Charlotte, N.C. • Kyle Korver is back with the Jazz.
Those of you who were Jazz fans almost a decade ago, the first time Utah was using Korver, will be pretty much aware of what it brings. But at 37, what's left of him?
First, the ridiculous shoot is still intact. Korver draws 46% of the 3-point average this season, a figure just above his career average of 43%. What is really impressive is the variety of strokes that Korver can hit.
Of course, there is the simple catch and shoot spot-up three. Korver has literally nailed these guys better than anyone in the league in the last two seasons, averaging 1.61 points per possession this year in the small sample and 1.41 points last year, according to Synergy. Sports. His quick release allows him to get the hang, no matter how close his opponent – he has not been stuck on a jump shot this season yet. And if he does not feel comfortable with the close-up, he is good for a dribble, waiting for the defense, then for hitting anyway.
Some players lose the ability to get out of the screens and hit moving shots as they get older, but that's not the case with Korver. It's great for quickly maneuvering around a screen around the perimeter, then catching and shooting very fast. He scores 1.28 points per possession on these games on the screen, according to Synergy, one of the best numbers in the league, and some of them are just awesome to watch: the teams know that the screen arrives, that it is for Korver and that he has to stop … and they can not. The Korver team record, 22 points against Minnesota on Monday night in his last game as a Cavalier, is a good example.
The jazz coach, Quin Snyder, will benefit better than Cleveland coach Ty Lue. While Korver can just shoot from a screen and make semi-disputed shooting, in his plays for Cleveland, many of them are clear configurations for Korver that allow the defense to focus on him. Snyder is smarter. After training Korver in Atlanta with Mike Budenholzer, Snyder knows how to use Korver's shooting ability to provide opportunities for other players.
This video compilation from the time of Korver to Atlanta is from a first action, Korver coming out of the screen at the top of the bow. And the first clips are what you expect: Korver catches the ball and scores three times. But as the video progresses, you begin to see wrinkles. Korver begins to find the viewfinder for a shot or Korver pretends to go out of the screen to install something else. It's cool, in fact, how many results there is only one set.
One of the Jazz's favorite actions is the pick and roll "Spain", which is a sort of three-player pick and roll where the user places a screen for the sifter and the fat man who rolls and then goes out for shooting. The Jazz had Rubio with the ball, Ingles came out for the shot and Gobert rolled to the brink, but now, imagine it with the Ingles ball behavior and the fact that Korver came out. The result is going to be a ton of easy layups and dunks at the rim for Gobert and Ingles.
It's two different ways to use Korver, but Snyder is so good at crafting clever game designs in which the wrong direction is the main threat. So far this season, many of them have just been knocked out by a hoof of defenders. With Korver and Ingles together, it will be a lot harder to do that. With the Jazz, Snyder does not have a shooter capable of firing as fast as Korver, and that could well open a whole new world.
What Korver is not: a dribbler. It will not escape the screens and will not go into painting. Otherwise, it probably will not do it well. This is a change for the Jazz, where they have tried to have a system where every perimeter player is able to do it. If Korver catches the ball, it hits it, taking advantage of its gravity by passing it to an open person, or resetting the board.
The big question is: at 37, will Korver still be able to keep its share of the defensive market to stay away?
The statistics are actually quite promising. Korver does not get a ton of blocks, nor flights, but the Cavs were better with him on the ground in defense this year, about 2.1 points for 100 possessions. ESPN's Real Plus Minus, who tries to take into account Korver's teammates on the Cavs' bench team, believes the latter is a slightly below-average but not horrible defender. Alec Burks ranks much lower, for example.
Sometimes Korver is defeated for speed by players faster than him, but he stays in possession of the ball and influences the game most of the time. Again, do not expect regular shots from him, but here he is beaten by Stanley Johnson with a quick first step, but stays with Johnson and eventually recovers the ball.
Korver is also very smart about positioning and is very rarely burned, even in situations that you think are inappropriate.
Korver is also an active advocate for help. It will do the right stunts and rotations and will at least keep the basket easy. This aid situation is a good example.
Overall, Korver intrigues. There is a certain reality to recognize here: the Jazz acquires a 37-year-old from the league's worst team with second-round picks and an expiring contract. It's probably not fair to expect greatness.
But it is also clear that Korver can help Jazz in an obvious and subtle way. It would not be surprising to see the Jazz end some of his matches with him on the ground, thanks to the gravity of his shooting threat. And he has a less defensive responsibility than one would expect at this stage of his career. it's actually pretty solid in that respect, again. Overall, the Jazz has made a big step forward in the trade.
JAZZ VS. HORNETS
At the Spectrum Center, Charlotte, N.C.
tipoff • Friday, 5 pm MST
TV • AT & T SportsNet
Radio • 1280 AM, 97.5 FM
Records • Jazz 10-12; Hornets 11-10
Last meeting • Jazz, 106-94 (February 9th)
About jazz • New Acquisition The status of Kyle Korver must be determined for Friday's match, depending on the physical conditions of the players and the factors of movement … Jazz is 1-6 when Donovan Mitchell is not available or leaves a match at cause of injury … Rudy Gobert has 87 dunks through the first 22 games of Jazz
On the hornets • Kemba Walker is by far Charlotte's main threat, averaging more than 27 points per game … Second-year guard Malik Monk was a "very limited" participant in Thursday's training, leaving his status in doubt for the match on Friday … Other than Walker and Monk, only Jerry Lamb, with a double average