Salt City Hoops » Marvin Williams http://saltcityhoops.com The ESPN TrueHoop Utah Jazz Site Tue, 29 Jul 2014 21:47:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 The ESPN TrueHoop Utah Jazz Site Salt City Hoops no The ESPN TrueHoop Utah Jazz Site Salt City Hoops » Marvin Williams http://saltcityhoops.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://saltcityhoops.com/category/players/marvin-williams/ Is Marvin Williams’ Season Out of the Ordinary for His Career? http://saltcityhoops.com/is-marvin-williams-season-out-of-the-ordinary-for-his-career/ http://saltcityhoops.com/is-marvin-williams-season-out-of-the-ordinary-for-his-career/#comments Wed, 19 Mar 2014 20:07:50 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=10800 Author information
David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

As the Utah Jazz broadcasts begin, the starters introduce themselves. I imagine that many out there did not predict seeing Marvin Williams and Richard “NBA University of Arizona” being permanent members of the opening five. But with 14 games remaining, they have both been there most the season. And both have had their moments where they have played quite well.

Marvin Williams, especially, has been lauded by Jazz coaches and fans. He is one who occasionally shows some much-needed emotion for the team. His veteran presence and his positive attitude have been refreshing. His willingness to play power forward–often giving up some definite size to his opponents–has been great.

While there is much to be pleased about, is the on-court season Williams is having anything out of the ordinary for his career? I hate to temper the enthusiasm, but for the most part, the answer is no. Let’s take a look.

Williams’ first season in Utah was easily the least productive of his career. With an offense understandably centered around Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap and capable role players in Gordon Hayward, Mo Williams and Randy Foye, Williams was often the last option on the floor. His numbers are evidence of that.

This year, head coach Tyrone Corbin is using him in a very different role– a full-time stretch four (Williams has played very little at the small forward position, which is where the vast majority of his minutes came during the 2012-2013 campaign). There are also more opportunities, seeing as Jefferson, Millsap, Williams and Foye are toiling elsewhere.

Here are his raw statistics, along with his career numbers, with the help of Basketball Reference:

MP

FG%

FGA

3P%

3PA

FT%

FTA

RBD

AST

STL

BLK

TOV

PF

PTS

13-14

25.6

.441

8.2

.377

3.6

.797

1.1

5.1

1.2

0.8

0.5

0.9

2.3

9.5

Career

29.2

.447

8.7

.338

1.7

.805

3.1

5.1

1.3

0.8

0.5

1.1

2.2

10.8

Here are his numbers per 36 minutes:

FGA

3PA

FTA

RBD

AST

STL

BLK

TOV

PF

PTS

13-14

11.5

5.1

1.6

7.2

1.7

1.1

0.7

1.2

3.3

13.4

Career

10.8

2.1

3.8

6.3

1.6

0.9

0.6

1.4

2.7

13.4

As you can see, his numbers are eerily similar to his overall NBA marks. Williams is flourishing on his 3-point shooting–the second-best mark of his career while attempting a lot more. With his move inside, he is rebounding the ball above his career norms/36 minutes. But in everything else, Williams is right at (or even below) his career averages. His free throw attempts are by far the lowest of his career.

And lastly, for those analytics aficionados (which may or may not include some certain broadcasters), here are Williams’  advanced stats:

PER

TS%

eFG%

FTr

3PAr

TRB%

AST%

STL%

BLK%

TOV%

USG%

WS/48

13-14

14.5

.547

.525

.140

.445

11.5

8.0

1.6

1.6

9.0

17.0

.092

Career

13.6

.538

.479

.353

.190

10.3

7.2

1.4

1.2

10.0

17.7

.098

The advanced stats are a bit more favorable, with his PER being a bit above his career-average (third best of his career)–but below the overall NBA average. His eFG% is by far the best of his nine seasons, thanks to his perimeter marksmanship. Williams is rebounding the ball well. His 3-Point Attempt Rate is dramatically higher, while his Free Throw Rate is appallingly low–both byproducts of his role change. Everything else is pretty much status quo.

All in all, he’s having a nice season–but not an exceptional one. While Marvin Williams has been a bright spot for many, he is playing at a similar level seen during his years with the Atlanta Hawks

An unrestricted free agent in July, he has expressed a sincere interest in returning to Utah. His play merits a return, as he is a solid role player. My preference would be to see him be a spark off the bench, playing both forward positions.

Author information

David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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Alec Burks and Marvin Williams – Jazz Jolt Podcast http://saltcityhoops.com/alec-burks-and-marvin-williams-jazz-jolt-podcast/ http://saltcityhoops.com/alec-burks-and-marvin-williams-jazz-jolt-podcast/#comments Mon, 17 Feb 2014 16:10:43 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=10375 Author information
Andy Larsen
Andy Larsen
Andy Larsen is the Managing Editor of Salt City Hoops, the ESPN TrueHoop affiliate for the Utah Jazz. He also hosts a radio show of the same name every Saturday on 1280 AM.
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The play of Alec Burks and Marvin Williams might be the two most pleasant surprises for the Jazz this season. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The play of Alec Burks and Marvin Williams might be the two most pleasant surprises for the Jazz this season. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

As we’ve reached the all-star break, Andy Larsen and Ben Dowsett identified two players who have exceeded expectations for the Jazz this season: Alec Burks and Marvin Williams. We break down their improvement in this 20 minute podcast: how have they improved, and who deserves credit for the improvement? Does Ty Corbin deserve credit, the players themselves, even P3? We take a look at what’s going on with the two best surprises on the Jazz.

Author information

Andy Larsen
Andy Larsen
Andy Larsen is the Managing Editor of Salt City Hoops, the ESPN TrueHoop affiliate for the Utah Jazz. He also hosts a radio show of the same name every Saturday on 1280 AM.
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http://saltcityhoops.com/alec-burks-and-marvin-williams-jazz-jolt-podcast/feed/ 0 As we've reached the all-star break, Andy Larsen and Ben Dowsett identified two players who have exceeded expectations for the Jazz this season: Alec Burks and Marvin Williams. We break down their improvement in this 20 minute podcast: how have they im... As we've reached the all-star break, Andy Larsen and Ben Dowsett identified two players who have exceeded expectations for the Jazz this season: Alec Burks and Marvin Williams. We break down their improvement in this 20 minute podcast: how have they improved, and who deserves credit for the improvement? Does Ty Corbin deserve credit, the players themselves, even P3? We take a look at what's going on with the two best surprises on the Jazz. Salt City Hoops no 22:59
First Trimester Awards, Utah Jazz Style http://saltcityhoops.com/first-trimester-awards-utah-jazz-style/ http://saltcityhoops.com/first-trimester-awards-utah-jazz-style/#comments Thu, 19 Dec 2013 17:25:40 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=9211 Author information
David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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Jeremy Evans' dunk face is worthy of recognition. But is his game worthy of one of the Jazz's first Trimester Awards? Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Image

Jeremy Evans’ dunk face is worthy of recognition. But is his game worthy of one of the Jazz’s first Trimester Awards? Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Image

Each season, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein comes out with his trimester awards–recognizing the NBA’s high achievers–always a fun read. Make sure to give it a perusal when it comes out. Because this is Salt City Hoops, why not have some trimester awards for the Utah Jazz? And like Stein, this is based on the thoughts and votes of this “committee of one.”

Most Improved Player: Given the fact that every player is filling a different role than they did last season, there were numerous candidates for this honor. Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors are clearly the players head coach Tyrone Corbin is relying on the most and both have taken nice strides in their progression (with many more strides yet to come). Enes Kanter had a stellar start to the season before his injury curtailed things a bit. He’s now trying to regain that same confidence.

Jeremy Evans was considered here, but this award goes to Alec Burks. He simply has been tremendous (Laura Thompson reflected on his play recently). While he had a few weeks where he struggled, he has simply taken his game to an entirely new level. In December, the athletic guard is cutting and slashing his way to 16.8 PPG (50.4% FGs, 47.6% 3s, 79.4% FTs) along with 3.2 RPG and 2.9 APG. Take out his two subpar games last week versus San Antonio and Denver (cherrypicking stats is fun!), and Burks climbs to 19.3 PPG (56.8% FGs, 62.5% 3s), 3.4 APG and 3.4 RPG. Taking a closer look, he has increased his points/36 minutes from 14.3 last season to 17.1 this year. His AST% has improved from 13.0 to 17.0, while his TOV% has gone from 14.3 to 12.1. Corbin made a nice move playing him predominantly at the shooting guard position, which plays to his strengths as a scorer, while still enabling him ample opportunities to create for his teammate.

Most importantly, Burks is making the correct basketball play the majority of the time. He knows when he needs to facilitate and he knows when he needs to take things into his own hands. All in all, Burks has been one of the brightest aspects of Utah’s season thus far.

Sixth Man: While Burks could easily garner this honor, too, the nod goes to Jeremy Evans. He has more than answered my question last month about his becoming a rotational player. Evans is producing 7.8 PPG and 6.3 RPG off the pine, while playing his trademark active defense. He leads the team with an 18.8 PER mark. He’s never rebounded the ball better (16.9 TRB%), particularly on the defensive boards (20.7 DRB%), which has been a thorn in Utah’s side this year. His remarkable shooting upon returning to the line-up has dropped considerably, to a “paltry” 52.7%. Evans has shown a much improved mid-range jump shot, which opens up his game tremendously (3-point range is the next step). Like usual, he’s been injected energy and excitement in the game, but not just in short spurts. Evans is making an impact on the court.

Defensive Player: There’s no way to sugar coat things: the Jazz’s defense has been dismal. The team is 30th in DRTG (110.7) and are low in the Defense Four Factors: 3rd in TOV% (13.3), 26th in eFG% (.517), 29th in DRB% (72.1) and 28th in FT/FGA (.242). If you’re not into advanced statistics, simply put, Utah is having major struggles. As a result, this award may not as illustrious as it normally would be.

That said, Derrick Favors signed his extension in October with the hopes of his becoming the defensive anchor and he is starting to show that he can fulfill that role. Favors is too learning his new role as the main presence in the middle and is showing improvement as the weeks pass. His Basketball Reference DRTG is the best amongst regulars at 106, with a DWS of 0.7. While his blocked shots are down (1.4 BPG), he is on track toward registering 100 steals and 100 blocks this season.

Comeback Player: Ah, yes, one of the ambiguous awards of yesteryear. It often went to players maligned by injury or severe off-court issues. No one has earned this more than Marvin Williams, and not for either of those reasons. When Utah obtain Williams, hopes were high. He was coming off a nice season in Atlanta where his perimeter shooting was key to their success. While he may never live up to the lofty billing associated with being the #2 pick in a draft, he was shaping up to be a solid 30+ MPG contributor. Last season was a let-down for Williams, he had career-lows in points, minutes, field goal percentage and rebounds. He was relegated to being a jump shooter, while ignoring his abilities to slash or post-up.

Skip to this season. While it took him some time to work back into game shape, he has been perhaps the most consistent player for the Jazz this year. Placed in the stretch four role, he has helped improve things for the starting lineup. He is shooting 40.3% from long distance, which would be a career-high. But beyond that, he is using his underrated repertoire of moves to score inside the arc. Williams is having career years in 2P% (52.1%), TS% (57.1%) and eFG% (56.2%). He’s bumped up his usage rate, cut down his TOV% and is passing (9.5 AST%) and stealing (2.1 STL%) well. He has been the consummate veteran leader. In the Jazz wins, Williams has made some huge plays. It is wonderful to see him playing this well.

Rookie of the Trimester: None other than Trey Burke, who has come on the scene and demanded respect right away. The Jazz are just a different squad with him at the helm. His leadership on the floor is evident and his abilities to get the ball to his teammates where they want and need it is getting better each game. Like others, his shot selection needs some work, but he has no fear when it comes to crunch time. He is rebounding the ball extremely well from the point guard position, a big plus for a team that lacks on the boards. He can get overpowered at times by opposing guards, but he is improving in his positional defense. If he continues his recent play, he will be right there with Michael Carter-Williams and Victor Oladipo for the league’s Rookie of the Year award at season’s end.

Most Valuable Player: Much has been said for his shooting woes and his occasional lackluster game. That said, Gordon Hayward is my choice for the Jazz’s MVP of the first 27 games. Cases could honestly be made for Favors and Burks, but Hayward’s all-around game has blossomed: 16.9 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.6 APG and 1.3 SPG. He is passing at an elite level (22.0 AST%) and has stepped up in major ways on the boards (career-highs with 14.7 DRB% and 8.4 TRB%). Hayward’s USG% is 24.5 and he is having some growing pains being the focal point of the offense. Burke’s addition has alleviated some of the burden, but he is still adjusting. His errant shooting has to improve (a mere 40.5% from the field and 26.3% on treys), with better shot selection being a necessity. Moreover, his consistency needs to be…well, more consistent. All in all, though, Hayward has showed his abilities to be a leader for Utah, both for the now and the future.

Feel free to share your thoughts on who you think might be deserving of each of these trimester awards.

Author information

David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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Trey Burke, Marvin vs. Enes – Salt City Hoops Radio http://saltcityhoops.com/trey-burke-marvin-vs-enes-salt-city-hoops-radio/ http://saltcityhoops.com/trey-burke-marvin-vs-enes-salt-city-hoops-radio/#comments Fri, 13 Dec 2013 08:47:52 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=9140 Author information
Andy Larsen
Andy Larsen
Andy Larsen is the Managing Editor of Salt City Hoops, the ESPN TrueHoop affiliate for the Utah Jazz. He also hosts a radio show of the same name every Saturday on 1280 AM.
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Trey Burke is leading the Jazz to victory. But how good can the Jazz actually be? Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Trey Burke is leading the Jazz to victory. But how good can the Jazz actually be? Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

On our inaugural episode of the Salt City Hoops Midweek podcast, Andy Larsen invites Salt City Hoops writers Clint Johnson and Ben Dowsett on the show to talk about the causes of the Jazz’s recent success. Is Trey Burke really this good? Is his performance (and his turnover rate) sustainable? How much of the team’s resurgence should he receive credit for? Then we talk about Marvin Williams insertion into the lineup. Certainly, it’s been successful, but is it the right move? In particular, should Enes Kanter or Alec Burks (or both) be starting instead? How much does this (or does it) hurt Enes Kanter’s development? Finally, we talk about the ceiling of this year’s Jazz. How good are the Jazz with Burke’s return and with Williams in the starting lineup? All that and more on our special Midweek Podcast!

;

Author information

Andy Larsen
Andy Larsen
Andy Larsen is the Managing Editor of Salt City Hoops, the ESPN TrueHoop affiliate for the Utah Jazz. He also hosts a radio show of the same name every Saturday on 1280 AM.
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http://saltcityhoops.com/trey-burke-marvin-vs-enes-salt-city-hoops-radio/feed/ 0 On our inaugural episode of the Salt City Hoops Midweek podcast, Andy Larsen invites Salt City Hoops writers Clint Johnson and Ben Dowsett on the show to talk about the causes of the Jazz's recent success. Is Trey Burke really this good? On our inaugural episode of the Salt City Hoops Midweek podcast, Andy Larsen invites Salt City Hoops writers Clint Johnson and Ben Dowsett on the show to talk about the causes of the Jazz's recent success. Is Trey Burke really this good? Is his performance (and his turnover rate) sustainable? How much of the team's resurgence should he receive credit for? Then we talk about Marvin Williams insertion into the lineup. Certainly, it's been successful, but is it the right move? In particular, should Enes Kanter or Alec Burks (or both) be starting instead? How much does this (or does it) hurt Enes Kanter's development? Finally, we talk about the ceiling of this year's Jazz. How good are the Jazz with Burke's return and with Williams in the starting lineup? All that and more on our special Midweek Podcast! ; Salt City Hoops no 33:56
Can Jeremy Evans be a Rotational Player? http://saltcityhoops.com/can-jeremy-evans-be-a-rotational-player/ http://saltcityhoops.com/can-jeremy-evans-be-a-rotational-player/#comments Thu, 21 Nov 2013 19:17:38 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=8728 Author information
David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

For a team in need of some good news, the Utah Jazz received some yesterday: rookie point guard Trey Burke made his official NBA debut versus the New Orleans Pelicans. While the highly-anticipated return by Burke from his broken finger is understandably receiving the most attention and accompanying headlines, there was a second boost in morale in the form of Jeremy Evans also being deemed healthy.

All eyes are naturally be focused on Burke, but many ardent Jazz fans are eager to see how Evans performs this season. During the off-season, given the turnover on Utah’s roster (particularly in the front court), it was believed that the high-flying forward might finally have a spot in the regular line-up. Now will be the chance to see if that happens.

All this leads to some big questions. Is Jeremy Evans a bonafide rotational player in the NBA? Can he be more than a situational guy who has the knack for making highlight reel plays?

Evans is a tremendous joy to watch. He is always flashing a smile and it’s clear that he has a love for the game of basketball. He seems to be the consummate locker room presence, always encouraging his teammates and never causing a bit of discord. His sheer athleticism and out-of-this-world leaping ability quickly made him a fan favorite. Earl Watson’s alley was nothing without Jeremy Evans’ oop. While some pundits minimize his Slam Dunk championship due to a somewhat diluted field of competitors, he still won it, fair-and-square. He’s had his fair share of in-game highlights, too. Who can forget this one?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_CVAJBIwTA&autoplay=0]

And while it didn’t count, here’s this, as well.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HBfdbxmKrk&autoplay=0]

Through his first three seasons, Evans has seen minimal court time. In fact, his playing time has decreased each passing season. All in all, he has registered a mere 895 minutes in 115 games–7.8 MPG. While his playing time has been inconsistent, Evans has managed to produce when his name has been called. He boasts a career 64.7 percent shooting mark for his career, while putting up 2.7 PPG and 1.8 RPG in his stints. There have been games where foul trouble or injuries paved the way for some appearances and he simply injected energy into the game.

He is an advanced stats’ darling. Over his three campaigns, Evans has a True Shooting Percentage of .659 and an Effective Field Goal Percentage of .647. He earns trips to the free throw line, too, as evidenced by his .750 Free Throw Attempt Rate last year. A smart shot-blocker with fine defensive instincts, Evans has a 4.8 Block Percentage, including 8.8 his second season. While some reserves have some sparkling advanced stats, he has produced his consistently over three seasons, which shows his potential to do some good things.

Evans could possibly play both forward positions for spells. Power forward has been where he’s logged the most time thus far in his career. While his slight frame causes issues inside–he can get pushed around and sometimes accrues fouls as a result–his speed and agility partially compensate. For him to play the small forward spot, Evans will have to evolve a bit. In the summer league and preseason, Evans displayed a much-improved jump shot, though his handle is a bit spotty. He will need to show that he can keep defenses honest if he is to assume some time at the three.

The Jazz’s front court depth could lead to Evans seeing an increased role. As expected, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter are getting the lion’s share of playing time. Richard Jefferson has had a mini rejuvenation, but has not been consistent. Marvin Williams’ return has helped and he’s seen time as a stretch four. Mike Harris has been a surprise, but is limited. Given this line-up, Evans could demand minutes once he gets more into game-shape and could quickly take the time that Harris has been given. It’ll then be up to him to demonstrate what he is capable of in a more expansive role.

This season has been branded by some as a season of discovery– a chance to see what each player on the roster can do. Every individual on the team has or will assume a new niche in the rotation, and Jeremy Evans is not an exception. Will he become a rotational player? We will find out over the coming months.

Author information

David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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JazzRank #7: Marvin Williams http://saltcityhoops.com/jazzrank-7-marvin-williams/ http://saltcityhoops.com/jazzrank-7-marvin-williams/#comments Thu, 17 Oct 2013 21:00:32 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=7776 Author information
Dan Clayton
Dan Clayton
Dan covered Utah Jazz basketball for more than 10 years, including as a radio analyst for the team’s Spanish-language broadcasts from 2010 to 2014. He now lives and works in New York City where his hobbies include complaining about League Pass, finding good doughnut shops and dishing out assists for the Thoreau It Down team in the Word Bookstore basketball league.
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Editor’s note: This is the seventh in the annual series from Salt City Hoops ranking the current players on the Utah Jazz roster. Throughout the preseason, we’ll count up through the current Jazz roster, from worst to first, profiling each player as we go along. The profiles are individually written by Salt City Hoops’ staff of writers, while the ranking was selected by me (Andy Larsen). To go through JazzRank articles from this or past preseasons, visit our JazzRank category page. Marvin Williams is #7.

If you believed the summer 2012 rhetoric about Marvin Williams (and let’s be honest, most of you did), the move to the mountains was supposed to work wonders for the former #2 pick. The story went like this: after settling for seconds on a system-less, iso-heavy Hawks team for seven seasons, the Jazz’s structure was supposed to get more out of Marvin than Atlanta ever got.

And all that might have been true if the Jazz were still the structured, systematic squad we imagine them to be, but Marv didn’t come to that Jazz. He came to the JefferJazz.

As I’ve laid out before, the 2010-2013 version of Jazz basketball was more jumper-focused and slow-paced than its predecessors, so we probably all had the story wrong as we looked down our noises at Atlanta; turns out the system-less, iso-heavy team was Marv’s new team, not the old one.

In fact, in many ways the 2012-13 Jazz was the worst team to accommodate Williams’ strengths. He’s primary a left-side spot shooter and a baseline cutter, neither of which are really available on a team where the offensive identify is to stick the ball on the left block and then wait for one guy to create.

The spacing killed his left-corner J. He only shot 67 left corner threes/long twos with an effective FG% of .463, down from .551 a year prior. It also meant he had to move a high volume of his corner attempts (54) to the right side of the floor where he was far less efficient (.370).

Slasher Marvin disappeared, too. Williams got off only 161 attempts at the rim, the lowest figure of his entire career, even counting the lockout season or his rookie year when he came off the bench. In the JefferJazz system, there just wasn’t a clean baseline for Williams to cut or space for him to finish.

The result of all this is predictable: Williams’ worst year by far, almost across the board. He had career lows in PER, win shares, points per game, points per 36, rebounds per game, rebounds per 36, shooting, free throw attempts and minutes played.

It was supposed to be a career resurrection, and instead it was career quicksand.

Hope for a Second Second Chance

If last year we imagined what Williams would do with a second chance, we should be talking about this year as his second second chance.

We don’t know precisely how the system will change this year, but we do know that the ball won’t stick to the low block for 8, 10, 12, 14 seconds. Ball movement figures to be better. However snooty we want to be about Atlanta’s alleged systemlessness compared to the Jazz, their assist ratio over the last three seasons (17.0) is better than Utah’s (16.3).

What we probably learned about Marvin above all last year is that it’s unrealistic to expect him to suddenly look the part of a #2 pick; but he could get back to his Atlanta self, which was a pretty decent role player.

Let’s look at Marvin’s own baseline in his most successful seasons – I would say based on overall stats including PER and WS/48 that we’re talking about 2008-09 and 2011-12. Here is a picture of Marvin Williams in those years:

  • He was getting to the rim. In ’08-’09, he had 4.2 attempts per game at or around the bucket and in the lockout-shortened ’11-12 campaign he still attempted 3.1. Last year he only had 2.2 shots per game in the basket area.
  • He was fearless in late game situations (as opposed to his Utah days where he barely saw the floor in late game situations). He shot an unreal .786 on jumpers in clutch time per 82games.com in ’08-09, and even in the lockout year he shot well above average at .525. Most of those were assisted, so he’s not necessarily creating his own shot, but he was an important clutch pressure valve who wasn’t afraid to take — and make — a big shot when the ball came to him.
  • About a third of his playing time in those two season came at the 4. While he definitely defends SFs better, his PER at the PF position is in the high teens, compared to a fairly average PER in his SF minutes.
  • He got to the line. In those two years combined, he averaged 5.5 FTA per 48 minutes. Last year in Utah, it was half that: 2.8.
  • In both years he rewarded his team with nice spacing out of the left corner. His combined eFG% on left corner threes and long twos was .500 in ’08-09 and .551 in ’11-12.
  • He benefitted from early shot opportunities. Over 40% of his attempts in those two years were in the first 10 seconds of the possession (meaning likely in transition or the secondary break) and he shot .573 on those attempts. He averaged 4.3 of his points on those shots in the two seasons we’re looking at, versus 2.6 in Utah. Playing with a team that ran was supposed to help Marvin, but we never saw the change in tempo that was discussed in last fall’s training camp.

Leadership

Another way that Williams’ contribution was limited last year is in the leadership department. He doesn’t come across as hugely outgoing, but he has good knowledge for the game and is generally prepared very well for opponents. In Al Jefferson’s locker room — and, to be fair, partly because he was having a bad year – he didn’t have much of a voice.

That’s too bad. I think Marv is one of the more insightful guys in that locker room, and with the offseason changes he definitely becomes one of the more experienced ones, too. I didn’t talk to Williams a ton last season, but whenever I did, he was thoughtful and thorough, really thinking the game through. When I’d talk to him about different trends in the offense or defense, he’d really analyze things with me and point to specifics (something players rarely do). He has an ability to slow things down and recognize that I think could really help the young stars-to-be on the team. And on a team where he, Brandon Rush and John Lucas III are the veterans, he’ll definitely have that chance.

Defense

As hard as defense is to measure, I know two things with relative certainty: 1) Williams had a bad year on the defensive end, too; and 2) even so, his instincts and techniques as an on-ball wing defender are top-notch.

Synergy has him at a pretty awful .92 defensive PPP, but this is one of those areas where I think Synergy has a huge blind spot that’s obvious when you look at play types. Williams is top third in the league in every defensive category except for spot-ups, where he’s 353rd. The thing is, by very nature, the spot-up shooter is the guy who is left open when defenses collapse, so more often than not, an open jumper by a spot shooter is the fault of the helper’s helper not rotating, but Synergy assigns it to the first guy.

In a nutshell, that’s why it’s hard to understand Williams’ exact defensive value: because most of his minutes were alongside the Jazz’s worst team defenders. Even still, the Jazz’s defense was better with him on the court than off (+1.5 per 100 possessions) and there were several games where he obviously limited opposing wings.

If he plays more PF this season, it may again be difficult to rate him fairly, but I think Williams is quietly one of the better wing defenders out there, in a way that the numbers don’t fully show unless you look deeper.

Summary

If I’m looking for upside factors for the ’13-14 Jazz, guys who could potentially offer a lot more than we’re expecting and thus help the Jazz surprise some people, Marvin is pretty near the top of my list. I don’t think he’ll ever look like someone who should have been drafted ahead of Deron Williams and Chris Paul, but the 10.9 PER version of Williams who added an estimated 2.3 wins to the Jazz’s total is not the real guy, either.

Williams will either supplant a Jazz youngster in the starting lineup or else he’ll be a top option among bench players. Either way, he won’t be inconspicuously hidden in an offense that seems uniquely designed to equalize his strengths.

Put another way: if the Jazz wind up exceeding some expectations this upcoming season, it’s probably going to be at least in part because Marvin Williams returned to his Atlanta levels of productivity, set the tone defensively, and contributed to the culture in the locker room.

Author information

Dan Clayton
Dan Clayton
Dan covered Utah Jazz basketball for more than 10 years, including as a radio analyst for the team’s Spanish-language broadcasts from 2010 to 2014. He now lives and works in New York City where his hobbies include complaining about League Pass, finding good doughnut shops and dishing out assists for the Thoreau It Down team in the Word Bookstore basketball league.
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Utah Jazz Positional Battles: The Starters http://saltcityhoops.com/utah-jazz-positional-battles-the-starters/ http://saltcityhoops.com/utah-jazz-positional-battles-the-starters/#comments Wed, 02 Oct 2013 21:47:20 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=7869 Author information
David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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The season is, at long-last, finally here. Media day is in the books, two-a-days are going, and Saturday’s annual scrimmage will give the public the first look at the new era of Utah Jazz basketball. In less than a week, the first of at least 86 broadcasts will be on television sets and Internet streams everywhere. It’s like Christmas time for NBA fans.

There is a lot of excitement in the air. There always is at this time of the year, but there is more this season. The mix of anticipation, uncertainty, and optimism is palpable. The time has come for the Jazz to see what they have in their young guys. Given the fact that there has been so much roster turnover this off-season, some of the main storylines in Utah’s camp will be positional battles. Who will fit what role?

In a two-part series, I’ll break down my prognostications. The first half will focus on the starting five, while the second will outline the reserves.

STARTING POINT GUARD

Candidates: Trey Burke, John Lucas III

My friends Andy Larsen, Austin Horton, and Daniel Tate did a nice job dissecting this particular topic on last week’s Salt City Hoops Saturday Show. I too think there is little debate here: my guess is Trey Burke will show that he is the guy from the get-go. We can delve into history, but it really is a new day and mindset (while Jerry Sloan did opt for Keith McLeod and Milt Palacio over Deron Williams, he has since admitted that he should’ve gone with DWill from the start). With the emphasis on youth, Burke will be given the keys from day one and Tyrone Corbin and company will see what they have in their high profile rookie point guard. Side note: I love hearing about Burke’s (and Alec Burks’) time with legend John Stockton. That tutoring seems to be impactful already.

Prediction: Trey Burke

STARTING SHOOTING GUARD

Candidates: Alec Burks, Brandon Rush, Gordon Hayward

This could be the most intriguing and suspenseful battle going forward. By many accounts, Alec Burks has been one of the most impressive guys this off-season, including his hard work at P3. That bodes well for Burks, who could potentially see the biggest boosts in on-court production this season (seeing as he has proven the least thus far in his career of the young players). If he can come in and show his improvement in defense, ballhandling, and shooting, this spot may be his for the taking. Brandon Rush brings a lot to the table. A self-stated “3-and-D” guy, Rush’s combination of perimeter prowess and defensive effort could be a big boon for the Jazz. While he is cleared for full contact, the Jazz will probably (and wisely so) be cautious. One of Gordon Hayward’s biggest strengths is his versatility. While I personally prefer him at shooting guard, given the personnel at each spot, it makes more sense at the three. I see Corbin starting out with Burks in the opening five, but continually analyzing things as the season progresses. There may come a time where Burks’ offense might be more needed off the bench, while Rush’s skills could compliment the starters.

Prediction: Alec Burks

STARTING SMALL FORWARD

Candidates: Gordon Hayward, Marvin Williams, Richard Jefferson

Again, there seems little to question here. Gordon Hayward is the leader of the team now and should be the opening day small forward starter. The only scenario where this doesn’t happen is if the aforementioned prediction does not occur and Corbin slots Hayward in at shooting guard. If that happened, it would be a curious competition between two vets in Marvin Williams and Richard Jefferson. Both can shoot from the outside, but if his health is there, Williams’ defense and familiarity would probably give him the edge.

Prediction: Gordon Hayward

STARTING POWER FORWARD and STARTING CENTER

Candidates: Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter

The decisions to not bring back Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap clearly paved the way for the Favors and Kanter show. There will be times where these two will be interchangeable at the power positions. It will be exciting to see how they can mesh together, given how relatively little they’ve been paired up in the their young careers. Defensively, they could be formidable. The offense, however, will be something to watch carefully. Can Favors become more consistent? Will Kanter’s offensively elite play as a reserve translate in a much more prominent role? One thing that will be a delight: these two should dominate the boards.

By the way, how wonderful was it to see images of Karl Malone working with not only this duo, but Jeremy Evans, Rudy Gobert, and Andris Biedrins? It gets me giddy.

Predictions: Derrick Favors at PF and Enes Kanter at C

The youth movement is officially underway.

Stay tuned for the second installment, covering the positional battles off the bench.

Author information

David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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2013-2014 Utah Jazz Predictions http://saltcityhoops.com/2013-2014-utah-jazz-predictions/ http://saltcityhoops.com/2013-2014-utah-jazz-predictions/#comments Wed, 14 Aug 2013 22:19:43 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=7402 Author information
David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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This is the time of the year that most Utah Jazz fans dread. The part of the year that bridges the draft and free agency with training camp can be downright rough. The one saving grace is that each passing day brings us closer to having the Jazz back in our lives more fully.

If anything, it is a fun time for predictions. I mean, everyone’s doing it. Many out there are using the summer doldrums as a time to share a broad range of predictions. For example, ESPN thinks the Jazz will finish 13th in the West, while Trey Burke will come in second for the Rookie of Year award (Chad Ford actually has Burke finishing seventh). It does make for some interesting reading. It is enjoyable to consider what might be.

So, in the same vein, here are a few of my Utah Jazz predictions. Some will be bold, some will be the opposite. Heavens, some will even be fun. Let’s get started:

Gordon Hayward will lead the team in assists: But just barely. I think Trey Burke will be able to come in and help direct this young team very well. That said, I think Hayward will have the ball in his hands a lot, especially as a (if not “the”) focal point of the offense, and as a result, will compile some strong assist totals from the wing positions. Hayward’s abilities to see the court and deliver the ball are perhaps his biggest strengths. In past seasons, it was evident how much smoother the offense flowed when Hayward was in the game.

Hayward will also lead the team in scoring: While all four returning young guys will see a big jump in production (I suppose that’s a prediction right there), Hayward is the heir apparent as the leading scorer. Not only does he have the better body of evidence, but he also has the most varied offensive repertoire. He can shoot the three-pointer, can take it to the hole, frequently gets to the line, and is working on his mid-range game. Alec Burks, whether he starts or comes off the bench, will finish second.    

Utah will be represented well at All-Star Weekend: Summer league struggles are summer league struggles. It would take a lot for Trey Burke to not play in the Rising Stars Challenge no-defense game. In fact, I do feel he will be the second Jazz player to win the Rookie of the Year award (Darrell Griffith being the first). Burke, due to his huge collegiate popularity, will also participate in the Skills Challenge. I think Jeremy Evans will return to the dunk contest. Hayward will be an All-Star game snub, since the Jazz’s record will be a factor.

The Jazz will honor Jerry Sloan this year: Now that Coach Sloan is back in the fold in an official capacity, this will be the year where a jersey honoring the Dean of Coaching will be hoisted to the ESA rafters. And Jerry will get emotional.

The Jazz will be a top three shot-blocking team: Utah ranked fifth last year (6.3 bpg), so a slight uptick is very feasible. While losing Al Jefferson’s 1.14 and Paul Millsap’s 1.03 averages will hurt, they have the personnel to do the job. Derrick Favors playing a more prominent role will automatically help. He averaged 1.69 in just 23.2 mpg last season, which translated over to 2.62 per 36 minutes. (Another quick prediction here: Favors will earn some All-Defensive team mentions, but won’t make it this season.)

Beyond Favors, the Jazz have many others who will help the cause. And no matter how the minutes fall, they could each contribute. Rudy Gobert may have some struggles offensively, but he has the abilities to be an immediate defensive presence. Andris Biedrins was able to swat 0.79 shots in a mere 9.3 mpg (let’s not dwell on the fact he had 42 blocked shots compared to a mere 24 points last season…). Based on last year’s rates, Jeremy Evans could get a block per 15 minutes of PT. Kanter should be able to get one or two. And don’t underestimate Hayward and Brandon Rush adding to the mix (0.9 bpg during Rush’s last full season).

A lot of teams will be beating themselves over not drafting or signing Ian Clark: One of the reasons Clark chose the Jazz was because he knew he’d be given an opportunity to not only make an NBA roster, but to contribute. Given his ability to shoot the ball, I can see Clark becoming a rotation player. It may not be right away, but by December, Clark will be playing some valuable minutes.

Dennis Lindsey will orchestrate at least one notable mid-season trade: Utah has a litany of assets at their disposal: a bevy of draft picks, $31 million+ in expirings, and young guys with lots of upside. While the Jazz have not made many deals involving expiring contracts (last February being a prime example), there is a new sheriff in town who may be willing to swing such a transaction if it brought back an impactful player or perhaps even more future assets. For example, I can easily see Marvin Williams playing a bigger role this year. He might be someone who could be attractive to a contender needing SF help come trade deadline time.

Despite the growing pains, this will be an exciting team for Jazz fans to rally around: Optimism is very high, despite the fact that expectations are the opposite. At a minimum, Utah will be able to determine what they have in each of the young guys, and even the expiring veterans. We all remember that overachieving squad the year after #12 and #32 left. I’m not saying that this team will finish .500 like that team did, but in similar fashion, their hustle, effort, and personalities will win over Jazz fans. The Jazz will go 30-52 and the season will be viewed as a success.

Now some quick ones:

  • To help with the whole Burke and Burks thing, Craig Bolerjack and Matt Harpring will be electrically shocked every time they use the wrong name.
  • Favors will average a double-double. Kanter will not. But watch out the following year, world.
  • Gobert will win the rookie dance-off in December, performing the Snake. The video will go viral that night.
  • Biedrins will show he can still be a serviceable back-up big man.
  • Hayward will enlighten us with another full slate of Fresh Market ads that will dazzle and entertain. There will be immense rejoicing in the land.
  • Jeremy Evans will prove to be more than a highlight dunker. With an improved jump shot, Evans will show he belongs in the league.
  • Tyrone Corbin will finish the season as the head coach.
  • Gobert’s wingspan and/or standing reach will be mentioned 7,653 times, most of them by the Jazz broadcasters.
  • For the third straight season, Utah fanatics will watch the Golden State situation with eagerness. An injury will curtail the Warriors’ season a bit, but not enough to bring the Jazz a second lottery pick. Late teens would be my guess.
  • Hayward, Favors, Kanter, and Burks will all receive Most Improved Player votes, but none will win it.
  • Kevin O’Connor will sign an extension, but will continue to take a gradually smaller role.
  • We will see a sharp increase in Jazz fan Twitter etiquette.

Feel free to share your own predictions, whether big or small, serious or humorous, in the comments. Share them with the Jazz world!

And if it took you five minutes to read this, congrats. You’re now five minutes closer to the 2013-14 season.

Author information

David J Smith
David J Smith
Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News (instant analysis articles), WeAreUtahJazz.com, UtahJazz360.com and previously for Hoopsworld.com. He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. His wife, Elizabeth, is the most patient person in the world and they have four amazing children; Kadence, Tayah, Stockton (yes, really), and Cambria.
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2013-14 Utah Jazz: Figuring out a Rotation http://saltcityhoops.com/2013-14-utah-jazz-figuring-out-a-rotation/ http://saltcityhoops.com/2013-14-utah-jazz-figuring-out-a-rotation/#comments Tue, 06 Aug 2013 20:52:54 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=7327 Author information
Denim Millward
Denim Millward
Denim Millward, before SCH, wrote for Bleacher Report about the Jazz and the NBA. Despite this, he is actually a good writer, and we promise we will eschew the slideshow format on this site. He also contributes to The Color Commentator Magazine, and strangely, likes wrestling.
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In a season that most anticipate to be a rebuilding effort for the Jazz, the prime objective seems to be giving the young core as much playing time as reasonably possible.  Despite this clear path, Utah’s rotation is, as my high school Geometry teacher Mr. Dolkhani so eloquently put it, “clear as mud.”

Barring injury, the starting lineup seems to be already determined.  It’s when you look at the second unit that things start to become muddled, with numerous possibilities to consider.  Who’s the first point guard off the bench?  How much playing time will the Overpaid Duo (Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson) get?  Exactly how good does the Jazz think Ian Clark can be?  When he returns, where does Marvin Williams fit in?

In an effort to bring a small modicum of clarity to the situation, I’ve broken down each position for the starting and second units and who will/may inhabit those positions.

Starting Point Guard:  Trey Burke

It’s a little ironic that the position of biggest need for Utah is among the surest things, at least in the starting lineup.  Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey traded up to nab the former Michigan Wolverine, and then brought in one average-at-best veteran point guard, John Lucas III, for depth.  It’s obvious Burke will get and keep the starting point guard gig barring injury, tremendous struggles at the position or a meteoric rise at point by Burks or Clark.

Starting Shooting Guard:  Alec Burks

Other Possibilities:  Brandon Rush, Gordon Hayward

Get ready, Burks fans.  Alec is about to have a bunch of minutes allocated to him, and will get a chance to showcase his talents.  I feel less confident about this spot, however, than I do about the point guard position for a few reasons.  Newcomer Brandon Rush is by far the most useful of the triumvirate acquired from Golden State.  Depending on how he performs and how much Utah’s second unit struggles to score, I could see Jazz head coach Ty Corbin opting to give Rush the starting nod for his perimeter defense and three-point shooting acumen and utilizing Burks’ scoring ability to inject life into a potentially anemic bench squad. No matter if he starts, Burks is in line for the biggest role increase on the team.  Gordon Hayward is another possibility at the starting 2-guard spot, but I can’t see him pushing Burks or Rush out of the position due to the lack of depth at small forward.

Starting Small Forward:  Gordon Hayward

Everyone’s favorite Starcraft player is now the Jazz’s elder statesman, and will be expected to have a much larger leadership role following the mass exodus of veterans from the Utah ranks this offseason.  Hayward is about as sure a thing to start at small forward as possible considering the dearth of true small forwards on the team.  Marvin Williams will miss the first portion of the season recovering from an Achilles tendon injury, and it’s already being postulated that Williams could be utilized as a stretch 4 off the bench.  Considering Richard Jefferson is the only other pure small forward (Rush can play 3 in a pinch, but seems better suited at 2), and Hayward’s starting position is solidified.

Starting Power Forward:  Derrick Favors

Starting Center:  Enes Kanter

It’s so inconceivable for a healthy Favors or Kanter not to start, I’ll just say this:  I’m all geeked up to see what they can do this season while given starter’s minutes.

Here is where things get messy.

Backup Point Guard:  John Lucas III

Other Possibilities:  Alec Burks, Ian Clark

I gave the nod to Lucas for the simple fact that he’s the only other pure point guard on the roster.  Even if Lucas starts the season as the floor general for the bench unit, it would not at all surprise me to see him supplanted by Alec Burks or even undrafted free agent Ian Clark.  Clark especially intrigues me at this position.   At 6’3” and 175 lbs, he may be undersized to guard the bigger shooting guards in the league, which may cause Corbin to play him at point if his performance demands significant minutes every game.

Backup Shooting Guard: Brandon Rush

Other Possibilities:  Ian Clark, Alec Burks

With Burks penciled in as starting shooting guard, logic dictates that Rush would be the first off-guard off the bench.  An established veteran with good defensive and shooting skills, Rush could prove to be a valuable piece for the Utah Jazz beyond this season.  Throw in the fact that it’s a contract year for Rush, and he has more than enough incentive to excel in any and every situation in which he’s put.

Backup Small Forward:  Marvin Williams

Other Possibilities: Richard Jefferson, Jeremy Evans

Until Marvin Williams returns from injury, it will be interesting (and probably a little ugly) to see what Corbin & Co. can cobble together.  Jefferson is coming off a year in which he was barely used, and certainly has seen his best days as a player.  Prior to last season, Jefferson had shot a good percentage from three.  If he can find his shooting stroke once again, he may be a serviceable replacement.  Evans saw a few minutes last year at small forward, and is a possibility, albeit a remote one, to fill in at 3.

Backup Big Men:  Andris Biedrins, Rudy Gobert

Other Possibilities: Jeremy Evans, Marvin Williams

For a young and raw player, Rudy Gobert appears to be headed for a significant amount of minutes and a crash course in NBA basketball.  With his unbelievable wingspan and high motor, his defensive presence should allow him to remain on the court, despite his fledgling offensive game.

Biedrins and Evans seem to be in competition for the final rotation spot at one of the posts.  It seems too offensively detrimental to play Biedrins and Gobert together, but Jeremy Evans is no Adrian Dantley himself.  Marvin could certainly be a passable stretch 4, but the aforementioned dearth of depth at 3 could force Corbin’s hand.

 

 

Author information

Denim Millward
Denim Millward
Denim Millward, before SCH, wrote for Bleacher Report about the Jazz and the NBA. Despite this, he is actually a good writer, and we promise we will eschew the slideshow format on this site. He also contributes to The Color Commentator Magazine, and strangely, likes wrestling.
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JazzRank 5: Marvin Williams http://saltcityhoops.com/jazzrank-5-marvin-williams/ http://saltcityhoops.com/jazzrank-5-marvin-williams/#comments Tue, 13 Nov 2012 18:43:13 +0000 http://saltcityhoops.com/?p=5713 Author information
Jackson Rudd
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Having rooted for Marvin Williams for 8 games now, I have a slightly better understanding of why Atlanta’s fans always had such high expectations for him. He looks amazing doing everything. His shot looks incredibly smooth, his defense looks like it is impenetrable, and he never seems like he’s out of control. Thankfully, we don’t have any draft remorse so he should be fine with Jazz fans, but it’s still worth mentioning. After Utah traded for him in July, I moped around for two days because Devin Harris got kicked out the door after carrying the Jazz to the playoffs, and then I realized that Marvin Williams is one of the most interesting, compelling players that has ever played for Utah and I lost my head and compared his career to one of the greatest bands of our generation.

Offseason Accomplishments:  Was the nicest guy ever in his introductory press conference after he was traded to the Jazz; made a bunch of threes in the preseason.

Patronus:  Dolphin

Stat to Watch:  Defensive Rating.  While his outside shooting is really important to Utah’s success, his most important contribution will come if he turns out to be the lock-down defensive wing the Jazz have been missing.  He should really thrive on D guarding small forwards all the time after Atlanta put him at power forward where he was at a disadvantage guarding bigger guys.

Three Potential Outcomes of the Season:

1. He averages 10 or 12 points per game, 27 minutes a night, and always sits in crunch time.  He is neither a huge addition or a huge liability; he falls into a moderate role and is neither loved nor reviled by the Jazz universe.  His three-point shooting is average, his rebounding is average, his defense is average.  He picks up his player option for next season and everyone shrugs.

2. He steps up on the defensive end and starts locking down people like DeMar DeRozan.  Between his perimeter defense and an increasing role for Derrick Favors, Utah starts to build an identity around being a defensive juggernaut. Having actually found an identity, the Jazz live up to their potential and earn the fourth seed in the playoffs, making it to the second round before losing to the Spurs again…  though we’d actually win at least one game this time.

3. As Randy Foye keeps shooting well (and plentifully) from long range, Ty Corbin decides to go in the complete opposite direction and benches Marvin so that Mo, Foye, Hayward, Millsap, and Jefferson can score lots of points and give up even more points.  Marvin, Favors, Kanter and Burks consider starting their own Utopian basketball team where everyone- young and old, expiring contract or rookie contract- is free to play basketball according to their abilities.  The Jazz miss the playoffs and Marvin is sad.

Author information

Jackson Rudd
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