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Utah Jazz

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – 2nd half blow out of mammoth proportions

David Locke

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EMPTYING THE NOGGIN
Summary: Jazz use a massive 2nd half run to blow out the hapless Cleveland Cavaliers

• Jazz trailed by 1 at halftime and by 9 in the 2nd quarter and it made everyone a bit nervous that the Jazz were about to drop a game they couldn’t afford to lose to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The shots weren’t falling, the spread floor of the Cavaliers with Channing Frye at center caused the Jazz some problems. The Cavaliers were fearlessly playing one on one going right at the Jazz defenders and drawing fouls.

• Then reality set in and the superior team put out a mammoth butt kicking in the 2nd half. The Jazz won the 2nd half 69-42. The Jazz lead by 20 tonight for the 12th time this year. Milwaukee has done it 15 times, including tonight. Oklahoma City and Philadelphia have lead by 20 14 times and the Raptors have lead 13 times. The Jazz are tied for the 5th most amount of 20+ point leads. Then when you consider the Jazz have only played 3 games against the 9 teams with a differential below 2 it is really impressive. Tonight that was not the case but 10 of the 12 times the Jazz have lead by 20 this year it has been against a high level opponent. This is usually a pretty good indicator of how good you are.

• Speaking of bad teams. This was the Jazz third game against the 9 teams with a differential under 2. The Jazz will play a total of 20 games against those teams. If the Jazz schedule had been equally distributed the Jazz would have played 6 more games against bad teams by this point of the season. How differently would we feel about the Jazz? In addition this was our 23rd road game of the season. Again if our schedule had been equally distributed we would have played 19 road games at this points. So take away 4 road games which is about 6 plane flights and add 6 games against bad teams and what do you think the narrative around the Jazz would be?

• I think this goes for how we view our players as well.

• Rudy Gobert was dominating tonight. Cleveland took 23 shots at the rim the entire game and made just 12. It feels like teams try it early and then just give up because it is worthless cause.

• The Jazz defended the ball much better in the 2nd half and stopped fouling at the rate they did in the first half.

• 8 Jazz players were in double figures.

• Donovan Mitchell night was really interesting. He only took 12 shots and seemed to play a very calm game. He scored 18 points on those 12 shots. He was very efficient. He was in control and he had 5 assists. The narrow area Donovan has to live is nearly impossible. He is the offensive player on this team. He is the player that can go one on one and get a shot. He is the scorer. This burden leads him to feel the need to take 20 shots a night. This often includes many low percentage shots. Then he gets criticized, from me and others, for being inefficient. Tonight he didn’t do that. He took the good shots. But what happens to his other 8 attempts. Do other people make them? Against a better team does he have to take them? Who takes them instead and is that better? Then when the answer to any of these is no Donovan is again forced to take more shots and force shots and hurt his efficiency. It is a really difficult spot for a 2nd year player.

• Joe Ingles 12 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists. Great all around game

• Dante was really solid again tonight. He is getting better and better. Playing New York and Cleveland makes players feel better about themselves and then they can build off those night for more good nights.

• Jazz have 17 more games against the lesser opponents. Probably have to win 15.

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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