22 December 2011
The other day I took a look at the best of the Jazz's debut. Now the two-game preseason is over and Ty Corbin played all 13 healthy players at his disposal in Game 2 of the compressed preseason sched, so let's tally up, shall we?
In the previous post, because of such a small sample size, we looked at particular players' numbers adjusted for 36 minutes, the typical starter's playing time in a game. In this excercise we'll simply total everyone just to see where we stand. It's pretty easy to get an idea of what those numbers would have been in a typical game from what we have. And remember, Nate McMillan played his starters and rotation as if the two games were a regular season burn.
"(Att)" designates the number of attempts
Bold designates team high
*Mehmet Okur was traded to the New Jersey Nets literally while I was in the middle of collecting his stats for this exercise (right after I'd written his free throws and before I'd gotten to his rebounds). He netted a total -16 +/- in the two preseason games
• Although Devin Harris' 3-point FG numbers don't stand out here, he's actually shot the 3-ball as well as he ever has while in a Jazz uni. In his games last season he matched his career best mark for any team in his seven-year career, a respectable .357. 35% is the cutoff between what's considered a good and not-good 3-shooter.
• Rookies Alec Burks and Enes Kanter shot woefully, to put it nicely, but found other ways to contribute and neither ever really appeared out of place at the NBA level. Those FG percentages will come up eventually to acceptable levels as they figure out how to score at this elite level.
• Gordon Hayward, on the other hand, struggled mightily while logging the most minutes and tied-for-fouls and turnovers of any player. It was as if, like all of us, Ty Corbin kept expecting him to shake it off and explode at any time. He looked like a completely different player this season than last, and not in a good way.
• CJ Miles has been maligned his entire career as inconsistent. Ironically, he was by far the most consistent player for the Jazz in preseason and steadily filled the team's stat sheet a variety of ways. Of note is his willingness to get to the free throw line where he didn't miss and while it isn't bolded, Miles' 3-point shooting was overall the best effort from the arc. His overall 47% FG percentage from the floor is a very good mark for a wing player, and above average. Gotta address that foul rate though, my friend.
• Favors' numbers are a little deceiving as he did the vast majority of his work in Game 1. He padded the totals a bit in Game 2 as a starter, but not by much. Still, the level of his raw talent and strength is staggering and once he learns how to use it to his advantage against starting-caliber NBA'ers as well as he does versus second units he will be one the most unstoppable forces in the league since Shaquille O'Neal and Dwight Howard. The 67% from the FT line is a 7% improvement over last year.
• Al Jefferson didn't shoot well, but to be fair he didn't look to as much, tying for a Jazz team-best three assists in Game 2 and finding himself with a hot potato at the end of a couple shot clocks where he still managed to see a portion of the ball go down before it would pop back out. He also got out front on a number of fastbreaks, something he's never been capable of before in his career. As that sore hammy heals up his numbers should do what they always do; get penciled in nightly, or better.
An additional word on Jeremy Evans that should leave you with a dunkface:
Evans was the only Jazzman that played in both games to net a positive plus-minus, a +8 in his 30 minutes. In my last column I waxed somewhat philosophically that "in hindsight, maybe he should have started against Gerald Wallace. Certainly, his body type and athleticism matches up much better," hoping against hope that "Ty Corbin recognizes at some point that Evans is always a +/- and stat-monster leader in his extremely limited playing time and gives him a bump in the rotation so we can find out once and for all if his off-the-chart numbers translate in appropriate matchups."
I got my wish.
Evans doubled-up in minutes in Game 2 compared to Game 1 and drew the matchup he was best suited for in the critical 4th quarter stretch. And won it.
Check out the 4th quarter gameflow from PopcornMachine.net. Mouse over a stint to see the player and what they accomplished in it.
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