Posted by: Dallan Forsyth on September 21st, 2012The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
The Jazz were the surprise team in the Western Conference last season, earning a playoff spot with a very good offense and a defense that was decent enough at home.
They were not a very good shooting team, but the Jazz took care of the ball, got to the free-throw line, and crashed the glass. They ranked second in the league (behind Chicago) with 1,021 second-chance points, which comprised about 16 percent of their total scoring.
This summer, the Jazz replaced Devin Harris, C.J. Miles and Josh Howard with Mo Williams, Marvin Williams and Randy Foye. Changes on the perimeter won’t affect Utah’s ability to grab offensive boards, but the point guard switch could affect their turnover rate and shooting.
Harris committed 16.4 turnovers per 100 possessions used last season, not a great rate, but better than average for starting point guards. Mo Williams actually had a lower turnover rate (12.1), but wasn’t playing the point much with the Clippers. If you go back to his last two years as a starting point guard, his turnover rate was in the same range as Harris’.
Mo Williams, of course, is a much better shooter than Harris, especially from 3-point range (40.1 percent vs. 31.6 percent over the last five seasons). And that’s where the Jazz need the most help offensively. They ranked 27th in 3-point percentage and 28th in total 3-pointers last season.
Foye and Marvin Williams have both been pretty inconsistent from beyond the arc over the course of their careers, but they each shot 39 percent last season. And if the Jazz can complement their interior dominance with improved shooting, they can be an elite offensive team.
Utah’s defense will improve if Derrick Favors takes more minutes from Al Jefferson. The Jazz allowed just 94.7 points per 100 possessions in 466 minutes with Favors and Paul Millsap on the floor together last season, vs. 104.9 in 1,818 minutes with Jefferson and Millsap on the floor.
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