|2011-12 Team Rating|
|7th Overall||20th Overall|
2011-12 Season Stats
Veterans Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap continue to hold off top prospects Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors for starting jobs at center and power forward. Swingman Gordon Hayward could have a breakout season.
Acquiring Mo Williams at point guard is an important upgrade, especially because they basically got him for nothing. The position watch at shooting guard is whether Alec Burks is ready to push all the way into the starting lineup.
If the Jazz don't get better, they're not going very far in the postseason. Their chances to advance in the playoffs are not about the youth of the roster. It's about the defense needing to improve.
There are some good possibilities: Kanter as a backup center, Favors or Millsap as the No. 2 power forward, Burks, Marvin Williams, maybe Raja Bell. But that's still relying on the development of a lot of young players.
Tyrone Corbin still hasn't had a chance to set his feet. The first season was replacing Jerry Sloan and the second was with a lockout calendar, so he finally gets normal. The 2011-12 was a positive step to build on.
The Jazz and their fans are understandably excited about 2012-13. They are coming off the learning experience of the playoffs, have a lot of upside in plain view as several recent lottery picks continue to improve, have an upgrade at point guard with a player who has done well in Utah before, and finally get a training camp with Corbin.
Second place in the Northwest is realistic and so is moving up a couple spots in the West playoff ladder. But, like the Nuggets, the team ahead of them in the standings last season, that is different from a natural progression into the upper echelon of the conference. The Jazz have not shown that ability yet. The progress, though, is unmistakable.
-- Scott Howard-Cooper
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||C+|
|Los Angeles Clippers||B|
|Los Angeles Lakers||A|
|New Jersey Nets||A|
|New Orleans Hornets||B+|
|New York Knicks||C|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||C-|
|San Antonio Spurs||B|