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Defending Champions

jazznik

Well-Known Member
Last season the Jazz achieved something remarkable in the NBA: they produced the worst defense in 2023-24 AND the worst defense of all time: https://www.statmuse.com/nba/ask/worst-team-defensive-rating-in-season-nba-history. This the thread will be dedicated to covering the incredible journey of our young team fighting to defend their title of the worst NBA defense.

It will be very hard winning this title two years in a row: the 2021 champs Sacramento lost the crown to the 2022 Blazers who also failed and the 2023 Spurs proudly achieved the worst defensive rating before being bested by the Jazz. However, I trust in our team and in Danny Ainge who worked tirelessly laying the foundation for the historic repeat.

Key additions:
The Jazz added Eubanks, one of the worst defensive players on the Suns and three rookies who already demonstrated in the Summer League their potential of becoming reliable defensive sieves, especially Filipowski who looked like a generationally horrible big man in the making. The Jazz also successfully got rid of Dunn, Yurtseven, THT, Simone and Agbaji: having any of them on the team would have seriously imperiled our chances to repeat. And the Jazz still have the defensive magician Hardy as their head coach.

The competition is fierce: the Hornets, Wizards and Hawks were the strong contenders last season and retained their defensive cores. They are joined by the Bulls who tremendously improved their fortunes by swapping Caruso for Giddey. However, I believe that the team led by Keyonte, Clarkson and Sexton is poised to not only successfully defend their title but also to post a new all-time defensive record. Stay tuned.
 
Should be a pretty easy repeat if Kessler gets the same minutes as last season.

But really, if I had to give my top reason for being concerned about this team moving forward, it would be that our front office has yet to give me any reason whatsoever to believe that they value defense much at all.
 
Should be a pretty easy repeat if Kessler gets the same minutes as last season.

But really, if I had to give my top reason for being concerned about this team moving forward, it would be that our front office has yet to give me any reason whatsoever to believe that they value defense much at all.
I think they drafted Hendricks primarily because of defense at least. Not saying much since there were 8 other dudes that they wanted more than him though.

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Should be a pretty easy repeat if Kessler gets the same minutes as last season.

But really, if I had to give my top reason for being concerned about this team moving forward, it would be that our front office has yet to give me any reason whatsoever to believe that they value defense much at all.
Putting an emphasis on D would be kind of moronic when your main objectives are raising your players value for trades and losing games. Offense just does more for your value.
 
Why is it important that the Jazz finish again with the worst defense in the NBA? Because this is the only way to ensure that the Jazz get a high pick in the 2025 draft. The Jazz offense was too good - it was 18th last season - and, as long as we retain Lauri, Sexton and offensive-minded Hardy it is unlikely to get much worse. In the end, the Jazz had the 8th worst net ranking and that was more or less where they drafted. To draft in the top 5 Utah needs to at least retain their all-time worst defense and ideally to make it even worse.

The Jazz are in a very good situation with guards: after ditching Dunn and Agbaji they have nobody who is even a below-average defender, all of them are spectacularly horrible. The problem lays in the front court and it is mostly because of Kessler.

Possible solutions:

1. Play Filipowski as much as possible. Ideally, he should be our starting center, but 20 minutes off the bench would go a long, long way.
2. Play Hendricks at the center (pair him with Flip at PF!)
2. Trade Kessler.
3. Try to mess up the offense by playing Kessler and Collins together.
 
Why is it important that the Jazz finish again with the worst defense in the NBA? Because this is the only way to ensure that the Jazz get a high pick in the 2025 draft. The Jazz offense was too good - it was 18th last season - and, as long as we retain Lauri, Sexton and offensive-minded Hardy it is unlikely to get much worse. In the end, the Jazz had the 8th worst net ranking and that was more or less where they drafted. To draft in the top 5 Utah needs to at least retain their all-time worst defense and ideally to make it even worse.

The Jazz are in a very good situation with guards: after ditching Dunn and Agbaji they have nobody who is even a below-average defender, all of them are spectacularly horrible. The problem lays in the front court and it is mostly because of Kessler.

Possible solutions:

1. Play Filipowski as much as possible. Ideally, he should be our starting center, but 20 minutes off the bench would go a long, long way.
2. Play Hendricks at the center (pair him with Flip at PF!)
2. Trade Kessler.
3. Try to mess up the offense by playing Kessler and Collins together.
If you are maximizing bad defense, put Preston at center
 
If you are maximizing bad defense, put Preston at center
No, we can't. For two reasons. Firstly, the Jazz want to use this season mostly as the learning experience for the young players and what will they be learning? How to play your position on a team with a tiny PG at the center and what kind of play to run in this situation? That's useless.

Secondly, other teams tanking for the high pick in 2025 will have to counter this move and get ahead by signing and playing one-legged and blind centers. And that would totally rob Team USA at Specials Olympics.
 
I think they drafted Hendricks primarily because of defense at least. Not saying much since there were 8 other dudes that they wanted more than him though.

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When we drafted Hendricks I was hoping he would be in the same stratosphere as Jaren Jackson. It looks like it's a strong possibility. If Hendricks plays good defense and is a third scoring option I'm happy. The guy has a lot of time before his prime and he's looking pretty damn good VS last season; I'm glad he has a lot of fans on this board as he's going to make us all happy.
 
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