Utah Jazz: Corbin makes a major shift in team's defensive philosophy
The move gets him to his spot quicker, putting him in position to help more. He's also taking more responsibility in being a defensive captain of sorts because he can help communicate to Jazz forwards from his vantage point down low.
"Al's been great," Corbin said. "He's had almost quadruple the amount of charges (as last season). I've been happy with his effort."
Drawing offensive fouls will make drive-happy players (he mentioned Thunder guard Russell Westbrook) think twice about coming down the lane, Jefferson said.
For him, taking charges is also a way — sometimes a painful way — to show his renewed commitment.
"Yeah, they hurt too," he joked. "They wanted me to be a better defensive player. Taking charges comes with the game. That's what helps being a great defensive player and also a great defensive team, so I'm just trying to do whatever it takes."
That whatever-it-takes attitude is probably the biggest shift the Jazz can make.
Corbin summed up the team's defensive mindset as such: "Committed. Extra effort. Hard-working group."
The Jazz have bought into that.
"With any defensive scheme, you're only as good as the people are willing to do," Bell said. "If we can drill, we can all get on the same page and understand it and we're all willing to do it, it can be awesome for us.
"But," he added, "you're only as good as your weakest link defensively. You could have four people committed to it and if one isn't, it's not going to be a great change. ... But so far, we're off to a great start."
Jefferson echoed the importance of that non-system-related standard Sloan set a few decades ago.
"No matter where you send it," he said, "if you send it to the middle or you send it to the baseline, you have to have the effort."
That's something his new and old Jazz coach would agree on.
"It (pushing to the middle) worked here for a long time. We can't knock the history the team's had," Corbin said when asked if the change was considered during Sloan's tenure. "But the personnel's different. We just changed."
For the better, the Jazz hope.
"It's not like it's going to solve all of our problems," Jefferson admitted. "We still have to play defense."
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