As the Utah Jazz enter a season with high expectations, what does success look like for individual players?
Success for the team will be measured by things such as making the playoffs and improving the core. But success at an individual level can be defined differently for each Jazz player as they approach 2016-17. For some it’s a number, for others it is getting the chance to play. Whether the measures are qualitative or quantitative, there are different achievements that would be cause for celebration for each guy.
There are no real rules to it, but here are ideas as to what we’d call a good season from the Jazz’s players, as well as some stretch goals they should be shooting for this year.
A successful season for Gordon is all about him coming back to play on time and staying healthy. Supposing he misses 15-20 games from this injury, we will go with a middle 18, that leaves 64 games to play. A successful season for him is playing over 60 regular-season games.
Special Super Successful Season Stretch Goal: Per game increases of 2 points, 1 rebound and 1 assist over last year. That would amount to a 21-6-5 year that would constitute All-Star numbers and a great season.
Successful Stat Line: 19 ppg, 5 rpg, 4 apg and an effective field goal rate over 50%.
Success here comes in a different form, without a specific number attached: if he can be left on the court to finish games, his season will be successful. This basically comes down to free throw shooting. If he can keep his preseason percentage going into the regular season, he can stay in tight games with less than 2:00 on the clock.
SSSSSG: Making the All-Defensive Team.
SSL: 11 ppg, 11 rpg, over 2.5 bpg and 70% free throw shooting.
Can I recycle Gordon’s goal? Anyone? Judges? Is anyone here?? Since I can’t get an answer I’ll assume I can recycle Hayward’s goal of getting and staying healthy. Basketball-Reference has his projected numbers at 18.3 points and 9.4 rebounds per 36 minutes — really, really good stats. He’ll get his numbers, but he needs to get his games in. Last season he played 62 games, and ideally he would miss fewer than those 20 games this season.
SSL: 17 ppg, 8.5 rpg and 65 games played.
This number is a little easier: Hood needs to take the next step in shooting. If he can hit 37 percent of his threes, (which might actually be low if other playmakers emerge) his points could go up to the area of 17 ppg.
SSL: 14.5 ppg, 37% 3-point shooting, 3 rpg and 2.5 apg.
Hill’s success scenario is a harder one to peg. Yes, the Jazz would love assists, but he won’t be the only ball handler. They want his shooting, but it’s expected. Hill’s success will be built on how well everyone else plays with him on the court: such as a team Offensive Rating of 110 or more while he is on the court.
SSL: 12 ppg, 39% 3-point shooting, 5 apg, 111 O-Rtg.
Hit those shots. Joe has been clutch over the course of his career and can hit his deep balls. The Jazz will need both. His shot totals will go down, but he needs to be hovering around 40 percent from deep and at least make defenders aware of him in the clutch. He could see a lot of clutch minutes, and needs to make them count.
SSL: 9 PPG, 40% 3-pt shooting, at least one game-winner1.
Success for Dante is playing. If he plays over 75 games, he is right on track. Hopefully he gets to close some of those games. Simple as that.
SSL: 75 GP, 25 MPG
See Exum, Dante. (Sometimes you really forget how unhealthy this team was last year.)
SSL: 11 PPG, 70 GP
His successful season will be riding his momentum from the last few months of last season. If he can retain the same trajectory, or even just do what he did in that time, he should represent the Jazz at the Rookie-Sophomore game at All-Star Weekend, and could even get votes for Most Improved Player2.
SSL: 40% 3-pt shooting, 10 ppg and 6 rpg.
I really don’t know that Boris’s successful season will show up in any normal stat sheet. I can legitimately see him having nights of all zeros while still influencing the game. It may not be fair to Boris, but if he can get into Gobert’s head and help him take a mental step forward, it almost doesn’t matter what he produces statistically.
SSL: 35% 3-pt shooting, D-Rtg under 105.
Hold the course. Mack played very well last year for what was expected. This year he will draw spot duty, maybe more if Exum gets extensive minutes at the 2. Just don’t crash the car. He has a career BPM of -24. He doesn’t have a positive BPM season in his career. A success is a BPM at -0.5. He will be playing with good players, so just keep the ship steady.
SSL: Less than 10 mpg, BPM around -0.5 and 3-pt shooting over 35%.
See Mack, Shelvin.
Be ready. No it’s not original nor is it quantifiable, but they just need to be ready. All three will get minutes here or there, and they need to be able to make the few plays when they are needed. Joe will play across multiple positions and will need to be able to shoot and make plays. Joel will spend time with the SLC Stars but could be called upon for energy when other Jazz big men miss time. Jeff needs to do what he does well: being a space-eater on defense and giving effort.