done well to take care of business against the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves over this stretch. It would be awful for them to slip up now against the Suns.