2014-15 in Review: Jarrett Jack
It was a dark and stormy night – not too much different than tonight – that my whole world changed… but I’m getting ahead of myself.
I was once the hottest detective in this town. You had a problem: missing money, cheating dame, whatever, you came to me and I found your answers. Then came the case I couldn’t solve, the one that wasn’t even mine… I just got caught in the middle. Wrong place at the wrong time is how the phrase goes.
It starts as all my stories do these days, with me walking out of one of my favorite watering holes deep in that part of the city where people go when they don’t want to be found. I turned down an alley and saw the body. It was the Brooklyn Nets 2014-15 season… dead. The thing I remember most about that moment was how peaceful it looked lying there. Despite being broken and battered, it looked like it was almost glad that it was just over.
For days I tried to forget about that dead season, but it just kept popping up. I knew then that I couldn’t rest until I solved it… who killed the Brooklyn Nets 2014-15 season?
I started digging into the usual suspects, the overpaid superstars, the disruptive locker room whiner, but they just didn’t feel right. That’s when I got the call. I still don’t know who it was, all I know was that it was a whispered voice in the night from something called a “blog.” I pressed my ear to the receiver… ”Jarrett Jack” breathed the voice, “look at Jarrett Jack.”
I started digging through any records of this Jack that I could find. Turns out this guy was a major player, in fact he played the second most minutes on the Nets this season. He also seemed to be a likely suspect since he averaged the most turnovers per-36 minutes (3.1) among regular players and had the worst plus/minus (-5.1). There are two sides to every story though, I just needed to find the other side of Jarrett Jack’s.
Once you start poking around town, asking questions like the ones I’m asking, you get a little attention. A few days after I started looking at Jack, I got a visit someone who was eager to defend him. Said he was a steady hand who shot 43.9% from the field, scored 15.4 points, and averaged six assists per-36. This tall, gruff figure also told me that Jack’s numbers got better in the fourth quarter, going up to 48.9% shooting and averaging 17.7 points per-36 fourth quarter minutes. I never did get the fellow’s real name, but he let me call him by his alias: Hionel Lollins… guy was adamant that Jack was one of the good ones.
Sure those numbers are fine, but Jarrett Jack still shoots an upsetting 26.7% from 3-point territory. I also later found out that those fourth quarter numbers were offset a bit by Jack’s lower assist numbers in the fourth. Let’s just say I wasn’t convinced of his innocence in this crime, so I started looking elsewhere for clues. They say you can get the measure of a man by how well he plays with others, so I went looking for some others.
What I found was an expert, a man who knew the environment where Jack worked. He told me that net rating is a way to measure how many points a fella or group of fellas scores versus the amount they’re giving up. What he shared with me was that, of all the two-man combinations with the worst net rating (that played 500 minutes or more together), the worst four, and six of the worst seven all had Jarrett Jack in them.
The stinker of the lot was when Jack and Deron Williams teamed up together, where they managed to give up 107.6 points per 100 possessions while only scoring 97.3. In fact, if Jack played with Deron, Mason Plumlee, Brook Lopez, Joe Johnson, Kevin Garnett, or Alan Anderson they didn’t hit 100.
This expert also told me about usage, the percentage of a team’s plays used by a player, where Jarrett Jack and his meager output had the second highest usage of the regulars (22.5%), behind only Brook Lopez (26.2%). That was it, this expert convinced me… Jarrett Jack killed the 2014-15 Brooklyn Nets.
And this is where the story turns on its head, and mine. I took my findings to the police, but the sergeant threatened to arrest me! He said I was just stirring up trouble and the Brooklyn Nets season was just fine. I did manage to grift a little something from his pocket though as he tossed my unceremoniously from the building… a Russian ruble… odd thing for a policeman to have.
I tried to reach back out to my expert, but he was gone, as was my office. Gone. Just like that. It was all taken away on the back of a jet ski and all that was left was a note reading “you’re done detecting in this town, don’t let the screen door hit you where the good lord split you.”
Me? I’m still here, just a little drunker and a little more bitter. I’m starting to get over seeing the 2014-15 Brooklyn Nets just laying there, but I’ll never forget.