Posted by: Adam on December 21st, 2012The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
With all of the troubles our offense is having, what with Al Jefferson sucking 18 of the 24 seconds we have per possession and minimal to no off-ball movement, it suddenly donned on me today that we need to incorporate Jerry Sloan’s offense, or some alternate version of it, in order to fix our woes.
I’m not sure how much ya’ll know about Sloan’s offense when he had Stockton and Malone, but basically the play was to run a pick-and-roll inside the three-point line on the left side of the floor. Malone would roll to the baseline and Stockton would float to the middle of the court. The other three guys would space out on the weak side. Typically with a three-point shooter would camp out on the perimeter straight away from the basket. This was so effective because after the pick-and-roll it was a two on one with Malone and Stockton and the single defender between the basket. The weak side defenders had a few choices. They could come over to stop Stockton from penetrating, prevent the jump-shot or dunk by Malone, or continue to defend the weak side perimeter defenders. The problem is that in this situation if you are a defender, you’re essentially guarding 5 offensive players with 4 defensive ones. With smart decision making and good passing, there’s no way to defend it if the play is executed quickly. The offense could get a jump shot or dunk with Malone, a jump shot or layup with Stockton, or wide open threes from any of their weak side players. Weak side cuts will create open opportunities and, with three players on the weak side of the floor, our rebounding opportunities are maximized as well.
In short, I think we need to revert back to this sort of system, obviously with some changes and more movement. We can’t just hang out on the perimeter while we watch Al work in the post. The Jazz offense today is to run a little pick-and-roll on the right side, swing the ball over to the left side, and feed Al in the post. The problem is that if Al is double teamed with 5 seconds left on the shot clock, we have no choice but to jack up threes all day long and even if we make them in the short-run, odds are we cannot carry that for the whole game, or the whole season, or a whole playoff series.
What we could do is run the offense with Al and Mo in the pick-and-roll, pushing Marvin, Paul, and Randy on the weak side. If the pick-and-roll is run well, Al could have a baseline jump shot or roll to the basket or Mo could have a junction jump shot or layup. Both of these guys are good enough at these shots to where it could work. The key is that Mo needs to be smart enough to read the defender and either take the opportunity himself, or facilitate to Al or another open teammate. When help defense comes, kick it out to a three point shooter or have Millsap or Marvin cut to the basket for a back door. There are lots of options in this set! In my mind, the two biggest plus sides to this type of offense is that we get opportunities to score early in the shot-clock and we get more high percentage shots than Al working in the post against a typically good defender.
This is only one idea and I imagine there are plenty of options out there that would be better than the current offense. I think we can all agree that the offense we have here is just not very efficient. We’re not getting high percentage shots, there’s no “without the ball” movement, and we’re forced into difficult shots by the shot clock winding down… I think the question is, will and can Coach Corbin adjust his offense to address these issues, or do we really need to find a new coach?
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