Friday, January 30, 2009

Why the Jazz are in trouble without Kirilenko

Some thoughts on the state of the Jazz while AK goes under the knife today.

This is from David Locke, he of Locked on Sports. I did not do the following research.
"With AK the offense scores 105.6 points per game. Without him they only score 96.3 points per game.
With AK the defense allows 98.7 ppg. Without AK the defense allows 103.6 ppg.

Make sure you follow this. The average score of a Jazz game with AK this year has been 105.6 to 98.7. That is a differential of 7 that makes them the 5th best team in the NBA with AK.

In games when he has not played, the Jazz have been outscored 103.6 to 96.3 or a differential of -7.3. That makes the 4th worst team in the NBA, without AK. So without Kirilenko, they are a 21-22 win team level. That is a team that wins only 25% of their games."

That scares me. So Boozer is out 'till after the all-star break. Getting him back will be huge. AK should be back a week after him, it sounds like. So here is how I envision the Jazz games going until then:
1/30 Oklahoma City W
1/31 @Portland L
2/2 Charlotte W
2/5 Dallas L
2/6 @Sacramento L (The Jazz are only 1-10 on back-to-backs this year)
2/8 @Golden State L
2/11 LA Lakers L
==ALL-STAR BREAK== (hopefully Boozer will be back)
2/17 Memphis W
2/19 Boston L
2/21 New Orleans L
2/23 Atlanta L
2/25 @Minnesota L
2/28 Sacramento W
(Kirilenko back?)
23 games left.

That is only 4-9. I'd imagine that'd put the Jazz at least 5 games back from the 8th seed. So that leaves them 23 games to make up 5 games in the playoffs, and that only gives them the 8th seed, which means a first round exit to the Lakers.

It seems like the Jazz have been without at least 2 of their 5 best players practically every game this season. No team is going to be able to win missing 2 of your stars. You have to play practically perfect to win under such a situation. Missing one of your two best players is trying enough, and you will lose a lot of games just due to that. Now without Boozer and AK, if Memo is off, or Millsap is off, or Williams is having an off-night, then the team will not win. The Jazz still have a shot to make it into the playoffs if Boozer and Kirilenko heal fast, but they are sure cutting it close.

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