2011-12 record: 36-30
Third place, Northwest Division
Lost in first round to San Antonio
Areas of Strength:
Frontcourt depth, stability and youth. With Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter all looking for minutes at two spots, Jazz coach Ty Corbin has a dilemma most of his peers would absolutely love to have. An embarrassment of riches up front is what carried this team all season. Both Jefferson and Millsap played all-star caliber basketball for much of the season and Favors is high on nearly everyone's breakout list for the foreseeable future (even Spurs coach Gregg Popovich remarked about his immense potential).
An unsettled backcourt mix has led to a leadership void at one of the most crucial positions in the game, point guard. Spurs All-Star Tony Parker shined a spotlight on their deficiencies there in that playoff sweep, not that it was some big secret. An upgrade in the backcourt is desperately needed to balance the roster and take some pressure off of the Jazz bigs.
Two Stats That Matter:
44.2 -- The Jazz ranked third in the league in rebounds, courtesy of the work their big man rotation put in all season on the glass.
9.5 -- Favors, and not Jefferson, was the second leading rebounder on this team behind Millsap (11.0).
The Way To Go:
Without a first round pick to work with (the Warriors held on to that 7th spot and their pick until the 2013 Draft), the Jazz get to watch the first-round drama unfold. They'll have to think trade or some other option to get into what most pundits consider one of the deeper drafts in recent years. They were a huge player last year with two lottery picks (Kanter, No. 3 overall, and Alec Burks, No. 12 overall) and are paying the price for that now.
2011-12 Team Stats:
Offensive: 99.7 (4th)
Defensive: 99.0 (23rd)
C: Al Jefferson
G: Devin Harris
F: Paul Millsap
F: Derrick Favors
C: Enes Kanter
G: Raja Bell
G: Alec Burks
G: Earl Watson
F: Gordon Hayward
G: Blake Ahearn (restricted)
F: Jeremy Evans (restricted)
F: Josh Howard (unrestricted)
G/F: C.J. Miles (unrestricted)
G: Jamaal Tinsley (unrestricted)
Recent Draft History:
2011: Enes Kanter (3), Alec Burks (12)
2010: Gordon Hayward (9), Jeremy Evans (55)
2009: Eric Maynor (20), Goran Suon (50)
2008: Kosta Koufas (23), Ante Tomic (44), Tadija Dragicevic (53)
2007: Morris Almond (25), Herbert Hill (55)
2006: Ronnie Brewer (14), Dee Brown (46), Paul Millsap (47)
-- Sekou Smith