Final Score: Warriors 98, Jazz 87
Run It Back
The Warriors won the game in the first 27-minutes. In that stretch the Jazz played poorly – both offensively and defensively. In that stretch the Jazz struggled – both individually and as a team. In that stretch the Jazz were out-classed – both talent-wise and scheme-wise.
The Warriors outscored the Jazz 37-17 in the 2nd-quarter, on their way to a 59-36 halftime lead that ballooned to 28 points early in the 3rd-quarter. The Jazz then made their typical rout-defying run – a 17-2 burst that never got them closer than 13. They trailed by 25 with 5-minutes remaining when they closed with a 14-0 garbage time run that forced Golden State to re-insert their starters nursing an 11-point lead with 1:12 remaining, but the result was never in doubt.
Of all the miscues, there was one play that bothered me the most and was indicative of Utah’s problems.
Worst Play: 5:47 2nd-Qtr – The Jazz came out of a timeout trying to post-up Favors on the right-block. The Warriors came out in a 2-3 zone. The Jazz passed the ball to the deep right corner, then back up-top and around the horn where they then tried to post Kanter on the left-block. Against a 2-3 zone!
Attacking a 2-3 zone, you attack the pressure points, such as flashing a guy to the foul line where you create a look passing out to the wing or down to the baseline, or you shift the zone strongside by passing to the wing, and flashing to the elbow where you and create a numbers advantage on the weakside for a three.
The Jazz simply passed around as if they were expecting something on the low-post to magically open up. Ultimately Burks ended up holding the ball in the left corner with 2 seconds on the shotclock, where he forced a jumper that drew air and a 24-second violation.
What makes this most unforgiveable is the entire possession took place in front of the Jazz bench, where as a staff you have the luxury of alerting your players to get into your zone offense. On this play Utah’s players appeared unaware, unprepared and unable to make a play and that’s been the scenario too often this season.
I could breakdown more X’s-and-O’s but what’s the point? In the 2nd-quarter the Jazz posted up Mike Harris three times on the right block, resulting in 1 miss, 2 FTs and 1 turnover (that resulted in a Warriors transition three). How can you analyze that? Twice Golden State had switched Klay Thompson onto Harris on a pindown screen – but you’re trying to post Mike Harris three times in one quarter in an NBA game?
Instead let’s go data mining with some statistics and facts that illustrate how ugly the start to Utah’s 2013-14 season has been.
Attendance – Tough Sell
- Monday’s announced attendance of 16,051 was not only the lowest of the season, but the second-lowest regular season total since the Delta Center/Energy Solutions Arena opened in 1991.
- In 6 home games, Utah’s average attendance is 17,762 and dropping steadily. Their lowest average in Delta Center/ESA history is 18,322. While attendance always increases following Christmas, if the Jazz continue their 1-11 play even those gains will only be marginal.
- The Jazz are 1-5 at home this season. The Jazz have won fewer than 20 home games in only 3 of their 34 seasons since moving to Utah with 17-24 their worst mark.
- After some up-and-down halves, Gordon Hayward has evened his scoring average to 9.8 (41% shooting) in the 1st-half and 9.4 pts (on 45%) in the 2nd-half. On a per-minute basis – that equates to 19.0 pts per 36 in the 1st-half and 18.2 per-36 in the 2nd-half. He’s had some rough shooting stretches but for the season he’s averaging 19.2 pts, 5.8 reb, and 4.4 ast taking on more a lot of the ball-handling duties with Burke out. He’s yet to show he can be a clear-cut #1-option on a winning team, but he’s playing like someone who could be a darn good #2 and that will still get him paid big bucks in the offseason.
- Alec Burks averaged 28.5 minutes per game coming off the bench and 26.0 minutes as a starter.
- Marvin Williams, a career 33% 3pt-shooter, is 10-22 (45.5%) behind the arc and 9-22 (41.9%) inside of it this season.
- Burks is shooting 36% from the field and 22% behind the arc. John Lucas III is shooting 34% and 24% behind the arc. Richard Jefferson is shooting 37% from the field and 31% from behind the arc.
- In the two consecutive games versus Golden State, the Jazz held the lead for exactly 37 seconds of the 96 total minutes against the Warriors.
- The Jazz have gone an entire game without holding the lead 4 times in their past 9 games.
Offense or Offensive?
- The Jazz are averaging 88.6 points per game – which would be their lowest average in franchise history.
- The Jazz are shooting 41.3% for the season (and FG% is still a credible NBA statistic) which is over 2 full percentage points below than their lowest mark in team history.
- The Jazz are averaging 22.5 free throw attempts per game – also their lowest mark in team history.
- The Jazz are averaging 17.8 three-point attempts per game – their highest mark in team history. The Jazz are shooting 29% behind the arc, their lowest mark since 1985-86.
- The Jazz are shooting 39% in the 1st-half and 31% behind the arc. Their opponents are shooting 50% in the 1st-half and 39% behind the arc.
- The Jazz are averaging 42.0 points in the 1st-half and 45.8 in the 2nd-half. Their opponents are scoring 50.8 points in the 1st-half and 49.3 in the 2nd-half.
- The Jazz have trailed by double-digits at halftime 7 times in 12 games, and trailed by 9 in one other.
Record Book Watch
- With 3 blocks on Monday, Derrick Favors moved into 14th-place on the Jazz career blocks list passing Darrell Griffith. He’s 5 behind the “Big Dawg” Antoine Carr for 13th place.
- Gordon Hayward ranks 11th in career three-point field goals with 210 for his career. He trails Raja Bell’s 217 for 10th-place.
- Hayward’s 39.5% career 3pt-mark is currently the 5th-highest in franchise history.
The Jazz’s numbers definitely match the quality of on-court play. They’re dead-last in the NBA, on pace to shatter all sorts of futility records but they did increase their lead in the 2014 Tankapalooza Standings to 2.5 games.
Presently Utah possesses a 25% chance at the #1-overall pick, which gives them about as good a chance as John Lucas III has at making a three. On a slightly more positive side, the Jazz do have a 64.3% shot at a top-3 pick – which was essentially their FT percentage after the first two games where we were told that was the reason they lost. Like I said, the numbers this season are definitely pretty ugly.