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EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – 76ers style doesn’t allow Jazz defense to have an impact

David Locke

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SUMMARY: Sixers unique style prevents the Jazz from having an impact on the game defensively and Sixers roll to a blow out win 114-97
• The Jazz defense has been amazing for the last 7 games and tonight the defense had very little impact on the game.

• The Sixers are a unique team because of their three main talents, Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler. In addition, they play a style of play that is very different than other teams in the NBA.

• The Sixers run 34 picks a game. The Jazz run 90 that is the two ends of the spectrum, but the 34 picks by the Sixers is really an incredible number. The league average is in the 60s, the next fewest is the Warriors with 45. This makes them different. For the Jazz it is a problem. The Jazz are the #2 team defensively in the NBA guarding the pick and tonight it wasn’t a factor.

• The Jazz are also the #4 team in the NBA defensively against the drive. Guess what the Sixers rank 29th in the NBA in drives. The Jazz didn’t get to use that strength tonight either.

• The Sixers are a tough match-up. Because Ben Simmons can’t shoot the Jazz had him guarded by Derrick Favors and the other power forwards. Simmons is such a beast on the boards you have to guard him with someone of like size. (6’10 230) The problem is that Simmons is guarded your guards so when you switch sides of the floor it becomes very difficult to match up and find your man. Simmons pushes the temp with such force that the defense is now on its heels and looking for matchups with whomever they can guard. The Jazz struggled with this all night and the again because of these mismatches it was hard for the Jazz defense to have the same impact they had the previous nights.

• The Sixers scored 35 in the 2nd and 38 in the 3rd

• Embiid also takes all of Gobert’s attention and this allows for back cuts and this resulted in numerous alley opp buckets for the Sixers.

• Embiid is so incredibly skilled. He started the night 1 for 4 against Gobert and then got going a bit when Favors guarded him and never stopped rolling when Gobert came back against him. He finished the night making 8 of his final 13 shots.

• JJ Reddick coming off handoffs was a hard handle for the Jazz tonight. Strangely, the Jazz rank 29th in the NBA guarding handoffs.

• Offensively the Jazz had 0 fast break points. According to cleaning the glass the Jazz average .375 points per possession off a live rebound. This is the one area where the Jazz offense is considerably less good than last year despite playing with increased pace. However, .375 is an incredible number when league average is over 1.1. The Jazz couldn’t get any push tonight from their offense off their defense.

• Dante Exum was the bright spot tonight. He was better than his stat line as he went 0 for 4 in the 4th quarter. He had 20 points, a season high and scored in array of fashions. He hit is first off the bounce three of the season. He hit two catch and shoot threes. He continues to play with a great deal of force.

• First time the Jazz lost when Kyle Korver hit two threes in a game

• Ricky Rubio’s terrific shooting for December took the night off going 1 for 10.

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

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