Between injuries and voluntary experimentation, Jazz fans have expressed frustration over head coach Tyrone Corbin’s roster/rotation moves. Corbin’s seeming lack of consistency (see Favors’ benching against Milwaukee) has left reporters questioning his decision-making…and Corbin quick to respond.
Truth is, however, Utah’s lineup hasn’t been any more inconsistent than in years past. The Jazz opened Wednesday’s loss to Cleveland with, according to Basketball-Reference.com, their 13th starting lineup of the season: Mo Williams (returned from injury), Randy Foye (regular starter), Derrick Favors (in for injured Al Jefferson), Paul Millsap (regular starter) and DeMarre Carroll (in for demoted Marvin Williams).
To put this in perspective, Utah rolled out 14 different starting lineups last season — and made the playoffs. Contrast that to 2010-11 (the last season the Jazz didn’t make the postseason), when 21 different starting units took the floor for Utah.
The same pattern holds true for previous seasons, even under former head coach Jerry Sloan. The 2005-06 season saw Utah use 21 different starting lineups. The year before that? A whopping 31.
This year, then, seems relatively quiet compared to Utah’s lottery-bound seasons, though with four losses in their last five games, even mediocre consistency doesn’t appear to be enough to guarantee a playoff berth.
Results-wise, the Foye/Jefferson/Millsap/Tinsley/Williams lineup has proven to be the best (17-10), though the oft-debated big lineup of Jefferson/Millsap/Favors/Foye/Williams was undefeated in just two appearances this season.
As for old-school Jazz fans wondering about the good old days: the 1997-98 Finals team used nine different starting lineups that year.