Is it possible the Utah Jazz defense is better than we realize?
The Utah Jazz defense is currently ranked 3rd in the NBA and there is a good chance they are even better than that. Through 8 games, the Jazz defensive rating is an incredible 96.3 pts allowed per 100 possession. Only the Boston Celtics and the Oklahoma City Thunder defensive rating is better than Utah’s.
Digging into the numbers and the Jazz defense looks more suffocating. Four of the Jazz eight opponents are currently ranked in the top 10 offensively. The Jazz have held three of the four substantially below their season average. The Denver Nuggets offensive rating against the Jazz was 98.7, in all their other games their offense has been a 107.3. The Minnesota Timberwolves were 5.2 pts per 100 worse against the Jazz than in all their other games. Oklahoma City whose offense is rolling at 108.1 in all games other than the Jazz was a 91.2 against the Jazz.
Thus far this season the Jazz have held opponents on average 8.5 pts per 100 possessions below their season average in their other games.
(not including Jazz)
|Off RTG v. Jazz||Difference|
An eight game sample size does not make a complete season of work. However, to get a perspective on this level of defense let’s compare it to some of the best defenses over the past few season
|SEASON||Best Defense||Compared to Average|
|2016-17||San Antonio (100.9)||5.4 better than average|
|2015-16||San Antonio (96.6)||7.3 better than average|
|2014-15||Golden State (98.2)||7.8 better than average|
|2013-14||Indiana (96.7)||7.4 better than average|
|2012-13||Indiana (96.6)||6.4 better than average|
|2011-12||Chicago (95.3)||6.8 better than average|
Defense are ahead of offenses early in the season so a defensive minded team such as the Jazz have an early season advantage. Moreover, there is a regression to the mean that happens with all teams as sample sizes grow. Yet, at 8.5 pts per 100 possessions better than league average the Jazz are functioning at very elite level.
Over the next stretch of games it doesn’t get an easier for the Jazz defense. They play the 6th ranked offense in Toronto, the #12 ranked Rockets, the #11 ranked Brooklyn Nets and the #8th ranked Timberwolves in their next five games. If their defense continues to protect the fort with the same veracity sample size will no longer be an issue.
Before embracing an offense or defense as “real” this early in the season it is astute to look to see if there are any shooting abnormalities. Unlike Boston whose opponents are shooting an unsustainable 31% from three or Oklahoma City whose opponents are shooting 30.8% on above the break three point shots nothing jumps out when looking at the Jazz.
Opponents are well below average on the corner three against the Jazz just 10 of 38 and that will certainly increase. The damage may not be extreme as the Jazz only allow opponents to shoot 5.2% of their shots as corner 3s the 2nd lowest rate in the league, something they did last year as well. If the Jazz were to allow the league average 36% it would have a 1.5 pts per game impact. For Oklahoma City and Boston the impact is in the range of 4 to 5 points per game.
The sample sizes are still very small with huge variance possible, but if the opening stretch of stifling Jazz defense is an indicator the Jazz defense maybe even better than realized.
JAZZ GAME REWIND: 2nd Half propels Toronto past the youthful Jazz
The Jazz fell short in the second half as the Toronto defense shut the new-look Jazz down in route to cruising to an 114 – 82 Raptors victory. Lauri Markkanen shined for the Jazz with 20 points and 5 rebounds but the Raptors length and athleticism proved to be too much for the Jazz riding a dominant 3rd quarter to pull away from the Jazz who played well in the first half, only trailing by one.
Relive the game through the radio highlights. Voiced by Leif Thulin.
Utah Jazz trade Rudy Gobert – the emotions, the decision making, what did we get and what now
The Utah Jazz traded Rudy Gobert on Friday after a 4th of July weekend to soak in the biggest news of the NBA trade season we try to digest what it means for the Utah Jazz. David Locke, radio voice of the Utah Jazz and Jazz NBA Insider, take a look at all angles of the Rudy Gobert trade. The emotions of losing one of your own and a beloved player like Rudy Gobert. The player that we knew how great he was and had to argue on his behalf and now someone else gets the pleasure. Locke revisits the decision making tree of the Utah Jazz and how they got to trading Rudy Gobert and why they took this trade rather than other options that may have been on the table for the Utah Jazz. Then Locke looks into what did we really get in this trade and what are the possibilities of benefit for trading one of the great players in franchise history. A look at each of the 5 first round picks and what they could become and the margin starts to expand the farther out you go. Then are the Utah Jazz re-building? Why now would be the question. That is a decision that the Jazz don’t need to make for the some time. Summer league kicks off today and what are the Utah Jazz looking for and who could make an impression. What the Jazz want to see from Jared Butler Locked On Jazz Podcast 💻 https://www.lockedonjazz.net/ 🎧 LockedOnJazz.com https://buff.ly/2FEZTVY 🎧 Apple https://apple.co/3Dc8QBq 🎧 Spotify https://spoti.fi/3IfvgVX 🎧Stitcher https://bit.ly/3pkGyzB 🎧 Google https://bit.ly/3I8TwJz
NBA Free Agency is here for the Utah Jazz
NBA Free Agency is day is here for the Utah Jazz. What can we expect to take place? Will the Utah Jazz make a trade? Is this the day Rudy Gobert or Mike Conley or Donovan Mitchell gets traded? Do the Jazz have a free agency move to be made? David Locke, radio voice of the Utah Jazz and Jazz NBA insider take a look at all of these questions and gives you the free agency primer. Is the market drying up on the Utah Jazz? The Clippers and Wizards have already made moves and the Atlanta Hawks have used their draft capital. Rumors continue with Rudy Gobert at the forefront and we take a look at what those deals might be for the Utah Jazz and what would have to be included to make a deal happen. Then a look at the Utah Jazz options at the tax payer mid level contractsand what the Jazz current roster looks like and what could take place. Locked On Jazz Podcast 💻 https://www.lockedonjazz.net/ 🎧 LockedOnJazz.com https://buff.ly/2FEZTVY 🎧 Apple https://apple.co/3Dc8QBq 🎧 Spotify https://spoti.fi/3IfvgVX 🎧Stitcher https://bit.ly/3pkGyzB 🎧 Google https://bit.ly/3I8TwJz
- JAZZ GAME REWIND: 2nd Half propels Toronto past the youthful Jazz October 2, 2022
- Utah Jazz trade Rudy Gobert – the emotions, the decision making, what did we get and what now July 5, 2022
- NBA Free Agency is here for the Utah Jazz June 30, 2022
- New Utah Jazz Head Coach Will Hardy: What formed him, what influences, style of play and staff June 29, 2022
- Utah Jazz free agency decision making tree, the case for Johnnie Bryant and NBA Menus June 28, 2022