Posted by: KCJones on October 31st, 2012The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
‘Small ball’ is the buzzword of the NBA, largely in part to LeBron James and the Miami Heat and their strategy. They basically decided to waive everybody, then scored big, signing LeBron, re-signing Wade and adding Bosh-asaurus Chris with that cap space and then filling in the roster with three-point shooters at the end of their careers who want to win a ring (Battier, Allen) and some draft picks. So two elite wings and a jump-shooting big man. Since decent big men cost so much in the league, and they had all their money tied up, they basically said ’screw big men, we don’t need em’. According to their coach, they are trying to play ‘positionless’ basketball. Which obviously has worked well, resulting in a Championship last season. It’s not a strategy I think a lot of teams can duplicate with success. Mostly because other teams aren’t going to get a LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to do it with, or have multiple players who are athletic and skilled enough to play various court positions. But it works for them because almost everyone can jump out and hit the three. Almost everyone can post up their guy on the low block, even the wings. Almost everyone can handle the ball. In short, they have true athletes at almost every position who have a skillset for doing multiple things and they just rotate guys to the positions on the court where the skills they have can work for them. They post up LeBron. They post up Wade. Bosh spots up for threes, etc. It basically creates havoc trying to defend these guys, pulling ‘big’ defenders out to the perimeter and smaller wings into the low block trying to defend.
So then I thought about our Jazz. Could we do something similar with the players we have? Cause matchup problems on offense with multi-skilled players who can still defend well?
I actually think we could, all while going ‘bigger’ instead of ’smaller’. Basically, you put your five best athletes out on the floor and then rotate them into court positions where their skills are best. Here are the players I think could work in a scheme like that:
Millsap, Favors, Kanter, Marv-Williams, Hayward, Burks, maybe Mo Williams too.
There are still some limitations, like Favors shooting from outside or Hayward posting up (maybe he can, but I’ve never seen that play ran for him) as well as driving to the hoop from the perimeter for Kanter, Favors. But hey, it would be a lot of fun to see that group of guys run the ‘positionless’ offense that Miami is running, and I think they could even see some good success at it while being a good defensive unit because of size and athletecism.
So just a thought on a possible evolutionary step in the NBA and how it could be used by the Jazz.
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