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Utah Jazz: Coach Corbin wants bump in offensive tempo

Published October 11, 2012 1:44 pm

Jazz • Utah's poor 3-point shooting hurt the team in the playoffs.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Utah Jazz's offense during last year's lockout-shortened season wasn't exactly broken.

Still, coach Tyrone Corbin wants to fix some aspects of it.

With a full training camp and preseason available, the Jazz are tweaking an offense that finished fourth in scoring and eighth in field-goal percentage in the 30-team NBA.

Corbin wants the Jazz to bump the tempo — depending on the situation, of course — and he'll use the final three weeks before the start of the regular season to fine-tune the strategy.

"At times, the pace may be a little faster," Corbin said Thursday, on the eve of Utah's first home preseason game, against Oklahoma City.

"If things are going well, we may push it a little bit more. We have some guys who are pretty good in open court, so they'll get an opportunity to attack early."

When the Jazz can't run, Corbin wants the half-court offense to be more diverse, with more options.

"In half-court sets, we want to be a lot crisper in the things we do," he said. "The sets will be primarily the same, but we have some different options we're looking at having."

Corbin claims the normal preseason schedule will help implement the adjustments.

"We have more time in practice — more time to get guys used to what we're trying to do," he said. "That will help us get to the third, fourth and fifth options on some plays. So we will be more expanded that way."

The Jazz averaged 99.7 points last season. Only Denver (104.1), San Antonio (103.7) and Oklahoma (103.0) were more productive on a per-game basis.

Utah's biggest problem was perimeter shooting.

The Jazz finished 27th in the league in 3-point percentage (.323). Only Charlotte (.295), Sacramento (.316) and Washington (.320) were worse. None of those teams qualified for the playoffs.

The Jazz's difficulty from the perimeter was exposed during a 4-0 sweep by the Spurs in the first round of the playoffs.

San Antonio collapsed around the basket and effectively took away the inside offense of Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors. The Spurs dared the Jazz to make perimeter shots, and they couldn't do it.

During the offseason, the Jazz acquired veterans Mo Williams, Marvin Williams and Randy Foye. They drafted Kevin Murphy in the second round. All are shooters, and Corbin believes a quicker offensive with more options will benefit all four.

"You need options in this league," Corbin said. "Teams scout you, and they know your sets. They take one thing away from you, then you have to get to a second or third thing that you feel good about. If you do that, you have a better chance of winning."

Among Corbin's players, the feeling is that any offensive changes won't be drastic.

"The things that have made us successful, we're not going to change that," Millsap said.

Mo Williams, who spent his rookie season in Utah under coach Jerry Sloan, agreed.

"I don't think there was anything wrong with the offense Jerry ran and Ty played under Jerry," he said. "So he's going to have some similarities, but with his own twists.

"Teams have always spoken about Utah being the best-executing team — how their offense is one of the best in the league. When you have that reputation, there's no need to change too much."

luhm@sltrib.com

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