Friday, November 20, 2009

The Pick and Roll

As loyal Jazz fans, we all know that the pick and roll has been and always will be the staple of our offense.

Except for now it turns out that it's not and that the Jazz and Lakers run the fewest number of pick and rolls in the league. Shocking, but according to Synergy Sports Technology, true. Now, during my years in the business world I have come to radically distrust anyone who uses the word "synergy," let alone in the name of their company. However, these guys may be right. Deron Williams for one agrees: "Everybody just associates pick-and rolls with us because of John and Karl," Williams said. They ran it out a lot, but similar to us. We run it toward the end of the game when we need baskets, but we try to execute our offense first."

Maybe this isn't a huge deal, but there are three interesting points worth considering. First, our offense has been pretty stagnant this year. You can see why the Lakers don't need to run the pick and roll: Kobe is a great creator and if he can't get anything it's not hard to dump the ball off to their huge front line. We're not exactly blessed with that kind of talent. Second, it turns out the rest of the NBA is using the pick and roll a lot more than they used to. Some teams use it 25% of the time; we do 11%. The game is more up-tempo than it was ten years ago when defense and a good post game ruled the day. Third, the players who get the most points out of the pick and roll are Steve Nash, Chris Paul, and Tony Parker. Wait a second. . . we have a guy just like them named Deron Williams!

Should the Jazz use the pick and roll more often than they do? Is this another sign that Jerry is just a tad out of his element these days? When we score three points during the first eight minutes of a quarter again might it make some sense to clear everyone out and have Williams and Boozer/Millsap run the bread and butter? Discuss.


Tucker McCann said...

Interesting stats. I would not have guessed that the Jazz are at the bottom end of the league in use of the pick & roll.

Nor would i have guessed that the average team uses the pick & roll more now than 10 years ago.

I guess i should pay attention more rather than watch boozer play defense.

Or perhaps Pasty Gangsta made up all of those stats about the pick & roll.

Pasty Gangsta said...

"watch boozer play defense". . . that is an interesting statement. Which game/quarter/possession did you see this happen?

Tucker McCann said...

Let me clarify: when i said "watch Boozer play defense," I meant to say "watch Boozer constantly on the defensive end to see if he actually plays any defense, and then when he doesn't, yell at the TV."

Orlando said...

I think a big part of the reason that we don't run the pick and roll much is because our best shooter is a fat Turkish guy.

During the glory years, Stockton and Malone were masters of the move. But equally important was the fact that we had shooters (mostly Hornacek, but also Eisley, Russell, etc) who could make teams pay if their man helped. Now, there isn't much risk if Kirlenko's or Brewer's man cheats to the middle.

Unknown said...

That's may be somewhat true, but it begs the question -- would our guys hit more threes if they got more open looks? Because we don't seem to get as many as other teams, and if we ran the pick and roll maybe we would.

Also, let us remember that an open shooter is the third option out of the pick and roll after the guy who is rolling to the hoop and the guy who is dribbling the rock.