The waiting is over. THIS IS IT.
If this is the extent of your knowledge of the Utah Jazz offense and you're wondering why Rick Barnes wants to replicate something that produced some ridiculous stats sustained over a 20 year period but never brought home an NBA title, then you've come to the right place.
Thanks to Scipio's inside connections to the UT basketball program via Denton Cooley Pavilion's janitorial staff, we learned quite a bit yesterday about the team's new identity. Mainly the fact that it now has one, or at least aspires to.
These days the Mailman can be found driving 18-wheelers somewhere out west and fathering kids like a Mormon in exile, while uber Dad John Stockton breaks down film of his kids' hockey games. So what kind of offense does the Utah Jazz run in 2010? It's actually not that different from 1984: motion screens, pick & roll, and the freestyling talents of the latter day, genetically improved Stockton, otherwise known as Deron Williams.
Don't let their difference in size, color, speed, handles, or creativity fool you! Jerry Sloan is still up to all his old tricks.
For the past few days Trips has been cranking out prescient previews at MarchtoMarch and will soon be breaking down the Longhorn's Thursday night tilt with Williams' alma mater, the Fightin Illini. So we'll leave it to Coach Nick to show you what I shall call Jazz in Motion. I would patent that, but Sailor Ripley probably already has.
Never mind the corny intro with the production values of a Yacht Rock episode, just stick with it until you hear the words "1-4, UCLA cut, double screen" and see helpful red arrows flash across your monitor. I found it amusing that Coach Nick used film from a game where the Jazz were down 20 points to illustrate their offensive efficiency, but box score aside you can see what Sloan's still looks pretty much the same -- push the ball at every chance and set a shitload of screens until Deron Williams finds a wide open dude or a lane to the hoop.
The obvious problem for Texas is we don't have a 6'3 210 Lb PG with no known weaknesses. We have a Jazz Lite Ensemble, featuring Cory Joseph on percussion, Dogus Balbay on Trombone, J'Covan Brown on Purple Drank, and Jai Lucas on wind flute. We'd obviously prefer a one man band but until they can perfect the Jazz offense in two short months, Barnes needs to channel Miles Davis and play the spaces in between the notes. Sometimes it will look great and sometimes it will look like shit. Expect the latter against Illinois, UNC, and MSU, but conference play could be a lot of fun. Pretty much the opposite of last season.
This new offense requires selfless execution from all five guys, as opposed to say four standing around while Damion James iso's with 7 seconds left on the shot clock. Or Jordan Hamilton jacks up a trey five seconds into the shot clock. While it seems most of our guys have bought in, J'Covan Brown still appears to be doing a solo act. Once he realizes this system is perfectly designed to get get guards open looks (Stockton shot 50% from the field for his career), maybe he'll think twice about throwing temper tantrums when things don't go his way. This squad lacks an internal enforcer of team discipline but Hamilton could turn out to that guy, ironically enough.
Perhaps Stockton would be willing to adopt J'Covan? Or Karl Malone can father another child for Brown to look up to?
The waiting is over, JB. Grow up and stay smoove.
H/T GoBigRoy @BON