Last week I wrote about what Jazz fans should be putting on their holiday wish list. This week I’ll take a look at which statistic each Jazz player would want to improve — their own seasonal checklist.
Burks has been effective on the offensive end after missing most of last season. Quin Snyder has had Burks run some point guard in the triple wing offense and he’s looked good doing it. Unfortunately, Burks’ defensive struggles have been a constant theme throughout his career. This season, when being defended by Burks, opposing players have their shooting percentages jump seven points compared to their average. Anything defense-related should be at the top of Alec Burks’ holiday wish list.
Chris Johnson is currently averaging 4.8 minutes per game, so all his other stats can be thrown out the window because the obvious stat Johnson wants to improve his the number of minutes he gets on the floor.
With how well Favors has played, suggesting he needs to improve could be perceived as blasphemy. But of course Favors is not perfect and therefore can and should want to improve. Favors is only averaging 4.7 defensive rebounds and 7.7 rebounds total in road games. If the Jazz are going to win away from Vivint Smart Home Arena, Favors will need to be more active on the boards to secure victory. Definitely a little nit-picky, but that just means Favors game is so good that you’ve got to go deeper to find the holes in his game.
For a while, Millsap seemed to be all but eliminated from the rotation. But with Gobert’s injury, Snyder has begun to give Millsap some more playing time in hopes his defense on the perimeter can make up for some of the defense missing on the interior. Besides wanting more minutes, Millsap would be glad to improve any part of his offense. Elijah has only attempted six shots from beyond the arc and connected on one of those attempts. Both the Jazz and Millsap would love for him to turn into a 3 & D guy off the bench.
Hayward’s early season struggles seem to be far behind him as he’s been extremely aggressive on the offensive end while reminding fans everywhere he’s one of the best small forwards in the league. Hayward has been hitting from all over the floor. Well, almost all over the floor. The only spot on the floor where Gordon has been struggling is the right corner three point shot. He’s only hitting 7.7 percent of his shots from the right corner, but has been amazing everywhere else from behind the arc.
Withey has been a pleasant surprise in the little action he’s seen. He’s been able to provide some rim protection and even the occasional dunk. Withey’s forced opposing players to shoot nine percent worse than their regular shooting percentage. He’s only take six three throw attempts and is shooting 33.3 percent from the line. Small sample size aside, Withey would want to shoot a lot better at the line.
Through 21 games played, Ingles’ numbers are fairly respectable for the minutes he’s playing. He’s shooting the ball well at a clip of 45.7 percent from beyond the arc, but there is one area where Ingles could use a boost. So far Slow Mo Joe is averaging less than one assist per game. Last season Ingles’s assist ratio (number of assists per 100 possessions) was 27.9, but this year it has fallen to 18.9. Although Ingles has had a reduction in minutes, he still needs to be a facilitator when he is on the court.
Raul Neto has been better than I expected, despite some obvious flaws in his game. Neto will have spurts of scoring, but is not a consistent threat to light up the scoreboard. His defense is scrappy, but struggles against bigger guards. So what’s the stat Neto would like to improve? His assists. He clearly has good enough court vision and creativity to make his teammates better and his assist numbers should be better. Raul is averaging 2.3 assists per game, but he’s got the ability to be around five.
Oh, Rodney. It’s pretty clear what Hood is wishing, nay begging for this time of year. Hood is shooting a lowly 30.1 percent from three and the slump appears to be creeping into his mind as he’s passed up some shots he normally wouldn’t. But it hasn’t been all bad for Hood, who continues to excel as the ball handler in pick and roll situations. Rodney Hood, and Jazz fans everywhere, are hoping this slump ends sooner rather than later1.
As of right now, the only stat that Gobert should be concerning himself with is the number 14 — the number of games he’s played thus far. Gobert’s main goal should be getting 100 percent healthy so that number can begin to increase so the Jazz can have a real shot at making the playoffs.
Since Gobert went down, Trevor Booker has played very well, especially compared to how he began the season. Booker is finishing more consistently at the rim and rebounding at a higher rate. But gone from is game are both the three point shooting volume and percentage of last season. Booker is terrified to shoot from deep and his percentage is taking a hit, down from 34.5 percent a season ago to 10 percent this year. Booker needs to keep defenders honest by taking at least one or two attempts from three per game.
Burke is another Jazzman whose shooting percentages are looking great, especially from downtown. He’s continued to come off the bench nicely and add some scoring to the second unit. So where does Burke wish he could improve? The free throw line. Burke certainly doesn’t live at the line, but when he’s visiting the charity stripe, he’s only shooting 68 percent. If Burke wants to continue his success on offense, he needs to be more consistent from the free throw line.
As a rookie, Trey Lyles has more than just one thing he’d wish to improve, but he has shown flashes of what could be after a few years of development. Lyles has been rebounding the ball well and his bench celebrations are looking better each and every game. But like a few of his teammates, shooting consistency has been an issues for the rook. Currently, Lyles has a true shooting percentage of 36.7 percent. Although his shooting form suggests that his shot should start to fall on a more consistent basis in the future, I don’t doubt Lyles would rather have his shots go down now.