Posted by: Nick Knows All on November 17th, 2012The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
I talked a lot during the offseason and after the trades about how this team was going to experience some growing pains. That that this team would need a while to gel, and that it wouldn’t be until mid to late December that the team would get going. This frustration and exasperation that we are all feeling right now is a direct result of these growing pains.
A few things:
1. We have a new point guard, shooting guard, and small forward
2. We have a new offensive system, and even a new defensive one (hard to believe I know)
3. Our team is loaded with talent
4. We have a head coach with relatively little experience
Coach Tyrone Corbin does some things very well, and some things poorly. Often times, coaches don’t get the credit when things go right, and get the blame when things go wrong. I still believe Corbin can be a good head coach, but he’s not there yet.
Corbin’s biggest fault is pure stubbornes, and a fear or unwillingness to take risks, or experiment during games. Corbin has a very rigid and predictable rotation. Corbin’s lineups are reactive rather than proactive. In other words, instead of setting the pace and tone, Corbin is almost following it. This effectively allows opposing coaches to control the flow of the game.
To Corbin’s credit, he places a lot of confidence in his players. This in turn gives them the confidence to come out and play hard. The downside is, some players have too much confidence, and some don’t have enough. You shouldn’t bench a player for missing a shot, or blowing one play, but when a pattern starts to emerge, you need to do something to change it.
There are 3 main problems with our starting unit:
1. They can’t defend
2. They can’t shoot
3. They don’t compliment each other
The primary culprits are 2 PAIRS of players.
Pair 1: Al Jefferson/Paul Millsap (good offense, terrible defense)
Pair 2: Marvin Williams/Gordon Hayward (mediocre offense, mediocre defense)
Now, all 4 of these players are good. But they are not good when they are together. As a unit, they play decent offense and very poor defense. Adjust the lineup to miminize their weaknesses and maximize their strengths. How do we do this? Break up the unit and combine the players who fit best within the system.
Pair 1.: Gordon Hayward/Paul Millsap
Good offense (post, midrange, and perimeter scoring) and improved defense (quicker defensive reactions)
Pair 2. Al Jefferson/Marvin Williams
Good offense (allows Marvin to be active in the paint) and improved defense (length and size)
But that’s only 4 players. Here are 2 lineups that would match the skills of all the players involved, and give us a balanced offensive and defensive output.
PG: Mo Williams
SG: Randy Foye
SF: Gordon Hayward
PF: Paul Millsap
C: Derrick Favors
PG: Jamal Tinsley
SG: Alec Burks
SF: Demarre Carrol
PF: Marvin Williams
C: Al Jefferson
The two keys here are that Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson do not play together for the majority of the game, and that whenever Al Jefferson is on the court, either Demarre Carroll or Derrick Favors HAS TO BE ON THE FLOOR to pick up the defensive slack.
Decide if you need an offensive or defensive emphasis, and sub accordingly. Utilizing both lineups for 24 minutes would give teams fits. Alternately, just stick with the lineup that’s playing well, and use the other unit so they can rest.
I believe this is the best way to win games until a trade happens.
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