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 [BLOG] Utah Jazz 2012-2013 Post Mortem Part 2: The Bigs

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TheMagnus
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PostSubject: [BLOG] Utah Jazz 2012-2013 Post Mortem Part 2: The Bigs   Wed May 22, 2013 2:16 pm

The Jazz frontcourt rotation has been a hot topic ever since the D-Will trade, and has been one of the most dividing subjects among Jazz fans this season. Fans have really divided themselves into two camps with all of this discussion (putting it kindly), those who believe the young bigs are the future of the Jazz, and those who don’t or are unsure. I would like to set all of that aside for a second and just focus on what actually happened this season and why I think it happened that way.

First let’s define who we are talking about and then we can talk about how they contributed as a group to the Jazz season. For simplicity sake I will limit the bigs in questions to Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, and Jeremy Evans. From the individual metrics it quickly becomes clear what people are talking about when they use hyphenated descriptors like “log-jam” and “over-crowded”.

Analysis

These five players had the top five PER’s on the team, they had five of the top seven WS/48, and between them they led the team in every statistical category except assists and 3pt shooting. A look at these players relative to others in the NBA produces striking results. Favors and Kanter were two of only eight players under the age of 21 who had WS/48 over .100 and PER of over 15 (see figure 1). Hollinger’s stats on ESPN.com give Big Al the 6th highest PER and 2nd highest ValueAdded among NBA centers and Millsap the 7th highest PER and the 6th highest ValueAdded among NBA power forwards. And that is saying nothing about Jeremy Evans, who has yet to play over 500 minutes in a season, but in his 900 minutes over 3 seasons has actually improved every year, this year posting a remarkably impressive PER of 19.9 and WS/48 of .208, in addition to demonstrating a much improved skill set.

....



Check it out in all of it's 2000+ word glory, complete with pictures!!!....

http://www.utahjazznation.com/2013/05/utah-jazz-2012-2013-post-mortem-part-2-the-bigs/
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PostSubject: Re: [BLOG] Utah Jazz 2012-2013 Post Mortem Part 2: The Bigs   Wed May 22, 2013 4:47 pm

Nice work Mags.

A couple things popped out for me that included a fairly high level of in-season frustration. Number one beef was the under-utilization of the Underkanter. We've waxed long on the young-player-gametime-minutes development topic in another thread and my arguments there had Kanter foremost in mind. Kanter flat out produced in the minutes he was on the floor, clearly outplaying Sap, Favors and Al on many nights yet he was short-tethered by Corbin who seemed to think for the majority of the season about 8-10 mpg was all the tick he deserved, no matter if he was 5 for 5 and 6 rbs in those 10 minutes. Which ties into my second point and yours, "the sum of the parts", which I am going to lay squarely on Corbin. You are right, it is stunning that with the front court the Jazz had on the roster, (not a slow white guy anywhere to be seen), they end up in the lottery. That was not a lottery team front court and its not like that was all the weaponry on the roster, (yes, it was a lottery back court with Mo out most of the season but not so bad that the front shouldn't have carried them to the playoffs). The problem was Corbin was locked in stupid rotations with his "log-jam" despite plenty of contrary evidence that it was under-producing. One coaches log-jam is another coach's horn of plenty (see G. Karl). Institutional fear and just plain lack of coaching balls kept Corbin from tinkering with in-game rotations, not adapting to what rotations were and weren't working any given night and instead sticking to patterned substitutions. What a waste.

Finally, what does Jeremy Evans have to do to get meaningful minutes? All he did was kick ass when he got a chance. My answer is the same as above, uninspired and mediocre coaching. A good coach is going to find an energy and production guy like JE minutes come hell or high water. Instead, he chose instead to ride his favored rotations through at times dreadfully off nights, days and weeks while JE recorded DNP's. One can only hope either Corbin is gone next season or the FO mandates that he give him some meaningful tick. This may happen by default as I don't think anyone here imagines a roster next year with an obvious front court horn of plenty. Look for Favs and Kanter as starters and JE/new journeyman guys on short contracts in the second rotation. Funny, that looks a little thin, doesn't it?
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PostSubject: Re: [BLOG] Utah Jazz 2012-2013 Post Mortem Part 2: The Bigs   Wed May 22, 2013 5:47 pm

Overall I've loved Millsap but I think it's time he goes his seperate way, I'll always be a fan. Big Al would have to buy off on a new dynamic with the team where he might get 30 minutes a game, but not as the first, second, and third option, he would have to play with Kanter OR with Favors. I think it could be done. The other problem might be his new contract, could they get him for $10 million a year, if not I'd let him go.
I'd committ to Favors and Kanter 30-35 minutes a game for at least a full year before any decisions would be made about trades or contract extensions. I really think the young guys will come through, maybe not home court in the playoffs but I think Jazz fans will be happy.
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PostSubject: Re: [BLOG] Utah Jazz 2012-2013 Post Mortem Part 2: The Bigs   Wed May 22, 2013 6:00 pm

MTJazz wrote:
Nice work Mags.

A couple things popped out for me that included a fairly high level of in-season frustration. Number one beef was the under-utilization of the Underkanter. We've waxed long on the young-player-gametime-minutes development topic in another thread and my arguments there had Kanter foremost in mind. Kanter flat out produced in the minutes he was on the floor, clearly outplaying Sap, Favors and Al on many nights yet he was short-tethered by Corbin who seemed to think for the majority of the season about 8-10 mpg was all the tick he deserved, no matter if he was 5 for 5 and 6 rbs in those 10 minutes. Which ties into my second point and yours, "the sum of the parts", which I am going to lay squarely on Corbin. You are right, it is stunning that with the front court the Jazz had on the roster, (not a slow white guy anywhere to be seen), they end up in the lottery. That was not a lottery team front court and its not like that was all the weaponry on the roster, (yes, it was a lottery back court with Mo out most of the season but not so bad that the front shouldn't have carried them to the playoffs). The problem was Corbin was locked in stupid rotations with his "log-jam" despite plenty of contrary evidence that it was under-producing. One coaches log-jam is another coach's horn of plenty (see G. Karl). Institutional fear and just plain lack of coaching balls kept Corbin from tinkering with in-game rotations, not adapting to what rotations were and weren't working any given night and instead sticking to patterned substitutions. What a waste.

Finally, what does Jeremy Evans have to do to get meaningful minutes? All he did was kick ass when he got a chance. My answer is the same as above, uninspired and mediocre coaching. A good coach is going to find an energy and production guy like JE minutes come hell or high water. Instead, he chose instead to ride his favored rotations through at times dreadfully off nights, days and weeks while JE recorded DNP's. One can only hope either Corbin is gone next season or the FO mandates that he give him some meaningful tick. This may happen by default as I don't think anyone here imagines a roster next year with an obvious front court horn of plenty. Look for Favs and Kanter as starters and JE/new journeyman guys on short contracts in the second rotation. Funny, that looks a little thin, doesn't it?

Ya, I just don't know any more. I mean Millsap and Jefferson are really good. You all know my feelings on Jefferson, I really do think the Jazz would have been at least as good, if not better, without him this year, but at the same time it's really tough for me to find much fault in Corbin just looking at the numbers. Now I can remember dozens of games where I thought to myself "why aren't Kanter and Favors playing right now? these guys look like ass." but on the whole the fact is that Jefferson and Millsap are borderline all-star caliber players, and for the bulk of the season they played like it. Favors deserves minutes as much as Kanter, so who sits, and who plays? If you divide the minutes 4 ways everybody only plays 24 minutes, and Evans is still stuck to the bench.

The Karl example always fascinates me, because it was literally last season when a huge contingent of Nuggets fans wanted him fired for the EXACT same reason you gave here. He was playing Al Harrington (one way offensive player, highest usage on the team...) 30 minutes a game and Timofey Mozgov regular rotation minutes while Farhied, Koufos, and McGee were being underplayed. One year latter, Harrington is gone, Farhied and Kouf are starting, Mozgov barely sees the court, and George Karl is a genius again.

Agree that the "sum of the parts" is almost all on Corbin, has to be.

I still think Millsap is would be the best guy to keep out of all of the Jazz vet free agents, even if they draft a big in the first round, which I think is very possible. Millsap, Kanter, and Favors make a really nice 3 man rotation with Evans cleaning up the scraps.
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PostSubject: Re: [BLOG] Utah Jazz 2012-2013 Post Mortem Part 2: The Bigs   Wed May 22, 2013 6:06 pm

rorybreaker wrote:
Overall I've loved Millsap but I think it's time he goes his seperate way, I'll always be a fan. Big Al would have to buy off on a new dynamic with the team where he might get 30 minutes a game, but not as the first, second, and third option, he would have to play with Kanter OR with Favors. I think it could be done. The other problem might be his new contract, could they get him for $10 million a year, if not I'd let him go.
I'd committ to Favors and Kanter 30-35 minutes a game for at least a full year before any decisions would be made about trades or contract extensions. I really think the young guys will come through, maybe not home court in the playoffs but I think Jazz fans will be happy.

I believe Jefferson would buy off on that, he's been nothing but a total pro in his time in Utah. I believe he bought into it under Sloan even though he struggled and didn't really have time to find his groove.

What I don't believe is that Corbin has the ability to do that. As long as Big Al is here, Corbin is going to run the offense through him, and play him big minutes regardless of how bad he hurts the team. He's going to continue to fail at developing defensive schemes (like Memphis was able to do) that minimize the impact of Jefferson's slow feet, and he's going to allow Al to crush the pace of the team when the young guys are clearly better at a faster tempo (he knows it too, that's the part that kills me).

As far as I'm concerned one or the other has to go, and we know Corbin is staying, so...
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