This article wasn't meant to be sour. There were a number of bright spots in Utah and it appeared our team was poised to turn some corner. Alas, Monty William's defensive scheme just had to take it all away. The return of the competent and dynamic NBA player known as Tyreke Evans. The good minutes turned in by Austin Rivers, Jeff Withey and Lou Amundson. The superstar-like stat line of Anthony Davis. All vanquished by a team that lead the league in ineptitude, until tonight.
As stated in Brian's preview, this was our opponent:
Let's review how they stand as a team: last in winning percentage, last in offensive rating, 5th-worst in defensive rating, last in both effective field goal percentage and turnover percentage on offense, second worst in defensive rebounding percentage, and third worst in letting opposing teams get to the free throw line.
Yep, it sounds much like a cellar dweller. So why did we give up 111 points? A field goal percentage of 51.4%? 22 shots from three point territory? 39 freethrows?
Monty's wonderful defensive strategy, more succinctly, our pick-and-roll doomsday plan. Whether it was from 10 feet from the basket or 25, it didn't matter. The Jazz were easily able to draw two (at a minimum) defenders towards the ball handler. Whether he posed a threat or not.
Instead of going on and recreating the wheel, let's read what David posted in the gamethread:
Yep, pretty much most of us see the issue with our own eyes -- there lies an inherent flaw in our team's gameplan. Upcoming opponents need not spend but a few minutes preparing for the Pelicans. As long as they avoid the opportunistic defense, the athletic arms and legs stealing or blocking the ball away, they will be able to get any shot on the floor by running a patient pick-and-roll: an open three point shot or a layup. And, if by chance, a player actually rotates over before an open shot can be released, two freebies at the line.
Just ask Richard Jefferson, the player who hasn't been relevant since 2008. He'd positively love to play us repeatedly, as it would potentially net him yet another ridiculous contract.
Now, before we go any further, let's all understand this rant isn't calling for the coach's head. Monty has done enough good things in his tenure that he's earned the right to fix the water main break. Our season isn't a lost cause, yet...