SUMMARY: After a spirited three-quarters of basketball a convergence of circumstances zapped the Jazz and the Nuggets blew the Jazz out.
- This is about the Jazz and so I won’t be mentioning the Nuggets much. However, before I dig into everything from a Jazz perspective I was impressed by Denver. They look like a team that missed the playoffs by a single game. They are playing with an urgency they didn’t play with last year. The defense is much better and being played as a group. They are know where they need to rotate and they are getting to the spots. They were impressive and have a really good shot to be a top 4 team in the West.
- I thought the Jazz were really good tonight for 3 quarters. The defense was as good as it has been all season long. They got better each quarter. They were playing connected. They had a plan on what do with Jokic. The energy was great. The Jazz have made slip in forcing turnovers this year and they had a season high in steals and that represented the increased effort and focus. The Jazz played defense with a thrust. Denver had 68 points thru 3 quarters.
- The Nuggets were putting two guys on the ball on the pick and roll ball handler when he came off the pick and then bringing another if not two guys to cut off the roll to the basket. This blows up the timing both from the passer and the roller. The answer is to get off the ball once you have brought both defenders to you and then attack and swing for a good look, likely a three. The Jazz did this but didn’t make any shots.
- At halftime the Jazz had 40% shots at the rim and 38% of shots as threes. That is great. They just weren’t making.
- Then the 4th quarter happened. There was a lot that happened here and it all converged into the wheels falling off, the axels sparking and the car crashing.
- The Jazz were playing their 6th game in 6 cities. The ESPN scheduling charts where teams are at a significant disadvantage had the Jazz highlighted in this game. The Jazz gave incredible effort for 3 quarters and when things went array they didn’t have a reserve tank to pull from.
- The fatigue is obvious in the shooting numbers. The Jazz were 6 of 27 from three in the first three quarters and Jae Crowder had 4 of them. The rest of the team was 2 for 18 from three. In the fourth quarter the Jazz were 0 for 4. Making the rest of the team 2 for 22 on the night. That is unnatural. That is fatigue.
- Jae Crowder was great tonight. He played with incredible energy and nailed 4 threes. His final +/- number is really misleading. He was +14 thru 3 quarters and the Jazz lead by 5.
- The 4th quarter had a bunch of weird events. Malik Beasley who is not shooting well hit a three to spark the Nuggets. Quin went back to Donovan with 9:51 left and the Jazz up 4 and then Crowder the next possession when it was a 1 point game. Then the officals missed a really easy call. Murray lost the ball out of bounds and it should have been Jazz ball up 2 with 9:26 left and all the Jazz regulars back on the floor. Instead, Karl Lane kicked the call. The Nuggets in bounded and Beasley hit another three to give the Nuggets a 2 points lead. Beasley was 5 of his last 17 coming in and 1 of his last 7 from three. Then after an Ingles turnover the Jazz played brilliant defense and Mason Plumlee with the shot clock about to expire throws up a prayer and it goes in. His first three in 18 career attempts. Nuggets by 5. Then with it a 5 point game Donovan drives gets hurt and leaves the game. The Jazz become disheartened and it gets out of control. But that sequence was nuts.
- There were two other sequences in the game where the Jazz and Nuggets got the exact same shots back to back and the Nuggets made it and the Jazz missed. One was Exum on a wide open corner 3 and then Harris had the same shot and he hit it. Then the same happened a few players later.
- I really like most of what I saw tonight. My only concern is how the starting lineup can find the offensive flow it had at the end of last year. In the 1st quarter they were down 13-9 in 5:14 seconds and were 3 for 9 shooting. In the 3rd quarter they were even for 3:26 but again shot 3 for 9. They figured it out last year, so I assume they will again this year but thru 9 games this group is having a hard time scoring.
- This one was most likely in the L column when the schedule came out. It feels worse because it will be grouped into the 2 previous losses but tonight the Jazz showed all the signs of what they need to be to be a really good team.
EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – How bad was it? What does it mean?
SUMMARY: A historically bad shooting night becomes a historically bad margin of deficit for the Utah Jazz
- For the first time in 40 years of Utah Jazz basketball they lost a basketball game by 50 points.
- The 22 points in the 2nd half is the all-time low for the Jazz franchise
- The 22 points is the 3rd worst half of basketball in Jazz franchise history
- The 29 missed threes are the most three point misses in Jazz history
- The Jazz offensive rating was a 68.1 they have had the worse offensive games the following times since 1996, November 29th of 2005 they had a 67.1 against the Pacers. 4th of February in 2000 v. the Lakers the Jazz had an offensive rating of 67.4 and on 16th of February in 1999 they had a 65.6 offensive rating v. Seattle.
- According to cleaning the glass, the Jazz shot 3 of 21 on non-restricted area 2 point shots and 6 of 35 from three.
- The Jazz were down 6 at the end of the 1st The Jazz were 10 of 22 and 2 of 8 from three in the first quarter. The game was tied at 34-34- and the Jazz were down one at 39-38 and then it all fell apart at an incredible level. Rubio hit a layup with 6:34 and then the Jazz missed 12 straight shots until Rubio made another layup at the 1:33 mark. The amazing thing is they trailed by just 6. Barnes and Doncic hit back to back threes and the Jazz were down 12. However, they hadn’t hit anything. They were 4 of 18 from 3 and just 17 of 45 overall. My feeling at this point was shots would start to fall and the game was still there for the Jazz.
- However, the opposite happened. The Jazz open to the third quarter was dreadful. Donovan took a three and missed, Derrick had a contested corner 3 and missed, Donovan turned it over, Ingles turned it over and then missed a layup. Like that the Jazz were down 17 in just 2:37 of the quarter. Then it got worse. Mitchell missed again and turned it over. Rubio turned it over, Ingles missed a three, Rubio missed a three and eventually, the Jazz would miss 13 straight threes.
- They were down 25 at the end of 3 and wilted in the 4th.
- The question is why. I think it is one of those nights shooting. It happens. It happened last year on November 10th Miami. The 4th quarter is a rarity that they seemed to completely stop playing with any force.
- Does the 50 point margin matter? Other than ruining all metrics for months I am not certain.
- What does matter is that this is not a naturally good shooting team. The offense is getting the Jazz an incredible amount of looks at the rim and corner 3 and above the break 3. Going into the night the Jazz were getting the most corner 3s and were 0 for 9 and are now shooting 28% from the corner. .84 points per shot is not going to get it done. They rank 28th in corner 3s.
- We are getting really close to where this is not small sample size theater anymore. This is 18% of the season. It is not ok to have a fifth of your season where these numbers exist if it is game 1 to 14 or 53 to 67.
- The three point shooting is obvious because it is in the box score and easy to find but the Jazz were also 1 of 13 (not official) on paint non-restricted area 2 point shots. For the season they are 28% this shots in the paint non restricted area. 28% on a 2 point shot. This is last in the NBA. Luckily the Jazz don’t take a lot of those as shots but it a shot they take more than the corner 3.
- I have purposely have not discussed individual players. This was a collective effort. Dallas deserves some credit. They have won 4 of 5. The defense has been great in 4 of those 5 games.
- Here is what I find a bit concerning. The 5 jazz player who take the most threes all average 31% or below other than Joe Ingles. 31% is .93 pts per shot if you are average. The chances are on a night that 2 of those players will be below average. 7% of the time all of them will be below average and then you get a night like tonight. I felt the same way at the same point of last season so maybe it will be as silly a thought as it was at this point last year.
POSTCAST – Locke and Boone try to figure out the significance of this loss
Utah Jazz post game show on the internet. David Locke and Ron Boone try to figure out what happened tonight and what the significance of the night is for the Utah Jazz
LOCKED ON JAZZ – Favors/Gobert deeper dig, Warriors, Denver, Boston
The Jazz have unique lineups with Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert. When you look at those combinations and the numbers on the surface you have to be careful to not be swayed into an incorrect observation.
A deeper dive into those numbers reveals who Favors and Gobert have been playing together, how Rudy is playing with Jae Crowder and why the offense is struggling with Derrick Favors.
Plus, David Locke, the radio voice of the Utah Jazz and Jazz NBA Insider, takes a look at the situation in Golden State as well as in Denver’s sudden losing ways and the Boston Celtics confusion
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