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Donovan Mitchell blows out LeBron’s candles and steals his presents on LeBron’s 33rd birthday

David Locke

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SUMMARY: A raucous party on LeBron James’ birthday was crashed by Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz.

  • A possession-for-possession game in the final five minutes against LeBron James seems like an impossible task, but tonight the Jazz showed great resilience and held off LeBron and the Cavaliers to win 104-101.

 

  • The Cavaliers blitzed the Jazz in the first quarter, 32-22. In the second, both coaches used the mandatory timeout by the 8:20 mark and with the extended play without a lengthy timeout, the Jazz wore out the Cavaliers and cut the deficit to five points by halftime.

 

  • In the third quarter, the Jazz exploded for a 19-3 start and ran out to a 15-point lead. The Jazz were spurred on by Ricky Rubio who was fantastic all night. The Jazz lost the lead late in the third with a bunch of one-on-one play.

 

  • The Jazz clung to an 8-point lead when LeBron James re-entered in the final quarter, 83-75. In no time, that was down to a single point at 91-90 with 3:30 left. The Jazz hadn’t won a game all year decided by five points or less. Only the Boston Celtics have won more games that were within five points with five minutes to play and Cleveland is the number one offense in the clutch.

 

  • With 3:25 to go, Donovan Mitchell scored on a driving lay-up. Wade answered and then Mitchell did it again as he came off a pick and the Cavaliers doubled him. He threw a 90 mile an hour fastball to Favors who made a touch catch and finished plus the foul. The Cavaliers then got three chances on the next possession and got it back down to two points on Kevin Love free throws.

 

  • At this point, Quin Snyder had turned the game over to Donovan. Ricky Rubio — who had been marvelous all night — was not on the floor. The Jazz were closing with Mitchell, Hood, Ingles, Sefolosha and Favors.   Rubio was great tonight.  On numerous occasions he made superb point guard plays to stem off runs from the Cavaliers.  He settled the team down.  He made numerous passion plays.  Rubio plays harder than anyone on the team.

  • Mitchell split the double team on the pick-and-roll, got fouled and then — as though it was no big deal — nailed both free throws. Three straight possessions and Mitchell’s play had led to three straight baskets in the clutch and the Jazz led by four. Cleveland answered with a 3 from Kevin Love and the lead was back down to one point.

 

  • Mitchell then missed a 3. Jeff Green switched on him and Donovan didn’t seem sure how to attack so he tried a 3 and it was short. The Jazz got the stop on a Wade 3 and this is when Mitchell shook the NBA world.

 

  • With :40 seconds left and up 1, Donovan Mitchell brought the ball up the floor and was marked by JR Smith. Rather than getting a pick from the pick-and-roll, Mitchell exploded by Smith to the rim and was able to finish in traffic to put the Jazz up by three. This was so special. Donovan is remarkable.

 

  • Now it was time for the defensive stop of the night. LeBron James tried to get Thabo Sefolosha switched off of him but couldn’t and so he tried to take Thabo down the lane one-on-one. Thabo stayed right with LeBron and didn’t allow him any space and he wasn’t able to get up, the shot fell short and Thabo grabbed the rebound.

 

  • Sefolosha and Favors were prefect from the line down the stretch and the Jazz defeated the Cavaliers.

 

  • The Jazz finish a brutal month at 5-10 which was the standard of success. I am not sure many people thought the Jazz could find five wins in this schedule, but they were able to get it done. Utah had wins this month over Washington, New Orleans, Boston, San Antonio and Cleveland.

 

  • Derrick Favors was terrific tonight. The Cavaliers put a lot of pressure on Mitchell coming off the pick-and-roll and it forced Derrick to make a lot of plays in the middle of the floor. Derrick is one of the top five finishers around the rim and it showed tonight with his amazing hands on numerous tough catches.

  • Donovan Mitchell’s December for a rookie was historical. The kid is really amazing.

 

Michael Jordan 25.2        ‘84

David Robinson 24.0        ‘89

LeBron James    23.3        ‘03

Donovan Mitchell 23.1   ’17

Blake Griffin       23.0        ‘10

Ron Harper         22.9        ‘86

Allen Iverson     22.6        ‘96

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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Utah Jazz

Danny Ainge the Executive Part 1 – Rebuild to Championship – What can we learn

David Locke

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In a part series a deep dive look into Danny Ainge career as a General Manager and what we can learn from how he might run the Utah Jazz. Ainge’s career has 4 stages and today we look at the first two the rebuild to the Championship. In the next episode we will look at the Fleece into a contender. The common threads of Ainge’s career are a great read of the moment, a variety in the types of players he acquires, added value that matters, perfect recognition of his talent, fleecing of other teams and he doesn’t always hit on this draft picks but he doesn’t miss. David Locke, the radio voice of the Utah Jazz and Jazz NBA Insider brings you the daily podcast on the Utah Jazz. Locked On Jazz Podcast https://www.lockedonjazz.net/ LockedOnJazz.com https://buff.ly/2FEZTVY Apple https://apple.co/3Dc8QBq Spotify https://spoti.fi/3IfvgVX Stitcher https://bit.ly/3pkGyzB Google https://bit.ly/3I8TwJz Follow David Locke on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DLocke09 #NBA #UtahJazz #DonovanMitchell #RudyGobert #NBAPodcast

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Utah Jazz

Luka Doncic and Dallas made Phoenix look like Utah and it was a bad day for Centers

David Locke

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Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks made the Phoenix Suns look the same way they made the Utah Jazz look. How did they do it? What does it mean for the Jazz and the Suns looking forward.

The Game 7 match-ups were a bad day for Centers in the NBA. Brook Lopez who had led the take away the rim style of NBA defense in Milwaukee had Grant Williams shooting 16 three point shots and the Celtics got the win. The Phoenix Suns #1 pick Deandre Ayton was played off the floor by the Dallas Mavericks as well as “internal” issues. Plus, the Mavericks 5 out drive offense makes it very hard for a center to defend on the perimeter.

David Locke the radio voice of the Utah Jazz and Jazz NBA Insider looks at all those options and sets the table for what the Utah Jazz can do.

Locked On Jazz Podcast

Locked on Jazz

LockedOnJazz.com https://buff.ly/2FEZTVY

Apple https://apple.co/3Dc8QBq

Spotify https://spoti.fi/3IfvgVX

Stitcher https://bit.ly/3pkGyzB

Google https://bit.ly/3I8TwJz

Follow David Locke on Twitter:

#NBA #UtahJazz #DonovanMitchell #RudyGobert #NBAPodcast

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Utah Jazz

Five off-season models for the Utah Jazz. Which do you prefer?

David Locke

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The Utah Jazz are confronting a pivotal off-season. How will they proceed? One school of thought, it has run its self out and to blow it all up? What benefit does that have? From there, there are three different approaches, trying to add a home run to the already set core of Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. Another approach would be to move the a bunch of pieces to add pieces and add depth. The final choose would be to narrow down to one of the core pieces are re-mold the franchise with that core piece. David Locke the radio voice of the Utah Jazz and Jazz NBA Insider looks at all those options and sets the table for what the Utah Jazz can do. Locked On Jazz Podcast https://www.lockedonjazz.net/ LockedOnJazz.com https://buff.ly/2FEZTVY Apple https://apple.co/3Dc8QBq Spotify https://spoti.fi/3IfvgVX Stitcher https://bit.ly/3pkGyzB Google https://bit.ly/3I8TwJz Follow David Locke on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DLocke09 #NBA #UtahJazz #DonovanMitchell #RudyGobert #NBAPodcast

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