1. The benches determined tonight’s game.
In the second quarter, the Jazz went with an ultra-small Diante Garrett/Ian Clark/Alec Burks/Marvin Williams/Jeremy Evans lineup for 5 minutes and 15 seconds. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that lineup scored just 4 points while it was out1. But the Pelicans weren’t really able to make a run because they countered with an Austin Rivers/Anthony Morrow/Al-Farouq Aminu/Luke Babbitt/Alexis Ajinca lineup, which scored just 6 points in the same time.
Fast forward to the 3rd quarter. Anthony Davis didn’t come out for the second half due to back trouble, leading to a lineup of Brian Roberts/Darius Miller/Tyreke Evans/Aminu/Greg Stiemsma. Without Davis, the Pelicans couldn’t defend the paint. In the second quarter, the Jazz didn’t have the personnel to take advantage, but in the third, Derrick Favors was available, leading a 13-2 Jazz run. Favors scored 14 points in the quarter, and lead the Jazz to a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
2. Jazz no. 1 in touches per possession, but what does it mean?
NBA statistician Ed Kupfer posted this earlier in the day. It’s an interesting graph on its own, but for Jazz fans it probably has the most importance because it shows the Jazz as #1, and in a good category!
Jazz coach Ty Corbin was amazed too. His quote: “You found a stat that you like that we’re on top of? And you’re going to mention it? Let’s talk about it! Let’s see what it is!”
It turns out that having a lot of passes tends to mean that your possessions are rather long; you’ll notice the correlation between pace of play and passes right away. Transition plays rarely have more than 2 passes, but obviously half-court sets have more opportunities for ball movement. 2 Corbin pointed out the other reason why there’s only a tenuous connection between passing the ball well and offensive efficiency: because sometimes the passing sets up the plays well, but the shots don’t go in. The Jazz are indeed below-average in hitting open shots. 3 Still, it’s a good sign to see the Jazz haven’t reverted to selfish ball despite the losing.
3. Leapin’ Leaners and Low Tops was this Wednesday. It was pretty fun.
Leapin’ Leaners is the Jazz’s annual charity event on the floor of EnergySolutions Arena. This year was the first year I’ve been able to attend, and it’s a cool opportunity for the wealthy and/or well-connected amongst us to spend some time hanging out with Jazz players. I’ve shared many of these photos on Twitter4, but I wanted to include them all here on the blog for you all.