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Best Defensive Players in Utah Jazz History

The best defenders in Utah Jazz history

The Utah Jazz have had a lot of amazing players in their day from John Stockton to Karl Malone. Most fans instantly will remember those that scored the most, had the most highlight plays, or were the most charismatic. Few remember those players that were in the trenches doing the dirtiest work of them all: defense. This is a list of the best defensive players in Utah Jazz History

E.C. Coleman

E.C. Coleman Career Stats

Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1973-74 23 HOU NBA PF 58 18.5 2.2 4.3 0.512 0.8 1.3 0.635 1.4 2.9 4.3 1.3 0.6 0.3 2.8 5.2
1974-75 24 NOJ NBA PF 77 28.3 3.3 7.4 0.445 1.5 2.2 0.699 2.5 4.7 7.1 1.4 1.1 0.5 3.6 8.1
1975-76 25 NOJ NBA PF 67 27.6 3.2 7.1 0.451 0.9 1.3 0.663 1.9 4.4 6.3 1.3 0.8 0.4 3.4 7.3
1976-77 26 NOJ NBA PF 77 30.8 3.8 8.2 0.462 1.1 1.5 0.732 1.9 5.2 7.1 1.3 0.8 0.4 3.6 8.6
1977-78 27 GSW NBA PF 72 25 2.9 6.2 0.475 0.6 0.8 0.727 1.6 3.6 5.2 1.4 0.9 0.3 1.3 3.5 6.4
1978-79 28 HOU NBA PF 6 6.5 0.8 1.2 0.714 0.2 0.2 1 0.2 1 1.2 0.2 0.3 0 0 1.8 1.8
Career NBA 357 26.1 3.1 6.7 0.464 1 1.4 0.694 1.9 4.2 6 1.3 0.9 0.4 1.2 3.4 7.2
Basketball-Reference.com

You are forgiven if you’ve never heard of E.C. Coleman. He was before the Utah era of the Jazz franchise. A bruising Power Forward drafted out of Houston Baptist University, he was picked up by the New Orleans Jazz during the expansion draft. While he never put up big numbers—averaged 7.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, 0.9 steals and 0.4 blocks for his career—he was stout on defense. He’s one of only a handful of Utah Jazz players to have played more than 24 minutes per game and had a defensive rating of below 100. He always had a positive Defensive Box Plus/Minus score in every season he played with the New Orleans Jazz. He only played three seasons with the team.

Pistol Pete

Pete Maravich Career Stats

Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1970-71 23 ATL NBA SG 81 36.1 9.1 19.9 0.458 9.1 19.9 0.458 0.458 5 6.2 0.8 3.7 4.4 2.9 23.2
1971-72 24 ATL NBA SG 66 34.9 7 16.3 0.427 7 16.3 0.427 0.427 5.4 6.6 0.811 3.9 6 3.1 19.3
1972-73 25 ATL NBA SG 79 39.1 10 22.6 0.441 10 22.6 0.441 0.441 6.1 7.7 0.8 4.4 6.9 3.1 26.1
1973-74 26 ATL NBA SG 76 38.2 10.8 23.6 0.457 10.8 23.6 0.457 0.457 6.2 7.5 0.826 1.3 3.6 4.9 5.2 1.5 0.2 3.4 27.7
1974-75 27 NOJ NBA SG 79 36.1 8.3 19.8 0.419 8.3 19.8 0.419 0.419 4.9 6.1 0.811 1.2 4.2 5.3 6.2 1.5 0.2 2.9 21.5
1975-76 28 NOJ NBA SG 62 38.3 9.7 21.2 0.459 9.7 21.2 0.459 0.459 6.4 7.9 0.811 0.7 4.1 4.8 5.4 1.4 0.4 3.2 25.9
1976-77 29 NOJ NBA SG 73 41.7 12.1 28 0.433 12.1 28 0.433 0.433 6.9 8.2 0.835 1.2 3.9 5.1 5.4 1.2 0.3 2.6 31.1
1977-78 30 NOJ NBA SG 50 40.8 11.1 25.1 0.444 11.1 25.1 0.444 0.444 4.8 5.5 0.87 1 2.6 3.6 6.7 2 0.2 5 2.3 27
1978-79 31 NOJ NBA SG 49 37.2 8.9 21.1 0.421 8.9 21.1 0.421 0.421 4.8 5.7 0.841 0.7 1.8 2.5 5 1.2 0.4 4.1 2.1 22.6
1979-80 32 TOT NBA SG 43 4 22.4 5.7 12.6 0.449 0.2 0.3 0.667 5.4 12.3 0.443 0.459 2.1 2.4 0.867 0.4 1.4 1.8 1.9 0.6 0.1 1.9 1.8 13.7
1979-80 32 UTA NBA SG 17 30.7 7.1 17.3 0.412 0.4 0.6 0.636 6.7 16.6 0.403 0.423 2.4 2.9 0.82 0.4 1.9 2.4 3.2 0.9 0.2 2.6 1.8 17.1
1979-80 32 BOS NBA SG 26 4 17 4.7 9.6 0.494 0.1 0.2 0.75 4.6 9.4 0.49 0.5 1.9 2.1 0.909 0.4 1.1 1.5 1.1 0.3 0.1 1.4 1.9 11.5
Career NBA 658 4 37 9.4 21.3 0.441 0.2 0.3 0.667 9.4 21.3 0.441 0.441 5.4 6.6 0.82 1 3.3 4.2 5.4 1.4 0.3 3.7 2.8 24.2
Basketball-Reference.com

If you’re taking a double take at seeing Pistol Pete on these defensive rankings, you’re not alone. I did, too, but was shocked to see his Defensive Rating pretty stout to start his career. I will go to my grave saying that Pete Maravich was a good defender during his first few seasons in the NBA before his organization—and his ruinous life outside of basketball—ruined him.

Pistol Pete is synonymous with high volume scoring. He average 44 points a game in college, he averaged 24.2 points a game in the NBA—most of those seasons without the NBA three point line. Had the three point line been around, he’d have been unstoppable.

Pistol Pete averaged 1.3 steals a game. His first three seasons, steals were not even tracked. His defensive rating hovered around 100 for his first 5 seasons with his first year in Utah being at 99. Great for a guard. He was 6’5 which was great height for a point guard.

However, after his first five seasons, his attention to the defensive end waned and he gained the reputation of a chucker on offense who was just waiting to get the ball back in his hands. His teammates would resent him as a ballhog. He’s the ultimate symbol of playing in an organization with a bad culture and coaching style. His bad habits would grow more and more by the year. But there was a time when he first entered the league that he wasn’t just locked in on one side of the ball, sadly that didn’t last very long at all.

Truck Robinson

Truck Robinson Career Stats

Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1974-75 23 WSB NBA PF 76 13.1 2.5 5.2 0.486 2.5 5.2 0.486 0.486 0.8 1.5 0.522 1.2 2.7 4 0.5 0.5 0.4 1.7 5.8
1975-76 24 WSB NBA PF 82 25.1 4.3 9.5 0.454 4.3 9.5 0.454 0.454 2.6 3.8 0.672 1.7 5.1 6.8 1.4 0.5 1.3 2.9 11.2
1976-77 25 TOT NBA PF 77 36.1 7.5 15.6 0.478 7.5 15.6 0.478 0.478 4.1 5.6 0.73 3.3 7.5 10.8 1.8 0.9 0.5 3.3 19
1976-77 25 WSB NBA PF 41 32.4 6.4 13.5 0.478 6.4 13.5 0.478 0.478 3.1 4.6 0.677 2.9 6 8.9 1.1 0.7 0.4 3 16
1976-77 25 ATL NBA PF 36 40.3 8.6 18 0.478 8.6 18 0.478 0.478 5.2 6.7 0.772 3.7 9.1 12.8 2.7 1.1 0.6 3.6 22.4
1977-78 26 NOJ NBA PF 82 44.4 9.1 20.5 0.444 9.1 20.5 0.444 0.444 4.5 7 0.64 3.6 12.1 15.7 2.1 0.9 1 3.7 3.2 22.7
1978-79 27 TOT NBA PF 69 36.8 8.2 16.7 0.491 8.2 16.7 0.491 0.491 4.7 6.7 0.701 2.8 8.8 11.6 1.6 0.7 1.1 3.4 3 21.1
1978-79 27 NOJ NBA PF 43 41.4 9.2 19 0.485 9.2 19 0.485 0.485 5.7 7.9 0.723 3.2 10.2 13.4 1.7 0.7 1.5 3.3 3 24.2
1978-79 27 PHO NBA PF 26 29.1 6.5 12.8 0.508 6.5 12.8 0.508 0.508 3 4.7 0.642 2.2 6.5 8.7 1.5 0.7 0.5 3.5 2.9 16
1979-80 28 PHO NBA PF 82 33 6.6 13 0.512 0 0 6.6 13 0.512 0.512 4 5.9 0.667 2.6 6.8 9.4 1.7 0.7 0.7 3.1 3.2 17.3
1980-81 29 PHO NBA PF 82 37.7 7.9 15.6 0.505 0 0 7.9 15.6 0.505 0.505 3 4.8 0.629 2.6 7 9.6 2.5 0.8 0.5 3 2.7 18.8
1981-82 30 PHO NBA PF 74 72 37.1 7.8 15.2 0.513 0 0 1 7.8 15.2 0.513 0.514 3.4 5 0.687 2.7 7 9.7 2.4 0.6 0.4 2.7 2.9 19.1
1982-83 31 NYK NBA PF 81 76 30 4 8.7 0.462 0 0 4 8.7 0.462 0.462 1.5 2.5 0.587 2.5 5.7 8.1 1.8 0.7 0.3 2.3 3 9.5
1983-84 32 NYK NBA PF 65 63 32.8 4.4 8.9 0.489 0 0 4.4 8.9 0.489 0.489 2 3.2 0.646 2.6 5.8 8.4 1.4 0.7 0.4 2.5 3.3 10.8
1984-85 33 NYK NBA PF 2 1 17.5 1 2.5 0.4 0 0 1 2.5 0.4 0.4 0 1 0 3 1.5 4.5 1.5 1 1.5 2.5 1.5 2
Career NBA 772 212 32.6 6.2 12.9 0.483 0 0 1 6.2 12.9 0.483 0.483 3.1 4.6 0.662 2.6 6.8 9.4 1.7 0.7 0.7 3 2.9 15.5

Truck Robinson only played two seasons for the New Orleans Jazz, but during that time he was an absolute beast. He averaged 23.2 points, 14.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.8 steals, and 1.1 blocks a game. He also played a mind—and body—numbing 43.4 minutes a game. Somewhere Tom Thibodeau is smiling.

During his time with the New Orleans Jazz, Truck averaged a defensive rating of 100 with an average DBPM of -0.2. That’s pretty impressive considering that he was playing with Pistol Pete during Pete’s peak “**** it” prime. During the 1977-1978 season, he had a league high 5.0 Defensive Win Shares and pulled down 1,288 rebounds in a single season. To put that in perspective, Karl Malone had 14,968 rebounds in his career. In a single season, Truck pulled down nearly 9% of Karl Malone’s 19 seasons worth of rebounds. Karl’s highest season total was 986.

Mark Eaton

Utah Jazz Photo by Mike Powell/Getty Images

Mark Eaton Career Stats

Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1982-83 26 UTA NBA C 81 32 18.9 1.8 4.4 0.414 0 0 0 1.8 4.3 0.415 0.414 0.7 1.1 0.656 1.1 4.6 5.7 1.4 0.3 3.4 1.7 3.2 4.3
1983-84 27 UTA NBA C 82 78 26.1 2.4 5.1 0.466 0 0 0 2.4 5.1 0.467 0.466 0.9 1.5 0.593 1.8 5.5 7.3 1.4 0.3 4.3 1.2 3.7 5.6
1984-85 28 UTA NBA C 82 82 34.3 3.7 8.2 0.449 0 0 3.7 8.2 0.449 0.449 2.3 3.3 0.712 2.5 8.8 11.3 1.5 0.4 5.6 2.5 3.8 9.7
1985-86 29 UTA NBA C 80 80 31.9 3.5 7.4 0.47 0 0 3.5 7.4 0.47 0.47 1.5 2.5 0.604 2.2 6.3 8.4 1.3 0.4 4.6 2 3.5 8.5
1986-87 30 UTA NBA C 79 79 31.7 3 7.4 0.4 0 0 3 7.4 0.4 0.4 1.8 2.7 0.657 2.7 6.2 8.8 1.3 0.5 4.1 1.8 3.5 7.7
1987-88 31 UTA NBA C 82 82 33.3 2.8 6.6 0.418 0 0 2.8 6.6 0.418 0.418 1.5 2.3 0.623 2.8 5.9 8.7 0.7 0.5 3.7 1.6 3.9 7
1988-89 32 UTA NBA C 82 82 35.5 2.3 5 0.462 0 0 2.3 5 0.462 0.462 1.6 2.4 0.66 2.8 7.5 10.3 1 0.5 3.8 1.7 3.5 6.2
1989-90 33 UTA NBA C 82 82 27.8 1.9 3.7 0.527 0 0 1.9 3.7 0.527 0.527 1 1.4 0.669 2.1 5.2 7.3 0.5 0.4 2.5 0.9 2.9 4.8
1990-91 34 UTA NBA C 80 80 32.3 2.1 3.7 0.579 0 0 2.1 3.7 0.579 0.579 0.9 1.4 0.634 2.3 6.1 8.3 0.6 0.5 2.4 1.2 3.7 5.1
1991-92 35 UTA NBA C 81 81 25 1.3 3 0.446 0 0 1.3 3 0.446 0.446 0.6 1.1 0.598 1.9 4.2 6.1 0.5 0.4 2.5 0.7 3 3.3
1992-93 36 UTA NBA C 64 57 17.3 1.1 2 0.546 0 0 1.1 2 0.546 0.546 0.5 0.8 0.7 1.1 3 4.1 0.3 0.3 1.2 0.7 2.2 2.8
Career NBA 875 815 28.8 2.4 5.2 0.458 0 0 0 2.4 5.2 0.458 0.458 1.2 1.9 0.649 2.1 5.8 7.9 1 0.4 3.5 1.5 3.4 6
Basketball Reference

Mark Eaton is an NBA defensive legend. He holds the record for most blocks per game (5.6), most total blocks in a season (456), and has won two Defensive Player of the Year awards. To put that in perspective, the Utah Jazz averaged 5.9 blocks per game AS A TEAM in 2018-2019. Eaton is the great one. What’s crazy is Mark Eaton entered the league at age 26 and still accomplished so much. Much like the present Rudy Gobert, Mark Eaton was a defense in and of himself.

In his 11 seasons in the NBA, Mark Eaton averaged a 100 defensive rating and was selected for 5 All-Defensive teams. The 7’4 towering Mark Eaton was a defensive legend made for a league without a three point line.

Thurl Bailey

Utah Jazz Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Thurl Bailey Career Stats

Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1983-84 22 UTA NBA PF 81 54 24.8 3.7 7.3 0.512 0 0 3.7 7.3 0.512 0.512 1.1 1.4 0.752 1.4 4.3 5.7 1.6 0.5 1.5 1.3 2.4 8.5
1984-85 23 UTA NBA PF 80 68 31 6.3 12.9 0.49 0 0 1 6.3 12.9 0.49 0.491 2.5 2.9 0.842 1.9 4.7 6.6 1.7 0.6 1.3 1.9 2.7 15.2
1985-86 24 UTA NBA PF 82 13 28.8 5.9 13.1 0.448 0 0.1 0 5.9 13 0.451 0.448 2.8 3.4 0.83 1.8 4.2 6 1.9 0.5 1.4 1.8 2 14.6
1986-87 25 UTA NBA PF 81 2 26.6 5.7 12.8 0.447 0 0 0 5.7 12.8 0.448 0.447 2.3 2.9 0.805 1.8 3.5 5.3 1.3 0.5 1.1 1.5 1.9 13.8
1987-88 26 UTA NBA SF 82 10 34.2 7.7 15.7 0.492 0 0 0.333 7.7 15.6 0.493 0.493 4.1 5 0.826 1.6 4.8 6.5 1.9 0.6 1.5 2.3 2.3 19.6
1988-89 27 UTA NBA SF 82 3 33.9 7.5 15.5 0.483 0 0.1 0.4 7.5 15.5 0.484 0.484 4.4 5.4 0.825 1.4 4 5.5 1.7 0.6 1.1 2.5 2.3 19.5
1989-90 28 UTA NBA SF 82 33 31.5 5.7 11.9 0.481 0 0.1 0 5.7 11.8 0.485 0.481 2.7 3.5 0.779 1.4 3.6 5 1.7 0.4 1.2 1.7 2.1 14.2
1990-91 29 UTA NBA PF 82 22 30.3 4.9 10.6 0.458 0 0 0 4.9 10.6 0.459 0.458 2.7 3.3 0.808 1.2 3.7 5 1.5 0.6 1.1 1.6 2 12.4
1991-92 30 TOT NBA PF 84 18 25 4.4 10 0.44 0 0 0 4.4 9.9 0.441 0.44 2.6 3.2 0.796 1.5 4.3 5.8 0.9 0.4 1.4 1.3 1.9 11.3
1991-92 30 UTA NBA PF 13 0 25.2 3 7.8 0.386 0 0.1 0 3 7.7 0.39 0.386 3.4 4.2 0.8 1.8 4.2 6 1.5 0.4 1.2 1.6 2.4 9.4
1991-92 30 MIN NBA PF 71 18 25 4.6 10.4 0.448 0 0 0 4.6 10.3 0.448 0.448 2.4 3 0.795 1.4 4.3 5.7 0.8 0.4 1.4 1.2 1.8 11.7
1992-93 31 MIN NBA PF 70 3 18.2 2.9 6.4 0.455 0 0 2.9 6.4 0.455 0.455 1.7 2 0.838 0.8 2.3 3.1 0.9 0.3 0.7 0.9 1.3 7.5
1993-94 32 MIN NBA PF 79 3 16.4 2.9 5.8 0.51 0 0 0 2.9 5.7 0.512 0.51 1.5 1.9 0.799 0.8 1.9 2.7 0.7 0.3 0.7 0.7 1.2 7.4
1994-95 33 Did Not Play (other pro league—Greece)
1995-96 34 Did Not Play (other pro league—Italy)
1996-97 35 Did Not Play (other pro league—Italy)
1997-98 36 Did Not Play (other pro league—Italy)
1998-99 37 UTA NBA PF 43 0 12.6 1.8 4.1 0.446 0 0 0 1.8 4 0.451 0.446 0.6 0.8 0.735 0.8 1.3 2.2 0.6 0.2 0.7 0.6 1.8 4.2
Career NBA 928 229 26.8 5.1 10.8 0.473 0 0 0.114 5.1 10.8 0.474 0.473 2.5 3.1 0.812 1.4 3.7 5.1 1.4 0.5 1.2 1.6 2 12.8
Basketball Reference

Most younger Jazz fans may only recognize Thurl Bailey by his appearances on the Utah Jazz game broadcast or his soulful R&B music. Older Utah Jazz fans will remember the Thurl Bailey that wasn’t afraid to challenge opposing players at the rim and punish opposing defenses in the post. Thurl Bailey averaged 1.2 blocks a game and is one of the Utah Jazz’s all-time shot blockers. He consistently had a positive Defensive Box Plus Minus and ranked in the top 20 in the NBA in blocks despite playing next to the great rim protecting Mark Eaton. He was top 20 in defensive win shares for three seasons and top 20 in defensive rating for one season. Plus, he had some swaggy goggles.

John Stockton

Lakers v Jazz

John Stockton Career Stats

Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1984-85 22 UTA NBA PG 82 5 18.2 1.9 4.1 0.471 0 0.1 0.182 1.9 3.9 0.481 0.474 1.7 2.4 0.736 0.3 1 1.3 5.1 1.3 0.1 1.8 2.5 5.6
1985-86 23 UTA NBA PG 82 38 23.6 2.8 5.7 0.489 0 0.2 0.133 2.8 5.5 0.501 0.491 2.1 2.5 0.839 0.4 1.8 2.2 7.4 1.9 0.1 2 2.8 7.7
1986-87 24 UTA NBA PG 82 2 22.7 2.8 5.6 0.499 0.1 0.5 0.179 2.7 5.2 0.528 0.506 2.2 2.8 0.782 0.4 1.5 1.8 8.2 2.2 0.2 2 2.7 7.9
1987-88 25 UTA NBA PG 82 79 34.7 5.5 9.6 0.574 0.3 0.8 0.358 5.2 8.8 0.594 0.589 3.3 4 0.84 0.7 2.2 2.9 13.8 3 0.2 3.2 3 14.7
1988-89 26 UTA NBA PG 82 82 38.7 6.1 11.3 0.538 0.2 0.8 0.242 5.9 10.5 0.561 0.547 4.8 5.5 0.863 1 2 3 13.6 3.2 0.2 3.8 2.9 17.1
1989-90 27 UTA NBA PG 78 78 37.4 6.1 11.8 0.514 0.6 1.4 0.416 5.4 10.3 0.528 0.54 4.5 5.5 0.819 0.7 1.9 2.6 14.5 2.7 0.2 3.5 3 17.2
1990-91 28 UTA NBA PG 82 82 37.8 6 11.9 0.507 0.7 2 0.345 5.3 9.9 0.541 0.537 4.4 5.3 0.836 0.6 2.3 2.9 14.2 2.9 0.2 3.6 2.8 17.2
1991-92 29 UTA NBA PG 82 82 36.6 5.5 11.5 0.482 1 2.5 0.407 4.5 9 0.503 0.527 3.8 4.5 0.842 0.8 2.5 3.3 13.7 3 0.3 3.5 2.9 15.8
1992-93 30 UTA NBA PG 82 82 34.9 5.3 11 0.486 0.9 2.3 0.385 4.5 8.7 0.513 0.526 3.6 4.5 0.798 0.8 2.1 2.9 12 2.4 0.3 3.2 2.7 15.1
1993-94 31 UTA NBA PG 82 82 36.2 5.6 10.6 0.528 0.6 1.8 0.322 5 8.8 0.57 0.555 3.3 4.1 0.805 0.9 2.3 3.1 12.6 2.4 0.3 3.2 2.9 15.1
1994-95 32 UTA NBA PG 82 82 35 5.2 9.6 0.542 1.2 2.8 0.449 4 6.9 0.58 0.607 3 3.7 0.804 0.7 2.4 3.1 12.3 2.4 0.3 3.3 2.6 14.7
1995-96 33 UTA NBA PG 82 82 35.5 5.4 10 0.538 1.2 2.7 0.422 4.2 7.2 0.582 0.596 2.9 3.4 0.83 0.7 2.1 2.8 11.2 1.7 0.2 3 2.5 14.7
1996-97 34 UTA NBA PG 82 82 35.3 5.1 9.3 0.548 0.9 2.2 0.422 4.1 7.1 0.587 0.598 3.4 4 0.846 0.5 2.2 2.8 10.5 2 0.2 3 2.4 14.4
1997-98 35 UTA NBA PG 64 64 29 4.2 8 0.528 0.6 1.4 0.429 3.6 6.6 0.55 0.567 3 3.6 0.827 0.5 2 2.6 8.5 1.4 0.2 2.5 2.2 12
1998-99 36 UTA NBA PG 50 50 28.2 4 8.2 0.488 0.3 1 0.32 3.7 7.2 0.511 0.507 2.7 3.4 0.811 0.6 2.3 2.9 7.5 1.6 0.3 2.2 2.1 11.1
1999-00 37 UTA NBA PG 82 82 29.7 4.4 8.8 0.501 0.5 1.5 0.355 3.9 7.4 0.53 0.53 2.7 3.1 0.86 0.5 2.1 2.6 8.6 1.7 0.2 2.2 2.3 12.1
2000-01 38 UTA NBA PG 82 82 29.2 4 7.9 0.504 0.7 1.6 0.462 3.3 6.3 0.514 0.551 2.8 3.4 0.817 0.7 2.1 2.8 8.7 1.6 0.3 2.5 2.4 11.5
2001-02 39 UTA NBA PG 82 82 31.3 4.9 9.5 0.517 0.3 1 0.321 4.6 8.5 0.539 0.534 3.4 3.9 0.857 0.7 2.5 3.2 8.2 1.9 0.3 2.5 2.5 13.4
2002-03 40 UTA NBA PG 82 82 27.7 3.8 7.8 0.483 0.4 1 0.363 3.4 6.8 0.5 0.505 2.9 3.5 0.826 0.6 1.8 2.5 7.7 1.7 0.2 2.2 2.2 10.8
Career NBA 1504 1300 31.8 4.7 9.1 0.515 0.6 1.5 0.384 4.1 7.6 0.541 0.546 3.2 3.9 0.826 0.6 2.1 2.7 10.5 2.2 0.2 2.8 2.6 13.1
Basketball Reference

John Stockton is not just one of the best defenders in Utah Jazz history, but in NBA history. He has the unbreakable record of 3,265 career steals, a career average Defensive Rating of 104 (he played until age 40), he was known as a pest—aka dirty—on defense, and was just flat out a tough son of a *****. Jerry Sloan found his protege in John Stockton.

Stockton was on 5 All-Defensive teams. Former head coach Frank Layden summed it up perfected with John Stockton, “We’re not going to see another one. They broke the mold when they played John Stockton.”

Karl Malone

Jazz V Bulls

Karl Malone Career Stats

Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1985-86 22 UTA NBA PF 81 76 30.6 6.2 12.5 0.496 0 0 0 6.2 12.5 0.497 0.496 2.4 5 0.481 2.1 6.7 8.9 2.9 1.3 0.5 3.4 3.6 14.9
1986-87 23 UTA NBA PF 82 82 34.8 8.9 17.3 0.512 0 0.1 0 8.9 17.3 0.514 0.512 3.9 6.6 0.598 3.4 7 10.4 1.9 1.3 0.7 2.9 3.9 21.7
1987-88 24 UTA NBA PF 82 82 39 10.5 20.1 0.52 0 0.1 0 10.5 20.1 0.522 0.52 6.7 9.6 0.7 3.4 8.6 12 2.4 1.4 0.6 4 3.6 27.7
1988-89 25 UTA NBA PF 80 80 39.1 10.1 19.5 0.519 0.1 0.2 0.313 10.1 19.3 0.521 0.521 8.8 11.5 0.766 3.2 7.4 10.7 2.7 1.8 0.9 3.6 3.6 29.1
1989-90 26 UTA NBA PF 82 82 38.1 11.1 19.8 0.562 0.2 0.5 0.372 11 19.3 0.567 0.567 8.5 11.1 0.762 2.8 8.3 11.1 2.8 1.5 0.6 3.7 3.2 31
1990-91 27 UTA NBA PF 82 82 40.3 10.3 19.6 0.527 0 0.2 0.286 10.3 19.4 0.529 0.528 8.3 10.8 0.77 2.9 8.9 11.8 3.3 1.1 1 3 3.3 29
1991-92 28 UTA NBA PF 81 81 37.7 9.9 18.7 0.526 0 0.2 0.176 9.8 18.5 0.53 0.527 8.3 10.7 0.778 2.8 8.4 11.2 3 1.3 0.6 3.1 2.8 28
1992-93 29 UTA NBA PF 82 82 37.8 9.7 17.6 0.552 0 0.2 0.2 9.7 17.4 0.557 0.554 7.5 10.2 0.74 2.8 8.4 11.2 3.8 1.5 1 2.9 3.2 27
1993-94 30 UTA NBA PF 82 82 40.6 9.4 18.9 0.497 0.1 0.4 0.25 9.3 18.5 0.503 0.5 6.2 9 0.694 2.9 8.6 11.5 4 1.5 1.5 2.9 3.3 25.2
1994-95 31 UTA NBA PF 82 82 38.1 10.1 18.9 0.536 0.1 0.5 0.268 10 18.4 0.543 0.54 6.3 8.5 0.742 1.9 8.7 10.6 3.5 1.6 1 2.9 3.3 26.7
1995-96 32 UTA NBA PF 82 82 38 9.6 18.5 0.519 0.2 0.5 0.4 9.4 18 0.522 0.524 6.2 8.6 0.723 2.1 7.7 9.8 4.2 1.7 0.7 2.4 3 25.7
1996-97 33 UTA NBA PF 82 82 36.6 10.5 19.2 0.55 0 0.2 0 10.5 19 0.555 0.55 6.4 8.4 0.755 2.4 7.5 9.9 4.5 1.4 0.6 2.8 2.6 27.4
1997-98 34 UTA NBA PF 81 81 37.4 9.6 18.2 0.53 0 0.1 0.333 9.6 18.1 0.531 0.531 7.8 10.2 0.761 2.3 8 10.3 3.9 1.2 0.9 3 2.9 27
1998-99 35 UTA NBA PF 49 49 37.4 8 16.3 0.493 0 0 0 8 16.2 0.494 0.493 7.7 9.8 0.788 2.2 7.3 9.4 4.1 1.3 0.6 3.3 2.7 23.8
1999-00 36 UTA NBA PF 82 82 35.9 9.2 18 0.509 0 0.1 0.25 9.1 17.9 0.511 0.51 7.2 9 0.797 2.1 7.4 9.5 3.7 1 0.9 2.8 2.8 25.5
2000-01 37 UTA NBA PF 81 81 35.7 8.3 16.6 0.498 0 0.1 0.4 8.2 16.5 0.499 0.499 6.6 8.3 0.793 1.4 6.9 8.3 4.5 1.1 0.8 3 2.7 23.2
2001-02 38 UTA NBA PF 80 80 38 7.9 17.5 0.454 0.1 0.3 0.36 7.8 17.2 0.456 0.457 6.4 8 0.797 1.8 6.8 8.6 4.3 1.9 0.7 3.3 2.9 22.4
2002-03 39 UTA NBA PF 81 81 36.2 7.3 15.9 0.462 0 0.2 0.214 7.3 15.7 0.464 0.463 5.9 7.7 0.763 1.4 6.4 7.8 4.7 1.7 0.4 2.6 2.5 20.6
2003-04 40 LAL NBA PF 42 42 32.7 4.6 9.5 0.483 0 0 0 4.6 9.5 0.484 0.483 4 5.4 0.747 1.5 7.3 8.7 3.9 1.2 0.5 2.5 2.8 13.2
Career NBA 1476 1471 37.2 9.2 17.8 0.516 0.1 0.2 0.274 9.1 17.5 0.519 0.518 6.6 8.9 0.742 2.4 7.7 10.1 3.6 1.4 0.8 3.1 3.1 25
Basketball Reference

He spoke about himself in third person, he referred to Salt Lake City as the City of Utah, he called the NBA Draft “an unbelievable function”, and he even helped defend a pro wrestlers title bet. The one, the only, Karl Malone. Karl Malone was an insane rebounder. He was built like a mountain. He trained in the gym like he was Arnold Schwarzenegger and was one of the NBA’s first true gym rats. His biceps were bigger than most NBA players heads.

Karl Malone was a brilliant one on one defender in an age where teams main offense was to dump the ball down low in the post and go one on one in the paint. He averaged a defensive rating of 101 for his entire 19 year career. He played in nearly all of his games. You can count how many games he missed while in a Jazz uniform without using all your fingers. He averaged 1.9 steals and 1.1 blocks for his career. He was on four All-Defensive Teams. He’s a legend.

Antoine “Big Dawg” Carr

Antoine Carr

Antoine Carr Career Stats

Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1984-85 23 ATL NBA PF 62 15 19.3 3.2 6 0.528 0 0.1 0.333 3.2 6 0.531 0.531 1.6 2.1 0.789 1.3 2.5 3.7 1.3 0.5 1.3 1.7 3.5 8
1985-86 24 ATL NBA PF 17 0 15.2 2.9 5.5 0.527 0 0 2.9 5.5 0.527 0.527 1.1 1.6 0.667 0.9 2.1 3.1 0.8 0.4 0.9 0.8 3 6.8
1986-87 25 ATL NBA PF 65 2 10.7 2.1 4.1 0.506 0 0 0.333 2 4 0.508 0.508 1.1 1.6 0.709 0.9 1.5 2.4 0.5 0.2 0.7 0.6 2.2 5.3
1987-88 26 ATL NBA PF 80 2 18.5 3.5 6.5 0.544 0 0.1 0.25 3.5 6.4 0.546 0.544 1.8 2.3 0.78 1.2 2.4 3.6 1.3 0.5 1 1.5 3.4 8.8
1988-89 27 ATL NBA PF 78 12 19.1 2.9 6 0.48 0 0 0 2.9 6 0.481 0.48 1.7 1.9 0.855 1.4 2.2 3.5 1.2 0.4 0.8 1.1 2.8 7.5
1989-90 28 TOT NBA PF 77 4 22.4 4.6 9.4 0.494 0 0.1 0 4.6 9.3 0.499 0.494 3.1 3.9 0.795 1.5 2.7 4.2 1.5 0.4 0.9 1.6 3.2 12.3
1989-90 28 ATL NBA PF 44 0 18.3 2.9 5.6 0.516 0 0.1 0 2.9 5.5 0.525 0.516 1.8 2.3 0.775 1.1 2.3 3.4 1.2 0.3 0.8 1.2 2.9 7.6
1989-90 28 SAC NBA PF 33 4 28 6.9 14.3 0.482 0 0.1 0 6.9 14.2 0.485 0.482 4.8 5.9 0.806 2 3.3 5.2 2 0.5 1 2.2 3.6 18.6
1990-91 29 SAC NBA PF 77 48 32.8 8.2 15.9 0.511 0 0 0 8.2 15.9 0.513 0.511 3.8 5.1 0.758 2.1 3.3 5.5 2.5 0.6 1.3 2.2 4.1 20.1
1991-92 30 SAS NBA PF 81 27 23 4.4 9 0.49 0 0.1 0.2 4.4 9 0.492 0.491 2 2.6 0.764 1.6 2.7 4.3 0.8 0.4 1.2 1.4 3.3 10.9
1992-93 31 SAS NBA PF 71 46 27.4 5.3 9.9 0.538 0 0.1 0 5.3 9.9 0.541 0.538 2.5 3.2 0.777 1.5 4 5.5 1.4 0.5 1.2 1.4 3.7 13.1
1993-94 32 SAS NBA PF 34 0 13.7 2.3 4.7 0.488 0 0 0 2.3 4.7 0.491 0.488 1.2 1.7 0.724 0.4 1.1 1.5 0.4 0.3 0.6 0.4 2.2 5.8
1994-95 33 UTA NBA C 78 4 21.5 3.7 7 0.531 0 0.1 0.25 3.7 6.9 0.533 0.532 2.1 2.6 0.821 1 2.4 3.4 0.9 0.3 0.9 1.1 3.2 9.6
1995-96 34 UTA NBA SF 80 0 19.2 2.9 6.4 0.457 0 0 0 2.9 6.3 0.46 0.457 1.4 1.8 0.792 0.9 1.6 2.5 0.9 0.4 0.8 1 3.2 7.3
1996-97 35 UTA NBA PF 82 0 17.8 3.1 6.4 0.483 0 0 0 3.1 6.3 0.486 0.483 1.2 1.5 0.78 0.7 1.6 2.4 0.9 0.3 0.8 0.9 2.6 7.4
1997-98 36 UTA NBA PF 66 8 16.5 2.3 4.9 0.465 0 0 2.3 4.9 0.465 0.465 1.2 1.5 0.776 0.6 1.3 2 0.7 0.2 0.8 0.7 3 5.7
1998-99 37 HOU NBA PF 18 0 8.4 1.2 2.9 0.404 0 0.1 0 1.2 2.8 0.412 0.404 0.3 0.4 0.714 0.5 1.2 1.7 0.5 0.1 0.6 0.5 1.7 2.6
1999-00 38 VAN NBA SF 21 0 10.5 1.3 3 0.438 0 0 1.3 3 0.438 0.438 0.5 0.7 0.786 0.4 1.1 1.5 0.3 0.1 0.3 0.4 2 3.2
Career NBA 987 168 20 3.7 7.4 0.503 0 0 0.13 3.7 7.3 0.505 0.503 1.9 2.4 0.78 1.2 2.3 3.4 1.1 0.4 0.9 1.2 3.1 9.3
Basketball Reference

Antoine Carr might not have had the flashiest numbers, but his toughness on the defensive end allowed Karl Malone and Greg Ostertag to get significant rest during the regular season and the playoffs. While his days in Utah started when he was past his prime days, he provided plus defense and helped push the Utah Jazz to the NBA Finals with his offensive and defensive punch off the bench.

Greg Ostertag

Greg Ostertag

Greg Ostertag Career Stats

Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1995-96 22 UTA NBA C 57 10 11.6 1.5 3.2 0.473 0 0 1.5 3.2 0.473 0.473 0.6 0.9 0.667 1 2.1 3.1 0.1 0.1 1.1 0.4 1.6 3.6
1996-97 23 UTA NBA C 77 70 23.6 2.7 5.3 0.515 0 0.1 0 2.7 5.2 0.52 0.515 1.8 2.7 0.678 2.3 5 7.3 0.4 0.3 2 1 3 7.3
1997-98 24 UTA NBA C 63 23 20.4 1.8 3.8 0.481 0 0 1.8 3.8 0.481 0.481 1.1 2.2 0.479 2.1 3.8 5.9 0.4 0.4 2.1 1.2 2.6 4.7
1998-99 25 UTA NBA C 48 48 27.9 2.1 4.3 0.476 0 0 2.1 4.3 0.476 0.476 1.6 2.5 0.62 2.2 5.1 7.3 0.5 0.3 2.7 0.9 2.9 5.7
1999-00 26 UTA NBA C 81 3 19.8 1.5 3.3 0.464 0 0 0 1.5 3.3 0.466 0.464 1.5 2.3 0.636 2.1 3.8 6 0.2 0.2 2.1 1 2.4 4.5
2000-01 27 UTA NBA C 81 3 18.4 1.7 3.5 0.495 0 0 0.5 1.7 3.4 0.495 0.496 1 1.9 0.556 2 3.1 5.1 0.3 0.3 1.8 0.8 2.7 4.5
2001-02 28 UTA NBA C 74 14 15 1.2 2.7 0.453 0 0 1.2 2.7 0.453 0.453 0.9 1.8 0.485 1.7 2.5 4.2 0.7 0.2 1.5 0.7 2.1 3.3
2002-03 29 UTA NBA C 81 74 23.8 2.1 4 0.518 0 0 2.1 4 0.518 0.518 1.2 2.4 0.51 2.2 4 6.2 0.7 0.2 1.8 1.3 2.9 5.4
2003-04 30 UTA NBA C 78 51 27.6 2.7 5.6 0.476 0 0 0 2.7 5.6 0.477 0.476 1.4 2.5 0.579 2.8 4.6 7.4 1.6 0.4 1.8 1.3 2.9 6.8
2004-05 31 SAC NBA C 56 3 9.9 0.7 1.5 0.44 0 0 0 0.7 1.5 0.451 0.44 0.2 0.7 0.342 1 2 3 0.7 0.1 0.7 0.4 1.6 1.6
2005-06 32 UTA NBA C 60 22 13.5 1 2.1 0.492 0 0 1 2.1 0.492 0.492 0.4 0.8 0.5 1.4 2.4 3.8 1 0.1 1.1 0.8 2.2 2.4
Career NBA 756 321 19.5 1.8 3.6 0.486 0 0 0.1 1.8 3.6 0.487 0.486 1.1 1.9 0.569 2 3.5 5.5 0.6 0.3 1.7 0.9 2.5 4.6
Basketball Reference

If you ever wondered how the Utah Jazz swept the Kobe Bryant-Shaquille O’Neale Los Angeles Lakers, you’re looking at how. Greg Ostertag got paid HANDSOMELY after his postseason dealing with Shaq. Utah thought they had found their Shaq stopper in Ostertag. While his intensity and motor was up and down throughout his career, Greg Ostertag was force when he was putting his mind to it. He averaged a defensive rating of 100 throughout his entire career and probably never received the credit he deserved because the advanced analytics just weren’t there to quantify his defensive impact.

He averaged 3.2 blocks per game during his career and averaged a Defensive Box Plus Minus of +3.1. Most who were around during his time remember him for his sometimes uneven performance and hefty contract—for its time. With the benefit of hindsight, Greg Ostertag was paid exactly what he was worth; advanced analytics just were not available to show us yet.

Andrei Kirilenko

Utah Jazz v Denver Nuggets Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Andrei Kirilenko Career Stats

Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2001-02 20 UTA NBA SF 82 40 26.2 3.5 7.7 0.45 0.3 1.2 0.25 3.2 6.5 0.488 0.47 3.5 4.5 0.768 1.8 3.1 4.9 1.1 1.4 1.9 1.3 1.9 10.7
2002-03 21 UTA NBA SF 80 11 27.7 3.9 8 0.491 0.5 1.4 0.325 3.5 6.6 0.527 0.519 3.7 4.6 0.8 1.8 3.4 5.3 1.7 1.5 2.2 1.7 2.3 12
2003-04 22 UTA NBA PF 78 78 37.1 5.3 11.9 0.443 0.9 2.6 0.338 4.4 9.4 0.471 0.479 5 6.4 0.79 2.9 5.2 8.1 3.1 1.9 2.8 2.8 2.2 16.5
2004-05 23 UTA NBA PF 41 37 32.9 5 10.2 0.493 0.6 1.9 0.299 4.5 8.4 0.536 0.52 5 6.3 0.784 2.2 4 6.2 3.2 1.6 3.3 2.2 2.5 15.6
2005-06 24 UTA NBA SF 69 63 37.7 4.9 10.6 0.46 0.5 1.7 0.308 4.3 8.9 0.489 0.485 5 7.2 0.699 2.3 5.7 8 4.3 1.5 3.2 2.9 2.3 15.3
2006-07 25 UTA NBA SF 70 70 29.3 2.8 6 0.471 0.2 1.1 0.213 2.6 4.9 0.528 0.49 2.5 3.4 0.728 1.3 3.4 4.7 2.9 1.1 2.1 1.9 2.5 8.3
2007-08 26 UTA NBA SF 72 72 30.8 3.8 7.6 0.506 0.6 1.6 0.379 3.2 5.9 0.54 0.546 2.8 3.6 0.77 1.7 3 4.7 4 1.2 1.5 1.9 2.3 11
2008-09 27 UTA NBA PF 67 10 27.3 3.8 8.5 0.449 0.3 1.1 0.274 3.5 7.4 0.475 0.467 3.6 4.6 0.785 1.3 3.5 4.8 2.6 1.2 1.1 1.8 1.9 11.6
2009-10 28 UTA NBA SF 58 35 29 4.2 8.3 0.506 0.4 1.5 0.292 3.8 6.8 0.555 0.533 3 4 0.744 1.3 3.2 4.6 2.7 1.4 1.2 1.4 1.8 11.9
2010-11 29 UTA NBA SF 64 62 31.2 4 8.5 0.467 0.6 1.5 0.367 3.4 6.9 0.489 0.5 3.3 4.2 0.77 1.6 3.5 5.1 3 1.3 1.2 1.8 1.8 11.7
2011-12 30 Did Not Play (other pro league—Russia)
2012-13 31 MIN NBA SF 64 64 31.8 4.4 8.8 0.507 0.5 1.9 0.292 3.9 6.9 0.566 0.538 2.9 3.9 0.752 1.6 4.1 5.7 2.8 1.5 1 1.9 1.3 12.4
2013-14 32 BRK NBA PF 45 4 19 1.8 3.6 0.513 0 0.1 0.2 1.8 3.4 0.523 0.516 1.4 2.6 0.513 1.2 2 3.2 1.6 0.9 0.4 1.2 1.4 5
2014-15 33 BRK NBA SF 7 0 5.1 0 0.7 0 0 0 0 0.7 0 0 0.4 0.6 0.75 0.3 0.9 1.1 0.1 0.1 0 0.1 0.1 0.4
Career NBA 797 546 30 3.9 8.3 0.474 0.5 1.5 0.31 3.5 6.8 0.51 0.502 3.5 4.6 0.754 1.8 3.7 5.5 2.7 1.4 1.8 1.9 2 11.8
Basketball Reference

Years before Boris Diaw and Draymond Green changed the NBA forever with the small ball four, there was Andrei Kirilenko out of Russia. The player known as AK47 was a swiss army knife. A big man with guard skills and a slick handle for his size. AK47 was best when he was playing at the four spot being able to play weakside defense. Opponents would fear going in the paint because Kirilenko would fly in for a block. They feared Kirilenko on the perimeter because of AK47’s length and agility. Andrei Kirilenko was selected to four All-Defensive teams and one All-Star team. He was a premier stopper. He even had three 5x5s (5 points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals in a single game) in his career. He had a game with 10 blocks.

Andrei Kirilenko was Draymond Green before Draymond Green but better. He just never had the chance to soar to the heights he could have because the league—and Jerry Sloan—wasn’t quite ready for him yet.

Raja Bell

Jazz v Clippers Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

Raja Bell Career Stats

Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2000-01 24 PHI NBA SG 5 0 6 0.4 1.4 0.286 0.2 0.6 0.333 0.2 0.8 0.25 0.357 0 0 0 0.2 0.2 0 0.2 0 0.4 0.2 1
2001-02 25 PHI NBA SG 74 12 12 1.4 3.2 0.429 0.2 0.6 0.273 1.2 2.6 0.464 0.454 0.5 0.6 0.75 0.4 1.1 1.5 1 0.3 0.1 0.6 1.5 3.4
2002-03 26 DAL NBA SG 75 32 15.6 1.2 2.8 0.441 0.3 0.7 0.412 1 2.1 0.45 0.491 0.3 0.5 0.676 0.6 1.3 1.9 0.8 0.7 0.1 0.6 1.8 3.1
2003-04 27 UTA NBA SG 82 4 24.6 4 9.8 0.409 0.8 2 0.373 3.3 7.8 0.418 0.447 2.4 3 0.786 0.7 2.2 2.9 1.3 0.8 0.2 1.4 3.2 11.2
2004-05 28 UTA NBA SG 63 32 28.4 4.8 10.6 0.454 0.9 2.1 0.403 4 8.5 0.467 0.495 1.8 2.4 0.747 0.8 2.4 3.2 1.4 0.7 0.1 1.3 3.3 12.3
2005-06 29 PHO NBA SG 79 79 37.5 5.4 11.8 0.457 2.5 5.6 0.442 2.9 6.1 0.471 0.563 1.5 1.8 0.788 0.6 2.6 3.2 2.6 1 0.3 1.1 3.1 14.7
2006-07 30 PHO NBA SG 78 78 37.4 5.3 12.2 0.432 2.6 6.4 0.413 2.6 5.8 0.452 0.539 1.5 1.9 0.776 0.6 2.6 3.2 2.5 0.6 0.3 1.1 3 14.7
2007-08 31 PHO NBA SG 75 75 35.3 4.2 10 0.421 2.3 5.9 0.401 1.9 4.2 0.449 0.538 1.1 1.2 0.868 0.6 3 3.7 2.2 0.7 0.4 0.9 2.9 11.9
2008-09 32 TOT NBA SG 67 66 34.6 4.5 10.2 0.437 1.7 4 0.421 2.8 6.2 0.448 0.52 1.3 1.5 0.853 0.6 3 3.6 2.1 0.7 0.1 1.3 2.5 11.9
2008-09 32 PHO NBA SG 22 22 32.4 3.5 8 0.429 2 4.3 0.468 1.5 3.8 0.386 0.554 0.7 1 0.762 0.4 2.5 2.9 1.3 0.6 0.1 0.8 2.6 9.6
2008-09 32 CHA NBA SG 45 44 35.6 5 11.3 0.44 1.6 3.9 0.395 3.4 7.3 0.464 0.509 1.6 1.8 0.877 0.7 3.2 4 2.5 0.8 0.1 1.5 2.4 13
2009-10 33 TOT NBA SG 6 5 30 4.7 10.2 0.459 2 4.5 0.444 2.7 5.7 0.471 0.557 0.5 0.5 1 0.8 3 3.8 2.2 0.7 0.3 0.8 2.5 11.8
2009-10 33 CHA NBA SG 5 5 31.4 4.8 11 0.436 1.8 4.8 0.375 3 6.2 0.484 0.518 0.6 0.6 1 1 3.2 4.2 2 0.8 0.4 1 2.6 12
2009-10 33 GSW NBA SG 1 0 23 4 6 0.667 3 3 1 1 3 0.333 0.917 0 0 0 2 2 3 0 0 0 2 11
2010-11 34 UTA NBA SG 68 63 30.8 2.8 6.9 0.409 1 2.8 0.352 1.8 4 0.449 0.482 1.3 1.5 0.892 0.5 2.1 2.6 1.7 0.8 0.2 0.9 2.5 8
2011-12 35 UTA NBA SG 34 33 23.4 2.4 5.1 0.466 1 2.6 0.391 1.4 2.6 0.54 0.563 0.6 0.7 0.84 0.2 1.3 1.4 1.1 0.4 0.1 0.6 2.3 6.4
Career NBA 706 479 28.1 3.7 8.4 0.434 1.4 3.3 0.406 2.3 5.1 0.452 0.514 1.2 1.6 0.799 0.6 2.2 2.8 1.7 0.7 0.2 1 2.6 9.9
Basketball Reference

Raja Bell was part of the the underdog 2003-2004 team that at the time was seen as an overachieving, plucky upstart that try-harded its way to 41 wins. Playing at shooting guard of a team that had just seen Karl Malone leave for Los Angeles and John Stockton retire, he was a bulldog on the perimeter and shot almost 40% from three. He was a premier 3 and D guard before 3 and D guards were appreciated.

Most will remember his tough defense on Kobe Bryant while a member of the Phoenix Suns which gained him the reputation as a “Kobe-Stopper”. Raja Bell was voted to two All-Defensive teams in his career and did this.

Ronnie Brewer

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

Ronnie Brewer Career Stats

Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2006-07 21 UTA NBA SG 56 14 12.1 1.8 3.4 0.528 0 0.2 0 1.8 3.3 0.554 0.528 1 1.5 0.675 0.7 0.7 1.3 0.4 0.7 0.1 0.4 0.8 4.6
2007-08 22 UTA NBA SG 76 76 27.5 4.7 8.3 0.558 0.1 0.7 0.22 4.5 7.7 0.587 0.567 2.6 3.4 0.759 1.3 1.6 2.9 1.8 1.7 0.3 0.9 1.4 12
2008-09 23 UTA NBA SF 81 80 32.2 5.2 10.2 0.508 0.3 1 0.259 4.9 9.2 0.537 0.522 3 4.3 0.702 1.2 2.5 3.7 2.2 1.7 0.4 1.4 1.6 13.7
2009-10 24 TOT NBA SG 58 53 30 3.6 7.4 0.487 0.1 0.5 0.258 3.5 6.9 0.505 0.497 1.5 2.3 0.639 0.8 2.4 3.2 2.7 1.6 0.3 0.9 1.4 8.8
2009-10 24 UTA NBA SG 53 53 31.4 3.9 7.8 0.495 0.2 0.6 0.258 3.7 7.3 0.514 0.505 1.5 2.4 0.633 0.8 2.6 3.4 2.8 1.6 0.3 1 1.5 9.5
2009-10 24 MEM NBA SG 5 0 16 0.6 2.6 0.231 0 0 0.6 2.6 0.231 0.231 0.8 1 0.8 0.2 1.2 1.4 0.6 1.2 0 0.4 0 2
2010-11 25 CHI NBA SG 81 1 22 2.5 5.3 0.48 0.1 0.3 0.222 2.5 4.9 0.498 0.487 1.1 1.6 0.654 0.7 2.6 3.2 1.7 1.3 0.3 0.7 1 6.2
2011-12 26 CHI NBA SG 66 43 24.8 2.9 6.7 0.427 0.3 1 0.275 2.6 5.7 0.455 0.448 0.8 1.5 0.56 1.1 2.4 3.5 2.1 1.1 0.3 0.9 1 6.9
2012-13 27 TOT NBA SF 60 34 14.2 1.2 3.3 0.354 0.4 1.3 0.303 0.8 2 0.385 0.412 0.3 0.7 0.41 0.7 1.6 2.3 0.8 0.7 0.1 0.3 0.6 3
2012-13 27 NYK NBA SF 46 34 15.5 1.4 3.8 0.366 0.5 1.5 0.31 0.9 2.3 0.404 0.429 0.3 0.8 0.41 0.6 1.5 2.2 0.9 0.7 0.1 0.3 0.6 3.6
2012-13 27 OKC NBA SF 14 0 10.1 0.4 1.6 0.261 0.1 0.4 0.2 0.4 1.3 0.278 0.283 0 0 0.9 1.9 2.9 0.7 0.6 0 0.3 0.4 0.9
2013-14 28 TOT NBA SF 24 3 6.7 0.1 0.6 0.2 0 0.3 0.125 0.1 0.3 0.286 0.233 0 0.1 0 0.1 0.5 0.6 0.4 0.3 0 0.1 0.2 0.3
2013-14 28 HOU NBA SF 23 3 6.9 0.1 0.7 0.2 0 0.3 0.125 0.1 0.3 0.286 0.233 0 0.1 0 0.1 0.5 0.6 0.4 0.3 0 0.1 0.2 0.3
2013-14 28 CHI NBA SF 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career NBA 502 304 23 3.1 6.3 0.49 0.2 0.7 0.254 2.9 5.6 0.52 0.505 1.5 2.2 0.675 0.9 1.9 2.8 1.6 1.2 0.2 0.8 1.1 7.8
Basketball Reference

Ronnie Brewer was a 6-7 shooting guard who was a pest defensively. While Mehmet Okur and Carlos Boozer struggled at time on the defensive end, Ronnie Brewer with the help of Andrei Kirilenko made sure that their man never made it to the paint. Ronnie Brewer while never to an All-Defensive team, he was in the top 20 in two different seasons in steals and defensive rating.

Ronnie Brewer only had six seasons in the NBA as his unreliable jump shot due to an accident on a water slide when he was younger which forced him to flare his elbow out. He was a career 25% three point shooter a time the league was running with a head of steam toward pace and space. However, defensively he was a beast and allowed the defensive sieve of Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur to stay on the court together which allowed Utah to have wild success with during the Deron Williams years.

Paul Millsap

San Antonio Spurs v Utah Jazz, Game 4 Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

Paul Millsap Career Stats

Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2006-07 21 UTA NBA PF 82 1 18 2.5 4.9 0.525 0 0 0.333 2.5 4.8 0.527 0.526 1.7 2.5 0.673 2.2 2.9 5.2 0.8 0.8 0.9 1.1 2.9 6.8
2007-08 22 UTA NBA PF 82 2 20.8 3.1 6.1 0.504 0 0 0 3.1 6.1 0.508 0.504 1.9 2.8 0.677 2 3.6 5.6 1 0.9 0.9 1.1 3.3 8.1
2008-09 23 UTA NBA PF 76 38 30.1 5.3 9.9 0.534 0 0.1 0 5.3 9.8 0.537 0.534 3 4.3 0.699 3.3 5.3 8.6 1.8 1 1 1.7 3.8 13.5
2009-10 24 UTA NBA PF 82 8 27.8 4.7 8.7 0.538 0 0.1 0.111 4.7 8.6 0.543 0.538 2.2 3.2 0.693 2.3 4.5 6.8 1.6 0.8 1.2 1.4 3.5 11.6
2010-11 25 UTA NBA PF 76 76 34.3 6.9 13 0.531 0.1 0.3 0.391 6.8 12.7 0.535 0.536 3.4 4.4 0.757 2.2 5.5 7.6 2.5 1.4 0.9 1.9 3.6 17.3
2011-12 26 UTA NBA PF 64 62 32.8 6.7 13.5 0.495 0.1 0.5 0.226 6.5 13 0.505 0.499 3.2 4 0.792 2.8 6 8.8 2.3 1.8 0.8 1.8 3.5 16.6
2012-13 27 UTA NBA PF 78 78 30.4 5.5 11.2 0.49 0.2 0.5 0.333 5.3 10.7 0.498 0.498 3.4 4.6 0.742 2.3 4.8 7.1 2.6 1.3 1 1.8 3 14.6
2013-14 28 ATL NBA PF 74 73 33.5 6.5 14.1 0.461 1 2.9 0.358 5.5 11.3 0.487 0.498 3.9 5.3 0.731 2.1 6.4 8.5 3.1 1.7 1.1 2.5 2.8 17.9
2014-15 29 ATL NBA PF 73 73 32.7 6.1 12.7 0.476 1.1 3 0.356 5 9.8 0.513 0.518 3.5 4.6 0.757 1.9 5.9 7.8 3.1 1.8 0.9 2.3 2.8 16.7
2015-16 30 ATL NBA PF 81 81 32.7 6.2 13.2 0.47 0.9 2.9 0.319 5.3 10.3 0.512 0.505 3.8 5 0.757 2.4 6.6 9 3.3 1.8 1.7 2.4 2.9 17.1
2016-17 31 ATL NBA PF 69 67 34 6.2 14.1 0.442 1.1 3.5 0.311 5.1 10.6 0.486 0.481 4.5 5.9 0.768 1.6 6.1 7.7 3.7 1.3 0.9 2.3 2.7 18.1
2017-18 32 DEN NBA PF 38 37 30.1 5.3 11.4 0.464 1 3 0.345 4.3 8.5 0.506 0.509 2.9 4.2 0.696 1.7 4.7 6.4 2.8 1 1.2 1.9 2.6 14.6
2018-19 33 DEN NBA PF 70 65 27.1 4.6 9.5 0.484 0.8 2.3 0.365 3.8 7.2 0.522 0.528 2.6 3.6 0.727 2.2 5 7.2 2 1.2 0.8 1.4 2.6 12.6
Career NBA 945 661 29.3 5.3 10.8 0.491 0.5 1.4 0.334 4.8 9.4 0.513 0.512 3 4.2 0.734 2.3 5.2 7.4 2.3 1.3 1 1.8 3.1 14.1
Basketball Reference

Drafted in the same year as Ronnie Brewer, Paul Millsap had a more uphill climb to the starting lineup as he was drafted in the second round and had to play behind All-Star Carlos Boozer. Paul Millsap has evolved as a player so much that few will remember his trademark skills entering the league were rebounding and defense. Craig Bolerjack referred to him as the “Garbageman” for his first two years in the league due to his propensity to clean the boards and erase people’s mistakes on the defensive end.

Paul Millsap has made the All-Defensive team once in his career. Despite being undersized he could guard multiple positions, be a shot blocking threat, create steals at a high percentage, and be a defensive rebounding machine. It’s insane to think that a second round pick like Millsap has played so many years in the league and made four All-Star teams.

Derrick Favors

Utah Jazz v Houston Rockets - Game Two Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Derrick Favors Career Stats

Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2010-11 19 TOT NBA PF 78 27 19.7 2.8 5.3 0.517 0 0 2.8 5.3 0.517 0.517 1.3 2.2 0.595 2.2 3.1 5.3 0.5 0.4 0.9 1 3.2 6.8
2010-11 19 NJN NBA PF 56 23 19.5 2.5 4.9 0.511 0 0 2.5 4.9 0.511 0.511 1.3 2.1 0.612 2.3 3.1 5.3 0.4 0.3 0.7 1 3.3 6.3
2010-11 19 UTA NBA PF 22 4 20.2 3.4 6.4 0.529 0 0 3.4 6.4 0.529 0.529 1.5 2.6 0.561 2 3.2 5.2 0.8 0.5 1.2 1 2.9 8.2
2011-12 20 UTA NBA PF 65 9 21.2 3.4 6.8 0.499 0 0 3.4 6.8 0.499 0.499 1.9 3 0.649 2.4 4.1 6.5 0.7 0.6 1 1.6 2.2 8.8
2012-13 21 UTA NBA PF 77 8 23.2 3.6 7.4 0.482 0 0.1 0 3.6 7.3 0.487 0.482 2.3 3.4 0.688 2.4 4.7 7.1 1 0.9 1.7 1.7 3.2 9.4
2013-14 22 UTA NBA PF 73 73 30.2 5.3 10.2 0.522 0 0 0 5.3 10.2 0.523 0.522 2.6 3.9 0.669 2.7 6 8.7 1.2 1 1.5 1.8 3.2 13.3
2014-15 23 UTA NBA PF 74 74 30.8 6.5 12.4 0.525 0 0.1 0.167 6.5 12.3 0.527 0.526 3 4.5 0.669 2.6 5.6 8.2 1.5 0.8 1.7 1.6 2.8 16
2015-16 24 UTA NBA PF 62 59 32 6.7 13.1 0.515 0 0.1 0 6.7 13 0.518 0.515 2.9 4.1 0.709 2.7 5.4 8.1 1.5 1.2 1.5 1.7 2.4 16.4
2016-17 25 UTA NBA PF 50 39 23.7 4.1 8.3 0.487 0.1 0.2 0.3 4 8.1 0.491 0.49 1.3 2.2 0.615 1.8 4.3 6.1 1.1 0.9 0.8 1.2 2.1 9.5
2017-18 26 UTA NBA C 77 77 28 5.1 9.1 0.563 0.2 0.8 0.222 4.9 8.3 0.596 0.573 1.8 2.8 0.651 2.6 4.6 7.2 1.3 0.7 1.1 1.1 2.1 12.3
2018-19 27 UTA NBA C 76 70 23.2 4.8 8.1 0.586 0.2 1 0.218 4.6 7.1 0.64 0.6 2 3 0.675 2.7 4.6 7.4 1.2 0.7 1.4 1.1 2.1 11.8
Career NBA 632 436 25.7 4.7 8.9 0.525 0.1 0.3 0.21 4.6 8.7 0.535 0.528 2.2 3.2 0.664 2.5 4.7 7.2 1.1 0.8 1.3 1.4 2.6 11.6
Basketball Reference

Derrick Favors will forever be underrated. Perpetually forced to play second banana to either an All-Star—Paul Millsap—or one of the best defensive players in the 21st century—Rudy Gobert—Favors is still one of the best defenders in Utah Jazz history. He has been in the top 20 in the NBA in blocks four different seasons, top 20 in Defensive Box Plus/Minus in three seasons, top 20 in defensive rating in three seasons, and top 20 in block percentage in seven seasons.

He has been Rudy Gobert’s safety blanket when the game gets rough. During the 2010s, the Utah Jazz have been insanely lucky to have two of the best defensive big men on their team AT THE SAME TIME. Faves has become a legend for taking a backseat role when on any other squad he’d be a premier starter.

Rudy Gobert

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Utah Jazz Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Rudy Gobert Career Stats

Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2013-14 21 UTA NBA C 45 0 9.6 0.8 1.6 0.486 0 0 0.8 1.6 0.486 0.486 0.7 1.4 0.492 1.1 2.3 3.4 0.2 0.2 0.9 0.7 1.3 2.3
2014-15 22 UTA NBA C 82 37 26.3 3.1 5.2 0.604 0 0 0 3.1 5.2 0.607 0.604 2.1 3.3 0.623 3.2 6.2 9.5 1.3 0.8 2.3 1.4 2.1 8.4
2015-16 23 UTA NBA C 61 60 31.7 3.2 5.8 0.559 0 0 3.2 5.8 0.559 0.559 2.6 4.6 0.569 3.4 7.5 11 1.5 0.7 2.2 1.9 2.7 9.1
2016-17 24 UTA NBA C 81 81 33.9 5.1 7.7 0.661 0 0 0 5.1 7.7 0.662 0.661 3.8 5.9 0.653 3.9 8.9 12.8 1.2 0.6 2.6 1.8 3 14
2017-18 25 UTA NBA C 56 56 32.4 4.9 7.9 0.622 0 0 4.9 7.9 0.622 0.622 3.6 5.3 0.682 2.9 7.8 10.7 1.4 0.8 2.3 1.9 2.7 13.5
2018-19 26 UTA NBA C 81 80 31.8 5.9 8.8 0.669 0 0 5.9 8.8 0.669 0.669 4.1 6.4 0.636 3.8 9 12.9 2 0.8 2.3 1.6 2.9 15.9
Career NBA 406 314 28.7 4.1 6.5 0.629 0 0 0 4.1 6.5 0.629 0.629 3 4.7 0.631 3.2 7.3 10.5 1.3 0.7 2.2 1.6 2.5 11.1
Basketball Reference

Coined “The Stifle Tower” by local beat writer Jody Genessy, Rudy Gobert has been an unstoppable force on defense from the moment he entered the league. Rudy Gobert toiled in the G-League his rookie year, but exploded onto the season in his second year by outplaying Enes Kanter and surpassing the former #3 pick in the draft on the depth chart. Rudy Gobert’s defense launched a new era in Utah Jazz basketball history. The Utah Jazz became a defensive juggernaut while Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert were nicknamed the Wasatch Front.

Rudy Gobert has currently won one Defensive Player of the Year award with another one most likely on its way. He has finished top 3 in Defensive Box Plus/Minus since becoming a starter (5 seasons). He has anchored the league’s top defense over the past five seasons and been selected to two All-NBA teams. While he has not made an All-Star team—yet—he will go down as one of the best defensive players of all time and most likely the best defensive player in Utah Jazz history.

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