Grantland Thoughts on Al Jefferson | TigerDroppings.com

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corndeaux
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Member since Sep 2009
5360 posts

Grantland Thoughts on Al Jefferson


A name that has been mentioned as a potential FA signing this summer.

Zach Lowe has an in depth piece on the Jazz today and talks at length about Jefferson

quote:

Utah is a very bad defensive team, and it's tempting to blame all of that on Jefferson. He's slow and has an astoundingly high failure rate when it comes to containing point guards on pick-and-rolls, to the point that Utah goes to crazy lengths to avoid having him help at all.


quote:

The arguments for Jefferson:
• He's a low-turnover offensive centerpiece who can draw endless double-teams to his home on the left block, and he has vastly improved his passing in Utah's system.
• He's a "real center."


quote:

We have almost a decade of evidence now that Jefferson's failings on defense outweigh his very real value on offense. His teams have generally been worse with him on the floor than with him on the bench, and that's been true on the defensive end in almost every season in which he's played meaningful minutes, per NBA.com and 82games.com. Let's be clear: He is a valuable offensive player, even though he shoots just 49 percent, rarely gets to the line, and does little out of the pick-and-roll. There's value in an automatic double-team who never turns it over, and Jefferson has been one of the league's best crunch-time scorers for years. This is one reason I suspect Utah has used the Jefferson-Favors pair much more in the last two seasons than Millsap-Favors: Could Jefferson be part of a good defensive team if the other big man is a real game-changer on that end?

The results are unclear. Utah was very stingy last season with Jefferson-Favors, but it has been a disaster with that duo this season, surrendering points at a rate that would rank dead last by a mile. Given the longer-term trend of Jefferson's teams playing sieve-like defense, I'd be in no rush to bring him back at a high cost.


Also some good things on Utah's reasoning for sitting tight at the deadline and video breakdown of their terrible defense- should look familiar to Hornets fans.

LINK







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Ryan3232
LSU Fan
LSU fan
Member since Dec 2008
9399 posts

re: Grantland Thoughts on Al Jefferson


I dont care how bad they "say" his defense is, I would be thrilled to have him suit up next to Anthony Davis in our low post for years to come.





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Jester
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Feb 2006
17459 posts

re: Grantland Thoughts on Al Jefferson


I think it is a very relevant issue that needs to be considered. One of our biggest flaws as a team is in the PnR defense. Considering that it is probably the preeminent offensive play being run in the NBA, we should be careful bringing in another big who is very poor defending the switch (Kobe exposed this flaw with Lopez on the court).





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Solo
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2008
3672 posts

re: Grantland Thoughts on Al Jefferson


Agreed.

Pekovic is the answer. Muscle guy, eats up boards, can score in the paint, better defender than you think and can handle the PnR on defense.

So few true 5's out there. Everyone is playing small ball with athletic wings/shooters. I say you pair Pek with AD and try and push people around.

Admittedly, this plan would work much better with a quick PG.






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Jester
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Feb 2006
17459 posts

re: Grantland Thoughts on Al Jefferson


quote:

Admittedly, this plan would work much better with a quick PG.


True, but it can also be corrected with your bigs hedging out properly. Lopez (probably the same with Jefferson) has a bad habit of half-assing it on a hedge. It's like he's trying to make sure he doesn't leave the paint, but he ends up letting the PnR happen without impediment. Also, when he comes out, he tends to turn his back to the lane and his base gets too wide.

He basically tries to cheat both ways on the hedge, but he ends up failing to cover either because of it. He tries to use his length to hedge and impede the PnR, but you stop it by getting in the middle of it. An outstretched hand doesn't work. Thus, Vasquez (slower than average, tends to trail) gets picked, so they have to switch. Lopez is then turned sideways next to the lane with a guard attacking him. Without being squared up, Lopez has no chance to defend any guards. Kobe attacked him pretty easily after the switch with little hesitation dribbles and mini-crossovers. Lopez was basically out of position and was taken off-balance every time.

I haven't watched enough Jefferson, but lazy hedging is probably a big part of the problem. If he hasn't learned how to properly defend the PnR at this point, I doubt he ever does.






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tehchampion140
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Bow to the Brow
Member since Sep 2010
17248 posts

re: Grantland Thoughts on Al Jefferson


Getting Jefferson is a trade-off. You lose a lot of defense at your center position, but in turn you gain probably the best offensive center in the league. If AD can become a rim protector then Jefferson would be a nice fit alongside him. We'll just have to see if Demps feels the same way.





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eyeran
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
New Orleans
Member since Dec 2007
17061 posts

re: Grantland Thoughts on Al Jefferson


Jefferson is a good player but it would be a huge mistake for us to sign him.

If he doesn't get max money, he'll be close. You sign a guy like that to his second huge contract if you're one guy away from being a contender. We're not even close.

If we sign a guy like Jefferson we're a fringe playoff team with not a lot of money to improve with. Its Peja all over again.






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Jester
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Feb 2006
17459 posts

re: Grantland Thoughts on Al Jefferson


quote:

If we sign a guy like Jefferson we're a fringe playoff team with not a lot of money to improve with. Its Peja all over again.


I wouldn't say it's Peja all over again. If Peja didn't injure his back, it's a totally different discussion. It would definitely limit our roster flexibility.






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GynoSandberg
LA-Lafayette Fan
Member since Jan 2006
34903 posts

re: Grantland Thoughts on Al Jefferson


AD23 is already one of the best p&r defenders in the league and a great help defender. Hes not a statue like Milsap.

Al Jeff lost some quickness after the ACL, but he can still body up w any big in the league. Al Jeff can score it and his advanced back to the basket game opens things up for everyone. He can still board and block shots. 1 knock on his game compared to numerous positives? Meh. If he wants a max or near max (he won't get either as a 28 year old center) then pass.






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eyeran
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
New Orleans
Member since Dec 2007
17061 posts

re: Grantland Thoughts on Al Jefferson


quote:

I wouldn't say it's Peja all over again. If Peja didn't injure his back, it's a totally different discussion. It would definitely limit our roster flexibility.
Im not talking Peja as a player. "Peja-situation" in that we become a playoff team but nowhere near good enough to actually contend. And we don't have money to really get better.

So we're stuck in perpetual mediocrity or sightly better. We become Atlanta, who are good every year, but not contenders.






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GynoSandberg
LA-Lafayette Fan
Member since Jan 2006
34903 posts

re: Grantland Thoughts on Al Jefferson


We were a game away from the WCFs with Peja. I'd say we were contending





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eyeran
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
New Orleans
Member since Dec 2007
17061 posts

re: Grantland Thoughts on Al Jefferson


We weren't. That team wasn't winning a championship.

The results speak for themselves.






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corndeaux
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Member since Sep 2009
5360 posts

re: Grantland Thoughts on Al Jefferson


The key passage for me is this:

quote:

We have almost a decade of evidence now that Jefferson's failings on defense outweigh his very real value on offense. His teams have generally been worse with him on the floor than with him on the bench,


I looked on NBA.com to see his ON/OFF ratings. They only go back to the 07-08 season with player data. From that time until this season, Jefferson only had two years where his team performed better when he was on the floor.

This isn't a be all, end all stat- like Lowe mentions in his piece, there is noise here and he suffered an ACL injury in 09. But that's still half a decade of data. And we're talking about Utah and Minnesota- not exactly stacked teams. That they were usually better when one of their best players was on the bench seems a little strange.

Plus as awesome as Jefferson/Anderson would be on offense, I have no idea how you play that pair together on defense.






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