Mar 9, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks point guard Raymond Felton (2) drives against the defense of Utah Jazz power forward Derrick Favors (15) and shooting guard Gordon Hayward (20) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Utah Jazz: Count on Defense

The Jazz were awful the past few years on defense and finally that looks like it is going to change.  Management has told Tyrone Corbin that he will be judged this year on the teams defensive ability.  That’s a good thing for Ty as this team is built to play defense.  Every Jazz fan knows that Al didn’t play defense and combine him with an undersized power forward in Millsap and the Jazz were pathetic on that end.

That changes this year as the Jazz will be starting Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter.  Again every Jazz fan knows about Favors ability to defend and many think he will be a top 5 defensive player in the NBA.  Outside of Favors though the Jazz are deep on the defensive end.  Gordon Hayward, due to his tennis skills, can move laterally better than probably anyone in the NBA.  His length along with his hops allows him to be deceivingly good as a defender.

Alec Burks is quick and and has fast hands allowing him to stay with the speedier shooting guards and in many cases the point guards.  Both him and Hayward have the ability to guard the 1-3 positions allowing for many lineups to be used by Ty Corbin.  Kanter is a big body and can hold the stronger centers and forwards from getting inside with their back to the basket.  His lateral movements aren’t the best yet but he is able to make up for it with his effort.  The entire team has improved drastically in the pick and roll defense as that was by far the worst part of the Jazz last year.

Trey is gonna be the wildcard here as he has the responsibility of guarding the fastest players in the game.  This will be a struggle I believe which will probably make Burks play the point and Brandon Rush the shooting guard for many games.  Throw in Rudy Gobert, Jeremy Evans who will both block anything that comes there way and the Jazz look like a fortress on paper as they are long, athletic and young.  Heck even Biedrins is a stud when it comes to defense.  Dennis Lindsey knows what he’s doing and the first step is defense, defense, defense.

One thing is for sure the Jazz will be looking to improve on their worst trait last year (defense) and they definitely will.  Making them a contender for biggest surprise team of the year.


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