Perhaps the best example of the changing Jazz culture is the insertion of Marvin Williams into the starting lineup. Marvin Williams starting as a stretch 4 wouldn’t happen in a traditional “Jazz Basketball” set-up, and the Jazz have generally started a post-heavy power forward ever since the early 80s. (Yes, Andrei Kirilenko started at the 4 in the 2003-04 season and excelled, but the Jazz signing of Carlos Boozer the next offseason suggests that the team was somewhat uncomfortable with playing in this style.)
Marvin Williams changes that. He shot 7 threes from the PF position this game, leading the team with 17 points, stretching the floor for the players underneath. Indeed, the Jazz taking 17 threes a game would have been shocking just a few years ago, but the team is now in the top half of the league in three-point attempts. While obviously the offense hasn’t worked so far, part of the struggles may be growing pains from transitioning towards a more modern offense built on spacing.
Too bad it's Marvin and too bad they don't shoot 3's well.
Burke missed 12 of 17 shots and made five turnovers, but the positives outweighed the negatives in his longest pro outing.
They won. Not sure I would say the positives outweighed the negatives. He shouldn't be taking the most shots on the team until he proves he can actually shoot.
The 21-year-old scored 14 points, hit a key 3-pointer in overtime and tossed an assist to Richard Jefferson for the game-clinching dunk with 14 seconds left in OT.
Burke and the Jazz have a few days to recuperate from — and savor — the Jazz’s first overtime contest of the season. Utah took Tuesday off and will hold practices Wednesday morning and on Thanksgiving Day before returning to action Friday when Jeff Hornacek brings his Phoenix Suns to town for a Black Friday matchup.
That practice time will come in handy, especially considering Burke has only been able to work out at full speed with the Jazz for a week. Wednesday’s session will only be his third practice session with Utah since he fractured his right index finger Oct. 12.
Burke and the Jazz, now 2-14, need all the non-game time together they can get to work out kinks in an offensive system that continues to be clunky in execution.
“He’s got to learn going through the process. I think this is a great learning experience for him,” Corbin said. “We will watch this (game film) and talk about it. We are trying to talk him through some situations, but he’s got to go through it.”
Through four games, the 2013 NCAA player of the year is averaging 8.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists. But Burke’s shooting percentages (33.3 percent overall and 23.1 percent from 3-point range), occasionally high-turnover rate and tendency to wander into no-man’s land leave room for improvement.
“We can’t turn the ball over, can’t get late in the shot clock and get in the crowd and get stuck with the ball,” Corbin said. “But he made a big shot for us, so that’s the great thing. He came up and hit a big 3 and gave us a little cushion there.”
Burke, the ninth pick of the June draft who was acquired via a trade, impressed teammates with his willingness to try and make plays even while his shot was mostly off.
“We watched the young guy when he was in college, and he did some of those things for his team in Michigan,” Jazz forward Marvin Williams said. “And for him to come to the court (Monday), and play in a huge game like this, and get the most amount of minutes he has ever played as a pro and come out and perform the way he did … was huge for us.”
Marvin Williams’ emergence as a great off-the-bench producer or as a sometimes starter. Now that Williams is no longer hampered by a bum Achilles like he was all last season
Wasn't all season!
, we’re able to see what he can do and his play of late has been very encouraging. He’s able to hit the three, he’s long and active on defense and matches up well against stretch fours. Given the difficult matchup that can be for Favors, having Marvin in the lineup in those situations has been helpful. He’s been averaging 14.0 points per game in the last five games and, considering how poor the offense has been at times, that’s been a needed shot in the arm. He’s also been averaging 6.2 rebounds per game in the last five games, averaging around 30 minutes per game. In a very discouraging week overall for the team, Marvin has been a very bright spot.
Gordon Hayward’s passing and all-around game. Well, minus the shooting. Even though he’s been incredibly inconsistent when it comes to getting the ball through the hoop, Hayward’s found ways to contribute in other areas, as evidenced by the fact that he keeps on breaking his career high for assists. First, he got 10 assists November 13 against New Orleans (the last time he shot 50% or higher in a game), and then he surpassed that against New Orleans (again) a week later on November 20 with 11 assists. And, once again, last night he had a new career high of 12 assists against the Bulls. He’s been rebounding at a decent rate over the course of the season—his Total Rebounding Percentage is a career high 8.6%, up from 6.3% last year—which makes the 1-17 shooting night (and the subsequent games of 5-12, 2-9, and 5-15) a little bit more palatable. A wee bit.
Derrick Favors has become the surprising model of consistency. Granted, on this team, consistency takes a slightly different look than the Stockton-to-Malone years of consistency. Given the way this team has been playing so far this year, Favors’ ability to play defense and get rebounds even while the team has struggled in both areas has been nice. While he has been seemingly unspectacular at times, he has been solid, averaging 13/10 on the year and, along with Hayward, only has two games this year where he hasn’t hit double digits in points. Perhaps even more importantly, he’s been learning how to keep from fouling at a high rate—last night’s game against the Bulls excepting—keeping himself on the floor.
Rudy Gobert has been so much fun to watch whenever he’s gotten any time. His often-talked-about wingspan alters shots and creates so much havoc for the opposing team. He even tried to create his own Jeremy-Evans-Blocking-Ronny-Turiaf-And-Taking-It-Coast-To-Coast-For-A-Dunk play, but he one-upped Evans by using his left hand to dunk. Gobert’s averaging 14.7 rebounds per 36 minutes, and has as many blocks on the season as he does field goals (11). His rebounding percentage is 23.3%, above Favors’ 17.1% (though, admittedly, Gobert is usually in at garbage time or against the other team’s second or third string, but still!). I’d love to see Gobert get a consistent 15-20 minutes a night, and even paired with Favors.
He needs to go to the D-league and get big minutes and work on his offensive game. When is Biedrins coming back?
So, Jazz fans. We’re 2-14 and just coming off a great win. What’re you thankful for as a Jazz fan?
The 7-footer, who is making $9 million in the last year of his contract, is looking to bounce back. "Of course it’s on my mind," he said about his contract.
"That’s why this injury was so frustrating because I thought I was in really good shape before I sprained it. So it will take a lot to get it back, but I’m ready for it. I know this is my last year, and I’ll do everything to succeed." Salt Lake Tribune
Just because Andris Biedrins doesn’t celebrate the holiday doesn’t mean he didn’t have something to be thankful for this week. The Latvian center practiced with the Utah Jazz on Wednesday for the first time in a month since spraining his left ankle. Salt Lake Tribune
If him and Kanter are ready send Gobert to the D-League. Rush?
A couple of Utah Jazz centers switched spots for Wednesday’s practice.
Enes Kanter was sidelined during the workout session because of an inversion sprain in his right ankle, but Andris Biedrins was given the green light to fully participate for the first time in a month.
Biedrins hadn’t gone through a full practice since he sprained his left ankle two days before the Jazz’s season-opener in late October.
“Feeling good,” Biedrins said. “Just happy to be on the floor again and practice with the team.”
It’s uncertain whether either player will be available for action Friday when the Jazz host the Phoenix Suns. Shooting guard Brandon Rush could be available as he also went through a full practice.
“Finally, we have almost everybody back,” Biedrins said. “I think that’s the big part now is just play together and have a feel for each other.”
Biedrins’ playing situation depends on how his ankle responds to increased activity, as he’s mostly been doing stationary cycling and light jogging for conditioning.
Kanter received more treatment Wednesday on the ankle he sprained Sunday in Oklahoma City. He missed Monday’s 89-83 overtime win over Chicago and will be a game-time decision Friday.
This three-day break in action came at a good time for the Jazz.
Not only does it allow them to soak in the positive vibes of just their second win of the season, but they also get time to allow nagging injuries to heal — from ankles to point guard Trey Burke's finger.
It also helps Utah get some rare practice time on consecutive days (Wednesday and Thanksgiving Day) without games.
“We need the rest. We need the practice. We need the repetition with the guys,” Corbin said. “We’ve got so many guys that (are) coming back since the time we started at the beginning of the year.”
This injury has been frustrating for Biedrins, who’s had numerous issues with his left ankle over the years. The 7-footer said he was in excellent shape and was excited to begin his new start in Utah after being traded to the Jazz from the Warriors, where his self-confidence was zapped.
The 27-year-old Biedrins is hoping to re-establish himself as a dependable big man in the NBA. He admitted that the fact that his contract expires next summer is on his mind. The Jazz, Corbin said, can also use his interior passing, rebounding and defensive help.
He can pass?
“That’s why this injury was so frustrating because I thought I was in really good shape before I sprained it,” Biedrins said. “It will take a lot to get it back, but I’m ready for it. I know this is may last year and I will do everything to succeed.”
And, he added, to help the Jazz succeed.
Biedrins has been impressed by the Jazz bigs, even saying that 7-foot-1 rookie Rudy Gobert “stepped up big time” in his absence. Now he hopes to be able to contribute as the Jazz try to improve on their 2-14 start.
His former Golden State teammate, Rush, is also on the verge of coming back (again). The shooting guard said he’s “doing fine,” but he also only made one 10-minute appearance with the Jazz and in the NBA since injuring his knee on Nov. 2, 2012. Rush said it’s “more of a mental thing” as he’s been trying to better learn the Jazz offense before stepping back onto the court after being out for more than a year.
“(He’s) just trying to get his confidence back and feeling comfortable with the guys, reassure himself that his leg’s ready to go,” Corbin said. “I hope this is the top of the hill so we can get him on the floor. He’s been looking very (good) in practice. We’re looking for him to be ready to go.”
The fourth-year swingman from Butler has covered a league-high 42.9 miles in 16 games, according to the NBA’s SportsVU data.
It’s something Corbin hopes he can curb slightly.
"As we get more healthy, hopefully we can manage a little bit more how much time he’s having on the floor," he said. "But he’s playing very well for us. We need him to make plays. But we want to keep him fresh to finish games for us."
One area where Corbin did switch things up significantly was in the post; per MySynergySports, Utah finished 17.1% of their possessions out of the post in Ty’s first full season, compared with just 9.4% of such plays in Sloan’s final full season of 2009-10. This is mostly due to personnel changes – Utah’s acquisition of Al Jefferson gave them one of the league’s premier post players to pair with sneaky-good post-up man Paul Millsap – but other areas that decreased to make room for these extra post sets are certainly of interest. Most notably, the percentage of Jazz plays finished via cuts and screens dropped noticeably when Corbin took over – after finishing nearly 25% of their possessions on these plays in 09-10, this number has hovered around 15% in both of Corbin’s full seasons. These types of plays were cornerstones of Sloan’s offense, and while the data is incomplete because MySynergySports only tracks plays finished via these play types rather than plays initiated, the large drop-off is still quite significant.
Outside these changes, much of Sloan’s emphasis stayed the same through Corbin’s first two seasons. The Jazz were markedly less effective basically across the board (especially in assists and rim attempts, areas we discussed earlier), but it’s hard to find solid evidence of reasons for this outside of the simple fact that the Williams trade had deprived the Jazz of their main playmaker, destroying a lot of the precision needed to execute this sort of system at a high level.
Corbin’s most drastic departures from Sloan’s style, by far, have taken place so far in this young season. It starts with lineup composition; Sloan, like everyone during his time, favored the traditional lineup with two big men on the court at all times. And at first, even with the league rapidly trending toward small-ball offense (only one traditional big man on the court, which creates added driving lanes and spacing for jump-shooters), Corbin stuck to the script. In fact, no lineup with less than two big men played more than 12 minutes for Ty in either of the last two full seasons, which is basically equivalent to saying he never played these lineups.
The Jazz still start a traditional two-big lineup with Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors, but the combo of Favors as the only big man alongside Burke, Hayward, Jefferson and Marvin Williams has already logged 33 minutes since Burke’s return from injury – nearly triple the time afforded to any small-ball lineup in either of the previous two seasons. Groups including semi-tweener Michael Harris as the 4-man have also gotten some run, although Burke’s return to full health seems to have piqued Corbin’s interest in using small-ball lineups with Burke alongside a big man and three wing players, something he’s been doing more often in the last three games.
The results haven’t been revolutionary, but a large portion of this is due to Utah’s players simply not being good at making baskets. With Kanter sidelined for Monday’s win over Chicago, check out how breathable the spacing was for Utah’s starting lineup when Corbin went small-ball by inserting Marvin Williams at the 4-spot:
The theme for this year will always be “baby steps”, and this is absolutely one of them. This particular roster would never be an above-average offense regardless of what system they were running, so major kudos to Corbin for his willingness to experiment given the nothing-to-lose situation he’s in. Not only is it having some small effects now – the Jazz rank in the top half of the league in 3PA, the most threes per game in franchise history, a big sign of more modernization being introduced into the offense – but this sort of comfort in these smaller lineups could have major impact in future years once the core players hit their prime, as NBA offense is only projected to get smaller and more efficient.
Yes despite the complaints I still see Ty evolving which Jerry didn't really do much.
With Derrick Williams joining a Kings roster that already includes Carl Landry and Jason Thompson, two players signed through 2015-16, Patterson is expendable. For a team that needs frontcourt scoring help like a Toronto, Utah or Philadelphia, Patterson could be an attractive option. The question is what the Kings could get back. ESPN.com
Barely used in his two-plus seasons with the Kings, Fredette could be an attractive target for an offensive-starved team that still believes he may have a future in the league. Fredette's expiring contract pays him $2.57 million this season and should it fairly easy for the Kings to trade him, but Sacramento won't get much back in return. ESPN.com
Utah only averages 88.5 points — one-tenth of a point more than Charlotte — and has only surpassed the century mark in scoring once in 16 games this season. The Bobcats (40.5 percent) are also the only worse shooting team than the Jazz (41.7 percent).
For comparison’s sake, 16 squads average at least 100 points an outing.
Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin and shooting guard Gordon Hayward said the team needs to work on spacing issues and being in the right spots at the right times, among other things.
“There are times in games where one guy forgets to set a screen or forgets what play we’re running. Stuff like that, that’s a problem,” Hayward said. “Just little things like that, that’s causing us to have a bad possession. We’re trying to tune that up. … That’s stuff we have to do without thinking.”
I keep reading fans blaming Corbin for not having a system. Maybe there's a system and the players aren't executing it?
On Wednesday, Brandon Rush helped serve mashed potatoes as the Utah Jazz fed about 4,000 meals to Utahns in need.
On Thursday, the shooting guard practiced at full speed for the second day in a row.
On Friday night, the 28-year-old hopes to return to the basketball court for his second comeback this season.
“What I want to get done first,” Rush said, “is being able to wake up and not think about the game situation, not being nervous and stuff like that.”
On Nov. 2, 2012, Rush tore an ACL during the Warriors’ second game. His medical situation took a toll on more than just his left knee, and it ended up being more than simply a season-ending injury.
Rush, who had surgery on his right knee in college, is still trying to recover almost 13 months later, both physically and mentally.
“The first time I did it when I was in college, it took me 5 1/2 months to get back. I wasn’t out of the game that long,” Rush explained. “This time, I had that route where I couldn’t have surgery for two months. It took a toll on the muscles in my quad.
“This has just been complicated,” he added. “I have been out a whole complete year. That takes anybody’s confidence away.”
The six-year pro made his Jazz debut in Brooklyn three weeks ago after being traded to Utah from Golden State this offseason. He played for 10 minutes, didn’t take a shot, and hasn’t returned to action since that awkward two-turnover performance against the Nets.
Rush’s knee felt fine.
Everything else felt off.
Rush and Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin decided the sharpshooter needed more practice before attempting to play again.
“I didn’t go to training camp. I hardly know any plays. It’s my first time playing five-on-five in a year,” Rush said during the Jazz’s four-game Eastern trip earlier this month. “I think it will be better for me just to get some more practice time before going out on the court again.”
Though details of his peculiar situation were vague, Rush said he felt “great about it” and has continued to gradually increase what he’s done in practice. Rush and former Golden State teammate Andris Biedrins, out with a sprained ankle, both participated in a full-speed practice for the first time in weeks on Wednesday.
So if he was healthy but needed more practice to learn plays why wasn't he actually practicing?
“They did good,” Corbin said. “They both got a little winded after going for a while, but I thought they moved very well.”
Rush and Biedrins will likely both be available for action in this Friday-Saturday home-and-away doubleheader against the Phoenix Suns.
Good thye need them especially if Kanter is still out. If nothing else Biedrins could allow Gobert to go to the D-league and work on his offense.
“I feel real confident on that knee. I think I’m taking a step forward,” Rush said before Thursday’s practice. “I’m still going to practice full (Thursday) and see how I feel (Friday). If I feel pretty good, I’ll probably end up playing (Friday). … I think I’m pretty much ready to go.”
Rush’s comeback hasn’t been easy or fun, but he’s improved from where he was when he attempted to return last time.
“Definitely feel a lot better,” Rush said. “I think the route I took by taking those games off and getting some extra work in and coming in here and practicing with the guys has definitely paid off.”
Corbin is looking forward to the contributions Rush can make on the court as a 3-point threat and a good perimeter defender.
“I hope,” the coach said earlier this week, “this is the top of the hill so we can get him on the floor.”
Wednesday and Thursday might’ve been the perfect days for Rush to have prior to playing again. Not only did he get to practice, but he also had the opportunity to fill his heart with gratitude while serving homeless and underprivileged Utahns in the Jazz’s annual “We Care - We Share” Thanksgiving dinner.
A day before his girlfriend made him his own holiday meal, the two had a great time serving mashed potatoes and veggies in the food line.
“There was a lot of food going around. … It’s definitely a great feeling,” Rush said. “My girlfriend came with me. She loves doing stuff like that. We definitely had a great time feeding the homeless.”
The thought Rush took away from that charitable experience?
“You’re blessed for every day you get here,” he said, “because people out there are really struggling.”
The Suns are over .500 despite first-round draft pick Alex Len playing only four games because of an ankle injury and point guard Eric Bledsoe missing the last six games because of a bruised shin.
Bledsoe scored 18 points, including 14 down the stretch, during the Suns’ 87-84 victory over Utah on Nov. 1 in Phoenix.
Asked about Bledsoe’s status for the game, Hornacek said, "Probably — like always — it will be a game-time decision. He looked pretty good at shootaround today, compared to what it has been. So we’re hopeful, maybe, that he will be able to play."
Jazz need to win if he's not playing.
For the Jazz, center Enes Kanter is expected to play. He missed Monday’s 89-83 overtime win over Chicago because of a sprained ankle.
In fact, all 15 players participated in the morning shootaround and are available against the Suns. That’s the first time it’s happened this season.