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Who's the ideal #1?


LogGrad98

Well-Known Member
Contributor
2020-21 Award Winner
My problem with the Lauri-as-a-#1 idea is this:

Lauri is very likely no better as a #1 than Donovan was (Donovan has a lot longer track record of performing at that level on much better teams). Yet almost everyone here concluded Donovan wasn't good enough in that role to make us a true contender.

I don't doubt that Lauri can be a #1 for a playoff team. But for a real championship contender ... I have my doubts.

I think the Jazz are definitely best served to assume that Laurie can be a great #2 and keep searching for a #1. If he turns into a #1 anyway, that's just icing on the cake.
#1 - Donovan was never a 2-way threat, Lauri is
#2 - Donovan admitted he didn't try on defense at all. Lauri is probably our 2nd best defender.
#3 - Lauri is one of the most efficient players in the league this year, period. Donovan is better this year but has never been known for his efficiency. He was and is known for volume.
#4 - Lauri is a 3-position threat, both on offense and defense. Mitchell is a one position player with obvious physical limitations which we saw exploited again and again.

Now, giving Mitchell the obvious that he is and has been the go-to #1 for years now, Lauri needs to show the same level of consistency year over year. But from what we are seeing right now, IF this is the real Lauri, he will be better than Mitchell was and likely a better #1 option, again IF this is for real, and IF he continues developing. He might be at his peak right now, who knows, we have seen players do this before, get a break-out year then fizzle out. But from what we are seeing Lauri definitely has the potential to be better than Mitchell, and a real #1 for us. But only time will tell.


That all said, I agree we still need to keep looking for a solid natural #1. That is what every team looks for. If we find it, then Lauri's position is just strengthened. But it is entirely possible Lauri can be that #1 and a solid #2 will elevate us to contender status. Remains to be seen.
 


Korisfani

Member
Don's career postseason averages are 28/5/5. In two postseasons he averaged 30+.

That's as much as you can ask of any #1 on offense. That's as much as any player that made it to the Finals in the last years has produced. Only peak LeBron has given his team much more than that in recent memory.

And if you don't have that transcendental player, you'll need others to pick up the slack. Or have strong #2s and #3s that can also take over for a stretch and go off. Bogie and O'Neale are and were not those #2s and #3s. It's great to have a super defender playing 35 minutes, but you still need the scoring.

If you try to find someone so much better than Mitchell and Markkanen that you can play guys like Bogie and O'Neale as the next options, I think you'll be stuck waiting for a long, long time. Sure, then you could just have a "supporting cast" around them, but I think the much more realistic route is to find two plus-defenders capable of averaging around 20 consistently. Klay & Poole, Middleton & Holiday, Brown & Smart.
 

idiot

Well-Known Member
With the caveat that I think we see things more similarly than differently overall:

#1 - Donovan was never a 2-way threat, Lauri is
I'm pretty sure I was one of the first here to argue that Markkanen's defense wasn't as bad as advertised, but I really don't think it's any better than just OK. I have a hard time calling him a 2-way threat.
#2 - Lauri is probably our 2nd best defender.
This is not saying much. We have one of the worst defenses in the league, even with one of the best rim protectors playing more and more minutes. We need players that have better defense than Lauri. I totally believe he can be part of a good defensive squad, but he's not the driver of that defensive quality.
#3 - Lauri is one of the most efficient players in the league this year, period. Donovan is better this year but has never been known for his efficiency. He was and is known for volume.
Not quite sure what your point is here. Like Donovan, Lauri was never known for efficiency until this year. For me, capacity for volume is necessary (though not sufficient) to be a championship-caliber #1. We'll see if Lauri gets there as the Jazz improve.
#4 - Lauri is a 3-position threat, both on offense and defense. Mitchell is a one position player with obvious physical limitations which we saw exploited again and again.
Yeah, you're kind of right here (though I'd call DM a 2-position player). But that doesn't really bear on the #1 question. There are a few guys in the league (Ben Simmons, for example perhaps, as we saw recently), who have a really good shot at turning off Lauri's water, just as DM could be limited in a few matchups.
 

Tremendous Upside

Well-Known Member
This is not saying much. We have one of the worst defenses in the league, even with one of the best rim protectors playing more and more minutes. We need players that have better defense than Lauri. I totally believe he can be part of a good defensive squad, but he's not the driver of that defensive quality.

Kessler literally only defends at the rim. He doesn't close out, he doesn't switch, he doesn't try to contain 2-on-1's coming downhill off pick and rolls. He sits in the hole, basically. The kid is obviously already a great deterrent at he basket, but overall he contributes to our defensive problems. (The biggest culprits can be found in the backcourt, though,)

Next season people won't be going at Walker as much anymore, and he'll have to start moving his feet... and then we'll really know what he's made of.
 

FrenchJazzFa

Well-Known Member
2022 Award Winner
Defense is improving recently. Not at the nest but decent. Do not forget that this group is plain new and that you need to work a lot to get decent team defense. Another part where Hardy and coachs job seems to works.
 

rocfan1

Well-Known Member
Defense is improving recently. Not at the nest but decent. Do not forget that this group is plain new and that you need to work a lot to get decent team defense. Another part where Hardy and coachs job seems to works.
We need different players to be a good defensive team. Can this group be better sure, but their ceiling is very low. We are a bottom 5 defense in the league. Two of our last five win have come against teams that are even worst then us the Hornets and Rockets. These wins including the Kawhi and Paul less Clippers win may be skewing your assessment a bit.
 

YoungJefe

Well-Known Member
The #1 option on the past few championship teams: Curry, Giannis, LeBron, Kawhi, Durant

Do I think Lauri can be the #1 on a championship team? Eh, I think a good #2 is probably more likely but that's not a knock on him. Although based on the leap that he took this year, nothing is really out of question.

If we're looking for a proven guy, I'd try to trade the house for Jaylen Brown if he becomes eligible for the super max and the Celtics fall short again.
 

HermanG

Well-Known Member
The #1 option on the past few championship teams: Curry, Giannis, LeBron, Kawhi, Durant

Do I think Lauri can be the #1 on a championship team? Eh, I think a good #2 is probably more likely but that's not a knock on him. Although based on the leap that he took this year, nothing is really out of question.

If we're looking for a proven guy, I'd try to trade the house for Jaylen Brown if he becomes eligible for the super max and the Celtics fall short again.
Was anyone on that list a better 3-level scorer at 25 than Lauri has been this year? Remember that you are looking at some vets with long careers at the top.. and comparing your accumulated memories of their greatness to a guy that has just arrived... If Lauri maintains the current level of automatic shooting and scoring... you will think of him very differently 2, 5 or 10 years from now.

Here is a little comparison of those guys age 25 seasons. I left the 2P% there as well but dont stare at that too much since its not separate from the 0-3 ft etc. range categories.. rather a summary of those (weighted on shot selection).

NameSeasonPP362P0-3 ft3-10 ft10-16 ft16-3P3P
Durant2013-1429.9.549.798.417.441.445.391
Steph2013-1423.7.509.625.412.557.466.424
Kawhi2016-1727.5.529.664.527.441.493.380
Lebron2009-1027.4.560.745.468.344.398.333
Giannis2019-2034.9.631.779.343.433.400.304
Lauri2022-2326.1.595.745.488.538.500.429

No one beats Lauri in FG% in more than 1 of the ranges. So that means Lauri beats all those guys in 4/5 ranges... being the 3rd best at the rim, 2nd best from close range, 2nd best in close mid-range, best in deeper mid-range and best behind the arc.

Few noteworthy things:
1) This year PPG are approximately 5% higher around the league due to increased scoring
2) Lebron had a great year in 2009-10, after which he averaged 24.8 the next year and failed to break 27 PP36 until 2018-19 at the age of 34. But scoring was also seemingly harded back then.
3) Lauri started this year as "one of the guys". After he was annointed as #1 around christmas, his PP36 has been 30.2 and if he keeps that up he will finish the season around 28
 

YoungJefe

Well-Known Member
Was anyone on that list a better 3-level scorer at 25 than Lauri has been this year? Remember that you are looking at some vets with long careers at the top.. and comparing your accumulated memories of their greatness to a guy that has just arrived... If Lauri maintains the current level of automatic shooting and scoring... you will think of him very differently 2, 5 or 10 years from now.
I agree and like I said nothing is really out of question considering that he's only 25 and just took a major leap this season. It's insane how skilled he is at 7 feet tall.
 

HermanG

Well-Known Member
I agree and like I said nothing is really out of question considering that he's only 25 and just took a major leap this season. It's insane how skilled he is at 7 feet tall.
It truely is.. the big thing is really can he maintain it? So far looking good and there is still room for improvement. Exciting times.

What most impresses me is his off ball IQ and motor. He is constantly moving which makes taking passing lanes away really tough and he creates a lot of bad field balance situations for the defense. If they chase him around, he can create space anywhere for others. If they let him move freely, the ball comes and its an automatic bucket.

It sometimes feels like he is creating a new "thing" thats gonna be used as a mold for other 7" unicorn shooter types that the NBA has been historically bad at deploying effectively.
 

YoungJefe

Well-Known Member
It truely is.. the big thing is really can he maintain it? So far looking good and there is still room for improvement. Exciting times.

What most impresses me is his off ball IQ and motor. He is constantly moving which makes taking passing lanes away really tough and he creates a lot of bad field balance situations for the defense. If they chase him around, he can create space anywhere for others. If they let him move freely, the ball comes and its an automatic bucket.

It sometimes feels like he is creating a new "thing" thats gonna be used as a mold for other 7" unicorn shooter types that the NBA has been historically bad at deploying effectively.
I agree. I think he'll only continue to get better as we add more pieces around him as well.

His movement, fluidity, and coordination at his size are what have impressed me the most. I really only viewed him as a big shooter before we traded for him.
 


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