Heading into the 2012-13 season, Al Jefferson holds a belief about the Utah Jazz's success possibilities in his heart and mind.

The idea has weighed on him since the Utah Jazz were swept out of the first round by the San Antonio Spurs last spring. It also shaped his offseason workouts.

Simply put, Big Al believes the Jazz's failures or fortunes on defense revolve around him.

Asked if the Jazz have the makeup to become a tough defensive team this season, Jefferson responded in the affirmative, saying, "We most definitely have what it takes."

Fair or not, when it comes to stopping or slowing opponents, the 6-foot-10 big man considers himself the center of attention.

"But you know," he said, "it really starts with me."

That's especially the case, he pointed out, when opponents decide to go all John Stockton and Karl Malone on the Jazz.