Utah Jazz: one goal for every player in the starting lineup

Utah Jazz (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Utah Jazz
Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic (Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports) /

Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic

2021-22 Goal: post a positive Defensive Box Plus/Minus (DBPM)

Bojan Bogdanovic’s reputation as a defender is somewhat complicated. His performance based on DBPM, on the other hand, is not.

While there has been a degree of fluctuation in that statistic throughout Bogdanovic’s career, a negative symbol  has remained attached to whatever score he’s finished with in every season. In spite of garnering rave reviews from several observers for his performance on the defensive end in last year’s playoffs, the result was the same, as Bogey finished last season’s playoff run with a -0.6 DBPM for the Utah Jazz.

Obviously, that’s not a figure that suggests that Bogdanovic was an impactful defender during the Jazz’s playoff tenure. Regardless, it does represent an upgrade from the -0.9 mark he met by the end of the regular season, which itself is a significant upgrade from the -1.5 he finished with over the 2019-20 season.

Given that upward trajectory, Bogdanovic should make it a personal goal to continue his growth on the less glamorous end and post the first positive DBPM of his career in the 2021-22 NBA season.

Obviously, Bogdanovic’s value for the Utah Jazz comes primarily on the offensive end. His 17.0 points per game on 39% three-point shooting last season made him a key cog in their attack, able to space the floor for the ultra-talented backcourt of Mike Conley Jr. and Donovan Mitchell and also provide secondary shot creation.

In a sense, Bogdanovic is the Jazz’s inverse of Rudy Gobert: if he doesn’t improve his defense in the slightest, his offensive value is still high enough to make him an integral member of Quin Snyder’s starting unit.

Still, in an article outlining one goal for every member of the Jazz’s starting lineup, something has to be identified. If Bojan Bogdanovic could post a positive DBPM in 2021-22, it could do wonders for the Utah Jazz and their preventative power.