UTAH JAZZ

Fontecchio Is Only Jazz Returner To Improve Scoring Average

Dec 11, 2023, 2:42 PM

Simone-Fontecchio-Utah-Jazz-NBA-Dallas-Mavericks-Jumpshot-Dunk...

Utah Jazz forward Simone Fontecchio (16) shoots against the New York Knicks in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022. (Courtesy of Deseret News)

(Courtesy of Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – How have the Utah Jazz fallen from the ninth-ranked offense in the NBA last season to 26th this year?

You can blame everyone except second-year forward Simone Fontecchio.

Outside of Fontecchio, the Jazz’s top nine returning scorers from last season’s roster have seen a dip in their scoring production.

Nearly Every Jazz Player Sees Dip In Scoring

Acknowledging the gross over-simplification of how an NBA offensive operates, the Jazz’s scoring decline across the roster is a bizarre development.

Among the 10 returners from the Jazz roster last season, only Fontecchio has seen his scoring climb, moving from 6.3 to 7.3 points per game.

Here’s a look at the Jazz’s top nine returning scorers from last season, and how their scoring averages have dropped this year.

Player 2022-23 ppg 2023-24 ppg Net Difference EFG% 22-23 EFG% 23-24 EFG% Diff
Lauri Markkanen 25.6 23.7        -1.9 0.586 0.581 -0.005
Jordan Clarkson 20.8 17.1        -3.7 0.519 0.464 -0.055
Collin Sexton 14.3 12.3        -2.0 0.558 0.5 -0.058
Kris Dunn 13.2 3.9        -9.3 0.576 0.471 -0.105
Kelly Olynyk 12.5 7.9        -4.6 0.583 0.687 0.104
Talen Horton-Tucker 10.7 9.6         -1.1 0.467 0.458 -0.009
Luka Samanic 9.9 2.4         -7.5 0.526 0.397 -0.129
Walker Kessler 9.2 8.9         -0.3 0.721 0.56 -0.161
Ochai Agbaji 7.9 6.4          -1.5 0.532 0.592 0.06
Total    -31.9 ppg -0.358

Perhaps more concerning than the dip in raw scoring averages (which can be partially attributed to the additions of John Collins and Keyonte George in the rotation) is the overwhelming dip in scoring efficiency.

Among the top nine returning scorers, only Kelly Olynyk and Ochai Agbaji are scoring at a more efficient rate than last season.

On average, each player has seen nearly a four percent dip in effective field goal percentage from last season.

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Even if the Jazz were to remove little-used players like Kris Dunn and Luka Samanic from the equation, the efficiency still drops on average nearly two percent among the seven remaining players.

Due to a rash of injuries, and the relative youth of the season, there is still room for the Jazz’s offense to grow, and for individuals on the roster to see their scoring numbers improve.

But 21 games into the season, the Jazz offense has regressed across the board, and nearly everyone is to blame.

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Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

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Fontecchio Is Only Jazz Returner To Improve Scoring Average