Posted by: Omar on July 6th, 2012The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
Well everything was perfectly said by @Dallan in the other post taking a closer look at Al, so I’ll just supplement Dallan’s position by taking a closer look, and I will just add a few stats, and the fact that Al is in the last year of his contract, earning 15M this year (I don’t see how your highest paid player can be your worst defender, at the center spot no less).
Since Al is forgiven for being such a horrible defender on account that he is an elite scorer, lets look at Al’s 5 highest scoring games and Al’s 5 lowest scoring games (I only counted games were Al played more than 25 minutes and took double-digit shots) for last 2011-2012.
W 113-105; 37 minutes; 13/17; 30 points
W 114-100; 31 minutes; 16/23; 34 points
W 99-93; 33 minutes; 11/19; 31 points
W 105-90; 36 minutes; 14/18; 33 points
W104-98; 39 minutes; 13/18; 30 points
Only one of those 30 point games came on the road; 4 games against Eastern conference teams; all 5 games against lottery teams in the top seven; 3 games against the 3 worse teams in the East (against 3 of the worst 4 teams in the league).
L 71-96; 25 minutes; 2/16; 4 points
L 87-90; 43 minutes; 5/17; 11 points
W 108-79; 26 minutes; 4/14; 10 points
L 96-102; 34 minutes; 4/12; 11 points
W 112-91; 29 minutes; 4-14; 11 points
All 5 games against West teams; 3 games on the road; Jazz won 2 of the 5 games despite Al not scoring a lot; Apart from one blow-out, the other two losses where by a combined 9 points. 4 games against West playoff teams (the game against the Blazers was a must win late in the season and Al had a low scoring game).
If the goal of the Jazz is to make the playoffs, then yes, keeping Al is not a terrible decision. However, if the goal of the Jazz is to win a championship, navigating the West playoffs, then yes, keeping Al is a terrible decision. We all know he plays horrible defense, and add that to Al’s offense NOT being elite. Against playoff caliber opposition, Al really struggles; in the playoffs every team is playoff caliber, so a championship run does not look great with Al. Kanter will play great defense and will not average anywhere near 17.2 shot attempts per game (Al averaged 17.2 shot attempts and only averaged 19.2 points per game). Al is not efficient for a Center at all (50% for perimeter players is awesome, but for Centers average); Al (49.2%) is not even top-ten in FG% among Centers (Al is behind Chandler (67%), Howard, Pekovic, Bynum, McGee, Gortat, Monroe, Noah, Hibbert, Duncan). Trade Al.
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