November 12, 2009

What’s Wrong with the Jazz?

Filed under: Uncategorized — wwinston @ 11:08 am

The Jazz are 3-5, which is probably a worse record than most fans expected. After adjusting for strength of players facing Jazz, however, they have played 2 points better than average. The team, however, has many surprising strengths and weaknesses. Here are some key points.

  1. AK 47 and Millsap have been fantastic, especially on defense.
  2. Boozer, Brewer and Price have killed Jazz on defense.
  3. Williams has keyed offense
  4. Fesenko has played great and deserves more minutes. When he is in Jazz play 16 points better than average.
  5. In their limited time Maynor and Koufos have killed Jazz. The team plays 30 points (per 48 minutes) worse than average when either is in.

Some other interesting points (all numbers are per 48 minutes)

  • AK47, Williams, Okur and Milsap in is great-Jazz play 40 points better than average with these 4 in.
  • Williams and AK47 in does well 9 points better than average.
  • Millsap, Williams and AK47 in i s great, 25 points better than average.
  • Price  in without AK47 is a disaster,  Team Plays 43 points worse than average. But  Price with Ak47 is 14 points better than average.

Best lineups are

  1. Brewer, AK47, Millsap, Okur and Williams 49 points better than average so far.
  2. Boozer Ak47 Millsap Price and Williams 41 points better than average.
  3. Starting lineup has played 1 point worse than average.


  1. This is a great post!! If only the Utah Jazz used data in actionable ways…something tells me Sloan would look at this with a blank uninterested stare.

    Comment by David — November 12, 2009 @ 3:32 pm

  2. [...] better. Deron should be fine even though he is listed as day-to-day. If you haven’t read  this article over on Mathletics you should. He breaks down the numbers and gives a couple of reason why the Jazz [...]

    Pingback by Utah Jazz @ Phildelphia 76ers Preview | The Utah Jazz Blog — November 13, 2009 @ 2:37 am

  3. Play Fes. For the love of all that is holy, play Fes. He’s the only real inside defensive presence this team has, Jerry.

    I am glad to see the numbers bear this theory out.

    Comment by Brandon — November 13, 2009 @ 4:33 pm

  4. David, I attended the Celtics Jazz game the other night and Sloan did just that.

    He pulled Boozer at the 4:30 mark in the first quarter and in the third quarter pulled Boozer and Okur at the 3:45 mark. They were definitely killing the Jazz defensively.

    Comment by Boston Dan — November 13, 2009 @ 5:34 pm

  5. Anyone who’s been watching the game sees this a little differently. Millsap can’t stay in a game because he’s in foul trouble 2 minutes after coming off the bench. His statistical analysis doesn’t take into account the opposing players. It’s different to defend starters like Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan as opposed to Drew Gooden and Matt Bonner. In time this wouldn’t matter as the stats and lineups would even out, but in such a small sample any statistical analysis is completely unreliable. Especially considering the effects Nowitzki’s 4th quarter would have on everyone on the court at that time.

    Comment by Jack Alluvial Fan Williams — November 13, 2009 @ 5:43 pm

  6. What I get from this is we need to play AK47 and D-will. That and we need a defensive person on the court for big men either Millsap or Fesenko which basically might just be saying Boozer sucks on defense.

    So I say when all is health start D-Will, Brewer, CJ, Millsap, Okur. AK and Boozer off the bench together and leave AK at start of 2 and 4 when D-will is down. End game with D-will, shooter, AK47, millsap, Okur because Okur is money, and we need Millsap for defense.

    Comment by Joseph — November 13, 2009 @ 5:58 pm

  7. Glad to see AK getting some appreciation after getting so much hate throughout recent years. The fact is AK has never stopped being the player he was in his all-star year. The problem was they brought Boozer in to be the PF when that is AK’s best position. As a PF AK would patrol the basket racking up the blocks and he was good at posting up and drawing fouls on offense. After Boozer came in they moved AK to the 3 and decided to have a player with no perimeter game stand around on the 3 point line all game, then complain when his numbers drop, its an absolute joke.

    Comment by Efernand — November 13, 2009 @ 6:49 pm

  8. we adjust for who you play against

    Comment by wwinston — November 13, 2009 @ 7:10 pm

  9. How do you adjust for the fact that Millsap takes on bench players, while Boozer has to take on the real deal? There has to be some physical limitations involved that cannot be quantified by stats.

    Comment by gjacskon — November 16, 2009 @ 1:10 pm

  10. Based on varying lineups over the course of a season, you can come up with a “strength of defender/defendee” variable. ESPN, Yahoo, etc do not take this into account when you see the +/-. This is why Winston’s adjusted +/- is a more realistic look at who truly is a better defender as opposed to who is just playing junk minutes.

    Comment by Mike — November 17, 2009 @ 6:08 pm

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