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EMPTYING THE NOGGIN as the Jazz beat the Sydney Kings in pre-season game 1

SUMMARY:   As expected the Utah Jazz were the superior team in a pre-season match-up with the Sydney Kings rolling to a harmless win.

  • Huge focus by the Jazz to increase tempo after misses.  The Jazz did this early in the game and ran away to a big lead.   However, they were unable to sustain that for the entire night and that is what is so hard about trying to be a running team is maintaining that level of energy for the entire night.


  • The coaching staff wanted to make sure the Jazz never let the Kings get comfortable. They did this perfectly in the 1st quarter and took a commanding lead.  However, in the 2nd quarter the Kings got more comfortable and outscored the Jazz in the 2nd  The game got down to 9 points in the 3rd quarter before the Jazz took control.


  • The Jazz played vertically at the rim all night. They were playing about the box all night.  Ricky Rubio and Joe Ingles were feeding Rudy Gobert all night.  It will be interesting to see against an NBA team with bigger guys if the Jazz are able to do the same thing.


  • Dante Exum played tenacious defense in the 2nd half of the game and played with great juice.


  • Alec Burks 4th quarter was super exciting. He unofficially had 5 assists in the quarter.  More importantly, he played the game a step ahead.  He was seeing plays as they happened or even before they happened.  His weakness in the past has been and he has self-admitted this, that he didn’t know where he was going so none of his teammates knew where he was going.  Tonight, it was against lesser talent, but he was really sharp and played ahead of the game.


  • Rodney Hood for 18 points to lead the Jazz on 7 of 10 shooting.  Mitchell had 11 off the bench on 4 of 8 shooting along with 3 assists.
  • Rudy Gobert was dominant.  He is so much longer than anyone else on the floor and it was something Sydney couldn’t handle, but nor can much of the NBA.  He had 15 points and 10 rebounds in 28 minutes.


  • Jazz played Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert to start the 1st and 3rd Otherwise,  the Jazz played Joe Johnson and Jonas Jerebko as the stretch 4 for most of the night.  It will be really interesting to watch how the Jazz use their bigs and how much Favors and Gobert play together.   Favors was the other center when Gobert was on the bench for much of the night.


  • Donovan Mitchell was quiet in the 1st In the 2nd half he had some really nice plays.  He went on a one on one drive and right when it looked like he going to force a shot he found Epke Udoh wide open for a dunk.   Then the next play he spaced perfectly and hit a catch and shoot 3.


  • Ricky Rubio is such a good passer the Jazz players are getting balls in places they never imagined. Both Favors and Gobert made great passes to the corner on mid rolls.  This is a must because Rubio is going to get them the ball on the roll and if the defense shifts they have to be able to adjust and make that pass to the corner.


  • The Sydney Kings were great fun. Andrew Gaze, the head coach, had a wonderful attitude and fun pre-game press conference.  It was interesting to hear them talk about the different ball and the impact it had on their practices.   Tom Garlepp joined us for our pre-game show and was a kick as well.


  • The Kings gave the Jazz exactly what the Jazz needed. The Kings put up resistance and forced the Jazz to play the game correctly.   They had enough talent to push the Jazz and the Jazz got a lot of tape they can learn from in game #1.

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David Locke enters his ninth year as the radio play-by-play voice of the Utah Jazz, having spent the majority of his career in radio in Salt Lake City and Seattle. In the summer of 2016, Locke created the Locked on Podcast Network which has podcast daily bite sized podcasts for every NBA and NFL team. A native of Palo Alto, Calif., Locke graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles with a degree in Political Science and Sociology. Locke and his wife have a son and a daughter.


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