Posted by: KCJones on December 17th, 2012The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
If you had to choose, would you choose to give opposing teams 106 points per 100 possessions or 95.3 points per 100 possessions?
That, my friends, is the points allowed when Al and Paul are our frontcourt versus when Favors and Kanter are our frontcourt. This little gem was brought to you by Marc Stein at ESPN’s power rankings (here), where the Jazz have fallen to 16th-best in the league and 9th in the West. Steinman says this about the Jazz:
A stat that can’t be ignored now that Trade Season is fully under way: Utah ranks No. 23 in defensive efficiency and allows 106 points per 100 possessions when Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap anchor the frontcourt. When it’s anchored by Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter? Just 95.3 points.
Now I don’t know about you, but 11 fewer points by the opposing team sounds pretty good. Some people in the media and radio broadcasting of Jazz games business keep pointing to how Derrick Favors just isn’t an offensive powerhouse yet. SO WHAT??! This post is just a reminder to those people that he doesn’t need to be. In fact, according to the stat above, Favors and Kanter could average 10 points fewer than Big Al and Millsap in the same minutes, everything else being equal, and we would STILL be a one-point per game better team, which same stat people mentioned above say is equal to 2.7 more wins a season. Favors and Kanter play better defense NOW, and they’re still pretty good offensively, according to their per 36 minutes stats. In 36 minutes of playing time, Al and Paul combine for 36.2 points. Favors and Kanter combine for 30.3!
Ok, so let’s do some simple math now. The non-vets give up 11 fewer points while producing 6 fewer points. So that makes us a 5-point better team per night. Do you KNOW how many wins that translates into over 82 games? (Hint: 2.7 * 5). Now I know these same stat people are going to say ‘well Favors and Kanter are playing against 2nd-string guys and Al and Paul are going against first-stringers’. Yep, I’ll give you that. Is that really a 5-point per night difference? Even if it is, that’s still equal RIGHT NOW. Which begs the next question. Are Al and Paul going to be making any marked progress in their games by this time next year? The next two years? No. Al and Millsap are what they are, while Enes and Derrick are in their sophomore year and 3rd year, respectively. They WILL improve by getting real playing time.
To me, the right choice for the future (and now!) is very clear. Make way for the young guns, because they’re just as good (if not better) today, and have a higher ceiling tomorrow if given the court time to improve. At some point, I expect to see some trust in these guys from the Jazz front office, because they’re proving they deserve it. And it’s going to take a move by the front office because Corbin just isn’t seeing what everyone else is seeing and what the stats are telling.
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