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Utah Jazz: Defensive lapses are killing the Jazz
NBA » Al Jefferson just part of the problem, scout says.


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"I think we’ve struggled," Randy Foye said, "but every team in the league struggles. You watched Golden State go through it before All-Star break, you watched Houston go through it a little bit before that. We’re going through it now."

While it’s true that Houston and Golden State have endured brutal losing streaks this season and that they rank lower than the Jazz in team defense, both rank in the top 10 in offensive efficiency and possessions per game.

At a glance

A scout’s take on the Jazz

An NBA scout recently spoke to The Salt Lake Tribune about the Jazz’s defensive struggles on the condition of anonymity. His edited assessments:

I think it’s bigger than Al. When I look at Mo Williams, I don’t see a great defender there. What I see in him and Randy Foye is guys who are kind of soft defensively. I don’t see real toughness or intensity. I don’t think Mo or Randy Foye are great defenders.

I think Millsap, he tries. I like Millsap, I really do, I just think he’d be best suited to be a bench player. A guy who could come off the bench, give you some points, give you some versatility. I think eventually they’re going to be better defensively when Favors is out there, playing more minutes with his strength, length. It seems like he has some competitive desire out there and an ability to block shots.

When some of your best players don’t play good defense, the other people see that and I think that drags them down. The other guys that go and play good defense do sometimes get dragged down by your marquee players.

Their bigs can be physical, they’ll bounce you around, they’ll commit some fouls around the basket, they’ll make you pay the price a little bit.

There’s not a strength of the Utah defense that really worries an opponent because I don’t think they force a lot of turnovers, I don’t think they generate a lot of steals.

I don’t know the coaching or what they’re trying to do, I just think [Tyrone Corbin] has some guys with some limitations on the defensive end. I’m sure he and the staff are trying everything they can to cover up their glaring weaknesses.

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"The West is tough," Williams said, "no secret about it. ... When we lose, it’s easy to point out the glaring things that go wrong."

With the Jazz defense, pick one and roll with it.

boram@sltrib.com




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