Utah Jazz: 2 glaring weaknesses that may cost them a title

Utah Jazz (Russell Isabella-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz (Russell Isabella-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Utah Jazz
Utah Jazz (Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports) /

Glaring Utah Jazz weakness: Backup center

It’s easy to take for granted the overall defensive impact of a player like Rudy Gobert who is consistently great, night in and night out. But the Utah Jazz can certainly feel the impact when the 7-foot-1 Frenchman sits on the bench.

According to Cleaning the Glass, the Jazz were 14.6 points per 100 possessions better with Gobert on the floor than they were when he was off it. That was second in the league among players who played more than 500 minutes this past season.

And 12.7 of that difference was added on the defensive end, also good for second in the league among players who played more than 500 minutes. That is significant and speaks both to the talent of Gobert defensively and the lack of talent behind him.

Although Hassan Whiteside is a known player in the league and consistently puts up solid shot-blocking numbers, he is also pretty stiff defensively and isn’t a great team defender. According to Cleaning the Glass again, he ranked in the 40th percentile for players defensively in points per possession.

Adding another big man who is defensively-minded could be very valuable for the Jazz.

They could also go another route with it and look to add a stretch 5 behind Gobert. As great as Gobert is on defense, he also got played right off the floor in the Clippers series because he couldn’t hang with the wings and provided almost nothing offensively at times.

Adding a stretch 5 who could space the floor for the Jazz may not add to the value of the team defensively, but it could give them a better scoring option if Gobert struggles to be effective on the offensive end.

Next. Predicting next season's Jazz rotation. dark

If Utah wants to win the championship next year, they will need to learn how to manage defensively when Gobert is on the bench. Or else, it may cost them a title.