Lindsey was hired during what many of us considered to be the later stages of the post-Deron rebuild. KOC had done a fine job assembling a young nucleus of talent, and had wisely organized the contracts of his veterans so that they'd expire at the same time and give us a lot of flexibility. This has all been well documented, and has caused many around here to become (unrealistically?) optimistic.
KOC's final moves as a one-man band were actually significant. Mo, Marv, and Foye are clear upgrades from the players they replaced; and, from KOC's perspective, were a better fit with the rest of the roster. Because he made these significant changes, we can compare last year's team to this year's and make interesting conclusions about the deeper trends in the organization, and, thus, the reality of the situation that Lindsey has been asked to help transform.
I hope this is just the beginning of a conversation, so here are just a few conclusions:
1. Despite making the appropriate defensive adjustment (forcing baseline), adding one of the best defensive prospects in years (Favors), and having a handful of average to above average defenders (Hayward, Marv, Millsap, Carroll, and even Kanter), the Jazz have nevertheless remained stuck in a culture of far below average defense. Lindsey needs to add defenders.
2. The jazz continue to foul too much.
3. Despite the high offensive ratings last year, the Jazz continue to be a team that isn't efficient enough. This appears to be getting worse. Moreover, the offense is one-dimensional; it lacks the nuances and misdirections to be effective in close games and in the playoffs. Lindsey needs to add a high-efficiency closer that knows what to do when a play breaks down.
4. Lindsey's team is coached by a staff that appears to be either not able to effectively communicate offensive and defensive complexities, or unwilling to police their own agenda.
So, while Lindsey does have a lot of chips and good contracts at his disposal, he is trying to address a series of holes, any one of which can significantly deplete your resources. I think it is unrealistic for all these things to change. The easiest ones to address are the coaching and the commitment to defense (since we already have most of these tools). I guess we gotta just hope one of our guys develops offensively, or we get lucky in free agency or in next year's draft.