NBA analyst mistakenly calls the Utah Jazz ‘one wing short’

Utah Jazz (Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz (Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Utah Jazz
Philadelphia 76ers (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) /

Philadelphia 76ers top 3 wing defenders: Matisse Thybulle, Danny Green, Tobias Harris

Average DBPM: 2.0

A heavily considered alternative title for this piece was “Defense: An Ode to Matisse Thybulle”. His DBPM of 4.3 more than doubles that of Utah Jazz wing Royce O’Neale, who contributed the second highest figure on this list.

The Philadelphia 76ers top the competition in this exercise by a healthy margin. They had the second best team defensive rating in the NBA last season at 108.5, behind only the Los Angeles Lakers, who didn’t win enough games to qualify.

Obviously, Thybulle’s robust figure boosts Philly’s overall average. However, it’s also worth noting that Ben Simmons, the 76ers’ Defensive Player of the Year candidate, did not meet the qualifications for a wing. He spent 98% of his minutes running point last season, and the other 2% came, ironically, at the shooting guard position.

Call Simmons a shooting guard at your own peril, but the numbers suggest that he’s not a wing either.

Danny Green posted an also-impressive 1.2 DBPM for the team of brotherly love last season, meaning that Philly’s second-best wing defender bested 2 of the Utah Jazz’s 3 finest. Tobias Harris rounded out Philly’s group at 0.5: not a tremendous figure, but given the figures posted by Philly’s top two contributors, and his own offensive abilities, it’s one Head Coach Doc Rivers will live with.

Next. Ranking Donovan Mitchell among NBA's top shooting guards. dark

Identifying a single flaw in the Utah Jazz is a difficult exercise. They are one of the NBA’s deepest and most well-rounded teams. Their biggest obstacle to contention may, in fact, be the absence of a top 5 player. Nonetheless, when compared and contrasted with the NBA’s other top squads from last season, it seems apparent that the Jazz are sitting comfortably as far as defensive wing depth is concerned.