Utah Jazz start second half of season at 0-2

(Matt Gade / Deseret News)

The Jazz began the season 1-13, then went 13-14 to close out the first half. The second half of the season will be crucial, as it’ll lay the foundation for where the Jazz draft in June. (Even if the Jazz were trying to win, there’s no way they could catch the 8th seed barring some phenomenal trade.) They’ve begun 0-2 thanks to two blow-out losses against the underperforming TimberWolves.

Excuses could be made that the Jazz weren’t fully staffed while the T-Wolves were. Minnesota did lose Kevin Martin and Alexey Shved due to injuries in last night’s game, but the Jazz missed Gordon Hayward one night and Derrick Favors the other. Ty Corbin has a better record as Jazz coach (101-118) than Rick Adelman does as T-Wolves coach (77-112) but why were these both monstrous blowouts?

Here’s how the Jazz and their opponents rank in FG% and TS with them on and off the floor, from December 1 through January 20. (Feel free to scroll down to the more paragraphy stuff if this makes your eyes glaze over.)

Player –
On – Team’s FG%/TS – Opp’s FG%/TS
Off – Team’s FG%/TS – Opp’s FG%/TS

Derrick Favors –
On – 46.3%/55.1 – 46.3%/54.3
Off – 46.8%/51.2 – 46.9%/55.1

Gordon Hayward –
On – 45.9%/54.7 – 46.4%/54.6
Off – 44.0%/51.7 – 46.8%/54.6

Trey Burke –
On – 46.8%/55.3 – 45.7%/53.9
Off – 41.8%/49.8 – 48.2%/56.2

Marvin Williams –
On – 46.2%/55.5 – 45.7%/53.3
Off – 44.1%/51.7 – 47.3%/55.8

Alec Burks –
On – 44.2%/51.9 – 46.0%/54.7
Off – 46.2%/55.3 – 47.3%/54.5

Richard Jefferson –
On – 45.5%/54.5 – 46.4%/54.5
Off – 44.5%/52.1 – 46.7%/54.8

Enes Kanter –
On – 44.4%/51.7 – 48.5%/57.0
Off – 45.5%/54.6 – 45.2%/52.9

John Lucas III –
On – 45.3%/52.4 – 48.4%/55.9
Off – 45.0%/53.4 – 46.3%/54.5

Diante Garrett –
On – 41.3%/49.2 – 48.6%/56.4
Off – 46.4%/54.8 – 45.9%/54.1

Brandon Rush –
On – 43.4%/50.0 – 47.2%/55.8
Off – 45.5%/54.3 – 46.4%/54.3

Rudy Gobert –
On – 40.0%/51.5 – 41.0%/50.5
Off – 45.2%/53.4 – 46.8%/54.8

On – 53.3%/61.4 – 37.1%/40.8
Off – 45.5%/54.3 – 46.4%/54.3

On – 47.3%/57.2 – 43.9%/51.0
Off – 43.0%/51.1 – 46.3%/55.1

Trey/Alec/Gordon on
Richard/Marvin off
50.0%/58.7- 42.4%/49.3

47.1%/55.8 – 48.9/58.0

Overall, the team is least effective defensively with Enes Kanter on the floor. In the few minutes he’s had with Trey, Alec, Gordon and Derrick, he does great, but moving him to the bench has done nothing to improve his game. Alec Burks has found a way to thrive in the Sixth Man role, but Kanter is languishing as the Seventh Man. And these are the stats before last night’s game.

The bad thing about his numbers is that the Jazz are better offensively and defensively without him. The TS differential with him on the floor is -5.3, but it’s +1.7 with him off. Compare that to Rudy Gobert. The offense is better with him off the floor, but the defense is better with him on, and the payoff is better with him. The team TS diff is +1 with him, -1.4 without. These numbers also give a better indication of why Diante Garrett may have lost the backup PG role back to John Lucas III.

Now to just focus on Enes Kanter with and without Trey Burke:

With Burke:
Personal – 48.6%/52.3
Team’s – 45.0%/52.7
Opponent – 49.3%/58.0

Without Burke:
Personal – 47.4%/50.2
Team’s – 41.2%/48.1
Opponent – 48.5%/57.2

It’s that much harder for Kanter and the rest of the team to score when Burke isn’t there, but the defense, either way, is bad. If Ty Corbin and Enes Kanter are both still here next year, the Jazz NEED an assistant coach who can teach defense.

About the author

John English

John studied journalism at UVU and put that to good use by writing for free for blogs on a part-time basis. Money well spent. He became an avid Jazz fan since moving to Utah in 1989. Also a fan of the NFL and BYU football.

  • Jt McKenna

    I think Minnesota is starting to play up to their potential, considering that they went on the road and beat Golden State, and then had a decent showing in Portland.

    I think the Jazz are still trending toward a likely 7th or higher draft pick, despite what Hollinger’s odds say. Finishing 6th worst is the magic number. If you finish 6th worst, the odds are strongly in your favor that you won’t fall out of the top 6, and with a real chance of getting into the top 3. If you finish 7th worst, the odds are stacked against you of getting any higher than 7th.