SUMMARY: The Jazz rolled to a 23 point lead and look for a comfortable win but looks were deceiving and the Wolves rallied back before the Jazz held on for their 8th win in 9 games
- The Jazz won their 8th in 9 games and most of the night will be remember for the tight finish and blowing the 23 point lead they had in the 3rd
- At the same time the Jazz made a tremendous amount of big plays even in the midst of the Minnesota run that allowed them to win the game. The biggest was the final defensive stop when Rudy Gobert went out to the three point line to alter the shot of Anthony Toliver after the Minnesota play broke down.
- Minnesota had four chances to tie or take the lead at the end and were never able to convert
- Some of the other big plays by the Jazz included a Rudy Gobert follow dunk after Donovan Mitchell made an amazing play to grab an offensive rebound. Gobert had a great defensive stop late in the game when Andrew Wiggins tried to go 1 on 1 off the pick and roll.
- Andrew Wiggins finished 8 of 25 and 7 of 22 from the 2 point range
- Donovan Mitchell had his first ever double double with 23 points, a career high 11 assists and 6 rebounds. Donovan shot didn’t fall in the 2nd half as he was just 2 for 14 from the field. In the third quarter run he made two amazing passes on a fastball from the right high quadrant to the left corner for a three for Georges Niang and then another amazing pass to Kyle Korver for a big three that was another of those big plays that kept the game in the win colulm.
- Rudy Gobert in 36 minutes tonight was +15. He had 18 points, 16 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 4 blocks. His impact is amazing
- Karl Anthony Towns committed two really obvious fouls in the opening moments of the game and almost immediately got his 3rd when he returned on a really heady play from Ricky Rubio who on a loose ball immediately attacked on off balance Towns to draw his 3rd
- Town ignited in the 2nd half and scored 29 points to bring the Wolves back from 23 points down to tie the game.
- Kyle Korver with 4 threes in a games when Korver has 3 three pointers the Jazz have not lost.
- The third quarter by the Jazz 38 to 24 was the really game changer. The end will be most remembered but the game was over in the third when the Jazz got up by 23 and it meant that the Wolves ran out of gas in the end.
- Jazz shot distribution was a vital part of the win. 40 threes and 28 shots at the rim. 68 of 94 shots 72% which is a bit low. The Wolves however were 26 threes and 28 shots at the rim 54 of 90 shots only 60%. This matters in a close game. Part of the Jazz defensive brilliance is forcing the correct shots.
LOCKED ON JAZZ – Why so passive? How Harden blows up the Jazz defense? Donovan Mitchell 2nd year playoffs
The Utah Jazz are getting ready for Game #3 v. the Houston Rockets. David Locke, the radio voice of the Utah Jazz and Jazz NBA Insider takes a look at why the Jazz looked so passive in Game 2 in Houston. Then Locke digs into what makes Harden so unique and why he has blown up the #1 defense in the NBA. Locke also takes a look at what other 2nd year players like Donovan Mitchell have done in their 2nd year playoff season.
LOCKED ON JAZZ – How good is Houston? Jazz can’t hit open shots. Facebook Live questions
The Utah Jazz have been blown out in both of the first two games of their first round series with the Houston Rockets. David Locke, the radio voice of the Utah Jazz and Jazz NBA Insider tries to figure out what has happened and why it has happened. Plus, it is a live show so Locke takes your questions from Facebook live.
EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Opening stretch tells the strory
Summary: The Jazz start poorly, the Rockets pounced and Harden was amazing it all lead to a Rockets blow out of the Jazz.
- The Jazz opened the night turning the ball over on 4 of their first 8 possessions. The Rockets scored 10 points on those 4 turnovers and that would tell the story of the night. The Jazz trailed 12 to 4 at the first time out.
- Then Harden went nuts. He is incredible. He never misses a read. In Game 1 the Jazz took away the step back and free throws. In the first quarter he had as many step backs and as many free throws as he had all of the first game. I really have no idea how you are supposed to guard him, He was 5 of 11 on step back tonight. He makes those at 40%. You have to take that away but the only way to do that is to play him from behind and force him into a drive.
- He has become the perfect modern player. The league values the three. He can make it at nearly 40%. The league knows you can’t afford to have a 40% three point shooter take 15 to 20 threes a game so you have to play him in this strange manner to force him to drive. Harden would take 20 threes if you let him. No one has ever had his three point shooting step back coupled with his handle and his passing. This just destroys the defense. When you force him to drive he has the floater game and he reads the defense perfectly.
- The Jazz defense failed in transition tonight. According to cleaningtheglass the Rockets averaged 1.7 pts per transition and only .94 in the half court. The .94 is a little above average but the Rockets are usually much better than that in the halfcourt. They are the #2 halfcourt team in the NBA. So the Jazz halfcourt defense was actually ok tonight.
- The Jazz offense is where things should be most concerning. The Jazz were not able to score with regularity against the Rockets in the playoffs last year, they weren’t able to score against them in the regular season and they haven’t been able to score against them tonight.
- The Rockets offense averages about 116 pts per 100 possessions. Even if the Jazz have a great defensive night hey will be around 108 but the Jazz offense v. the Rockets all season has been below 1 point per possessions. Until that is fixed it is hard see a scenario where the Jazz defense can hold the Rockets offense down far enough to win a game.
- The talk around the Rockets is that they are a better team than a year ago. A year ago they won 65 games and were a Chris Paul hamstring or a glutton of missed 3s away from winning the title.
- The Jazz average .74 pts in the half court
- Rubio and Crowder are a combined 2 of 14 on open threes.
- The Jazz came into the night 22 of 100 on above the break three point shots v. the Rockets this year. It continued again tonight as the Jazz shot 6 of 27 on above the break 3 and some of those were late.
- The Jazz have lost the first two games by 52 points. The Rockets look to be capable of winning the title
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