Utah Jazz Take Away: Phoenix Suns 1-4-13

Paul Millsap has nothing to prove to Jazz fans

Last night the Jazz dominated the Phoenix Suns and this helped Jazz fans sleep well last night. They could sleep well knowing the Jazz can still compete without Mo Williams. However, this was not the key thing I learned from last night’s Jazz game. Say it with me; it is all about the rotation.

Last night Kanter sat out due to his ankle injury. Thanks to his injury Jefferson, Millsap, and Favors each played 30 minutes or more. The following are their stats lines:

  • Millsap: 19 pts 10 Rebs
  • Jefferson: 21 pts 8 Rebs
  • Favors: 10 pts 9 Rebs

Another stat provided by David Locke via Twitter:

Last night was 13th time Favors has played 30 mins. His team is 11-2 (2-0 w/ Nets) in those games he avgs 14 pts 9 rebs – shoots 59.5%

Based on Locke’s wonderful stat it is clear that Favors needs to be on the floor. It is also clear that a 3 man rotation of our bigs is what the Jazz need to continue to develop and succeed. So, who is in that rotation? This is where it gets tricky. Do you want to go young and kick Jefferson or Millsap out? Or do you the Jazz go with a veteran rotation and kick Kanter to the bench?

I know what Jazz fans want:  Go young! I wanted to see what kind of production we could expect from our bigs if they were provided 30 minutes a night. I figured their stats per 48 minutes would be the best indicator:

  • Millsap: 23.2 pts, 12.1 rebs
  • Jefferson: 25.0 pts, 14.5 rebs
  • Favors: 20.3 pts, 14 rebs
  • Kanter: 20.8 pts, 13.4 rebs

I believe these stats prove that these 4 players can be interchangeable. Although I will admit that there are unmeasurable skills that the Jazz would miss with either rotation: young or old. With the young rotation the Jazz would miss veteran “know how”, which would most likely lead to mistakes in the form of turnovers and early foul trouble. The young rotation also has a less developed offensive game. However, doubling Kanter’s minutes and adding another 10 minutes to Favors in-game experience would hopefully accelerate their development. With the old rotation the Jazz miss out on hustle and defense. Everyone has noticed Jefferson’s complete disregard for defense.

But which route is best for the Jazz in the immediate future? Locke presented some more stats via Twitter:

Last two game big man pairs – Millsap/Jefferson (35 mins +21) Millsap/Favors (16 mins +13) Favors/Jefferson (22 mins -13)

Assuming the Jazz went with the young rotation it looks like the Jazz should seriously consider eliminating Jefferson from the rotation. However, for the long-term development of the young bigs offensive game, keeping Jefferson may be the way to go. Jefferson could help mentor the two young lads in developing their offensive games.

So, Jazz front office it is time to make a deal. What deal will it be?

About the author

Grant Bagby

Since moving to Utah in 2005, I have changed from following all sports in D.C/Virginia to following all sports in Utah. I am a Chicago Bulls fan first (Born and raised by my father), but I am also a hardcore Jazz fan with 7 years of being a season ticket holder under my belt. I started TornBySports to write about the BYU/Utah Rivalry after Max Hall ran his mouth.