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NBA Betting: Young Jazz Making Strides with Defensive Ace

  • Updated: March 6, 2015
  • NBA Betting: Young Jazz Making Strides with Defensive Ace

    By Charles Jay

    In NBA Betting news, the Utah Jazz have recently been on a pretty decent run; one where they scored five wins in a six-game period (before being beaten at the buzzer by the Boston Celtics) and ran off an 8-1-1 mark against the basketball pontspread in a ten-game stretch. Not many BetAnySports patrons noticed, because hardly anybody pays attention to the Jazz. They are in 11th place in the power-packed Western Conference, so they are not going to be a factor in the playoff race. But there are a few things percolating in Salt Lake City that should have NBA bettors paying plenty of attention before long.

    This team was a solid playoff contender for years under the direction of coach Jerry Sloan, who conducted things with a no-nonsense, defensive-minded approach, much the same as he had when he played for the Chicago Bulls. In a sense, however, the game started to pass Sloan by, not only with regard to his attitude toward man-to-man defense with a minimum of help, but also in player relations. The fact is, players act like they rule the show these days, in many cases, and Sloan got into a situation where he was submarined by Deron Williams, who differed on philosophy with the “old school” coach. When management seemed to side with Williams, Sloan very suddenly quit.

    NBA Betting: Young Jazz Making Strides with Defensive Ace

    The wheels came off after that, and it wasn’t long before this team was in full “rebuilding” mode with a youth movement. And ultimately they settled upon Quin Snyder as the head coach. Snyder was an assistant under Mike Krzyzewski at Duke, then coached at Missouri for seven seasons. He eventually wound up in the D-League and Russia, with a couple of NBA assistant’s jobs thrown in, before landing in Salt Lake City.

    What BetAnySports patrons can see with Snyder’s roster is one where nine of 14 players have had two years of experience or less. As for the “veterans,” well, when Gordon Hayward first came into the league, he didn’t have the slightest clue how to execute an NBA offense. Now he is averaging 19 points per game. Derrick Favors has steadily improved and now averages 16 points and eight rebounds. This team is loaded with guards, with a rotation that includes Alec Burks, mighty mite Trey Burke, and 19-year-old Dante Exum, the first-round draft choice who is, almost without question, this team’s on-court leader of the future.

    But BetAnySports patrons should know that the player who has probably done the most in relative anonymity is a defensive force of nature named Rudy Gobert, who is among the NBA leaders in a number of important categories, including offensive rebounds, blocked shots (2.3 per game) and total rebound percentage. Gobert, a 7’1″ center out of France who is in his second season, is also in the top ten in both offensive and defensive rating, 16th in Player Efficiency Rating, and is way ahead of the field in block percentage, which represents the percentage of the opponent’s two-point field goal attempts he blocks.

    The advanced analytics of the day also compiles a “Defensive Box Plus/Minus,” which measures the “defensive points” a player produces, over and above that of an average player and an average team, and Gobert is #1 in that category. He keys the approach, which looks to create offense with defense. And going into the weekend, it had been eleven games since Utah had allowed any opponent so much as 45% from the floor. They are maybe the most improved defensive team in the league in the last month or so. It is worth taking note of what they are doing for NBA betting purposes, and also acknowledging Gobert’s importance to the overall picture, especially after Enes Kanter was traded.

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    NBA Betting: Young Jazz Making Strides with Defensive Ace
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    NBA Betting: Young Jazz Making Strides with Defensive Ace
    NBA Betting news: brief profile of the Utah Jazz who are playing much better basketball in the 2nd half of the NBA season behind the efforts of Rudy Gobert.