The Utah Jazz are free falling in the defensive ranks

The Utah Jazz have fallen apart defensively and it may be time to rethink who returns in 2024.

Utah Jazz v Houston Rockets
Utah Jazz v Houston Rockets / Tim Warner/GettyImages

The Utah Jazz have not been a good team, but despite its flaws, the issues aren't with the offense. Sure, there are some issues with the assist-to-turnover ratio, poor shot selection, and no outside shot to save their lives, but they can still score points. They are 16th in offensive rating and 11th in points per game.

Clearly, despite their offensive woes at times, they're a good offensive team. Defensively though, they're probably the worst in the NBA. They carry a defensive rating of 119.5, just .1 lower than that of the Washington Wizards, the worst defensive team in the NBA with 119.6, and the Jazz are going to overtake them.

The Jazz is falling fast on defense and that's not surprising, not with guys like Jordan Clarkson (-3.1 defensive box plus-minus), Johnny Juzang (-3.3 DBPM), Keyonte George (-2.6 DBPM), and Brice Sensabaugh (-2.5 DBPM) playing a majority of minutes. They're far from the only players, but they're among the worst offenders.

In fact , when looking at defensive box plus-minus, the only three players who posted a positive one this season were former Jazzman Kelly Olynyk, and current plays Kris Dunn and Walker Kessler. Kessler has been scapegoated some this season, but he's largely been the team's most consistent defensive player right alongside Dunn. The two of them aren't enough to carry a defense, however, as you need five viable guys to help raise the defensive tides.

Since Kessler and Dunn often don't get consistent minutes, it's not surprising that the team is in the shape that it's in. Guys like George, and Collin Sexton may look good at times on offense, but both men are killing the defense with their inability to stay in front of opposing players and contest shots.

Sexton isn't going to get better on defense, but George might, but if he's going to he's got to start showing it. He's got to show us that he has the ability to actually stop opposing players at some point, something he hasn't done once this season.

The defense is in shambles right now and the team has a long road ahead of it to bounce back from this disaster of a season. If they hope to compete in 2024-2025, they're going to need to add two-way players and defensive specialists who can help guys like George not be such liabilities.