Utah Jazz Best Five-Man Units Without Bogdanovic
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic underwent season-ending wrist surgery in May. Bogdanovic, the team’s second-leading scorer, leaves a glaring hole in the team’s rotation as it prepares to resume the season in Orlando. Now, the team must find a new set of lineups as they hope to compete for a championship at The Walt Disney World Resorts. Despite the loss of Bogdanovic, the Jazz have displayed some promising lineups without the sharp-shooting forward on the floor. This is a look at the Jazz best five-man units from the Jazz this season that didn’t feature Bogdanovic.
Unfortunately for the Jazz, Bogdanovic was a mainstay in the team’s starting lineup. The lone game he didn’t start, the now waived Jeff Green assumed his starting role. That means the Jazz will return to Orlando with a starting lineup that has never seen the floor this season.
Mike Conley, Donovan Mitchell, and Rudy Gobert can be penciled in as starters assuming they travel to Orlando. That’s good news for the Jazz because when those three players are on the floor together, the team has a Net Rating of 2.8 in 675 minutes this season. For those wondering, Net Rating is found by subtracting a team’s defensive rating from its offensive rating. While 2.8 isn’t an enormous number, it’s a sign those three can play together.
Mike Conley, Donovan Mitchell, & Rudy Gobert all scored over 20 PTS in the win over Golden State 🎷 pic.twitter.com/wHi7dZmI8P
— NBA UK (@NBAUK) November 12, 2019
Snyder now needs to find the best two-man combination to start among those players. To date, the best additions to those three players are Joe Ingles and Royce O’Neale. That five-man unit has only played together for a total of 14 minutes this season but has a Net Rating of 21.3.
Beyond the starting lineup, these have been Snyder’s most proven options.
Best Available Jazz Five-Man Units
Conley, Clarkson, Ingles, O’Neale, Bradley NetRtg +85.5
Truthfully, it’s rare to find consistent opportunities to play specific five-man units. Outside of the starting lineup, rotations are often dictated by foul trouble, injuries, and opposing matchups. Thus, it’s important to find groups that have played a reasonable amount of time together so far this season. In this case, the criteria includes five-man units that have played at least 10 minutes together, with a Net Rating better above seven.
Luckily for Snyder, the Jazz best five-man unit under the criteria should be available in Orlando. That group consists of Conley, Jordan Clarkson, Joe Ingles, Royce O’Neale, and Tony Bradley. In 11 minutes this season, that Jazz lineup had a staggering 85.5 Net Rating this season. In fact, it’s the Jazz best overall unit this season, even with those that include Bogdanovic.
— utahjazz (@utahjazz) March 3, 2020
Though 11 minutes is a small sample size, there’s a reasoning behind it. The Jazz didn’t acquire Clarkson unit December 23. Meanwhile, a hamstring injury sidelined Conley for all by 19 games since the team acquired Clarkson.
That five-man unit appeared together in seven of the 19 games both Clarkson and Conley were available to the Jazz. Look for the group to get more time together in Orlando.
Mudiay, Clarkson, Ingles, Niang, Gobert NetRtg +68.4
Coincidentally, the Jazz second-best unit under the measurable criteria (even with Bogdanovic) is also available to Snyder. That group is made up of Emmanuel Muday, Clarkson, Ingles, Georges Niang, and Gobert.
That five-man unit has appeared in a total of 14 minutes this season, and eight games overall. The group has a Net Rating of 68.4.
Mudiay INT + 3 pic.twitter.com/J0moEMG7V7
— utahjazz (@utahjazz) January 15, 2020
The difficulty in finding time for this unit hinges on the comfort Snyder has with playing Mudiay as the season winds down. After Conley returned from injury, Mudiay’s minutes were dramatically lowered. Though the big-bodied guard has been a pleasant surprise this season, he’s buried behind the league’s deepest guard rotation.
Unless a specific postseason matchup benefits Mudiay’s midrange heavy game, don’t expect to see him much to close the season.
Conley, Clarkson, Ingles, Niang, Bradley NetRtg +28.9
Of all the units meeting the criteria, the Conley, Clarkson, Ingles, Niang, and Bradley grouping might get the biggest opportunity to prove itself in Orlando. Despite appearing in just 10 games together, the unit recorded an impressive 78 minutes on the floor with a Net Rating of 28.9. That total makes this the most frequently used unit that Snyder will have available when the season resumes.
The group was so productive, Jazz vice president of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey mentioned the lineup in a media conference call last month.
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) May 5, 2020
“I was really excited about the chemistry we were getting with our second unit that [Snyder] had found,” Lindsey said. “That group was showing very serious chops offensively. We really liked how they were playing together and I think we were really finding ourselves and our second unit.”
Mitchell, Clarkson, Ingles, Niang, Bradley NetRtg +27.2
Further legitimizing the previous lineup, this five-man lineup is nearly identical, substituting Conley for Mitchell. In 65 minutes this year, the group has a Net Rating of 27.2. The unit appeared together in 21 games since December 26.
What makes this grouping of lineups exciting is the ease in which Snyder can find opportunities for these players together. Each player is firmly entrenched in the team’s eight-man rotation, and should expect to see the floor in Orlando.
Being able to fluctuate between Mitchell and Conley while still rolling out a promising unit allows Snyder to workout foul trouble and matchups between the two guards.
Mitchell, Clarkson, Ingles, O’Neale, Gobert NetRt +7.3
The last unit on the list holds importance due to the frequency in which it can be used. With Clarkson as the Jazz sixth man, Snyder can access this group after substituting Conley from his best available starting lineup.
This five-man lineup had a Net Rating of 7.3 in nine games together and played total of 18 minutes.
— utahjazz (@utahjazz) January 25, 2020
In addition to the ease of accessing this unit, it also serves to set up the two previously mentioned units on the list. From this grouping, can replace O’Neale and Gobert in the frontcourt to bring in Bradley and Niang. Afterward, Conley can sub in to give Snyder his most commonly used reserve unit.
The Jazz face a tough dilemma without Bogdanovic in the lineup. Finding a full rotation without him will force Snyder to audition untested lineups during the season’s most crucial games. However, beyond the starting lineup, the Jazz can depend on several five-man units that have shown promise so far this season.
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