SUMMARY: A solid win for the Utah Jazz holding off a hot shooting third quarter to put on their own display of shooting in the 4th.
• This a win that a good team gets. Minnesota is short handed, missing three point guards. You have to be good enough to take advantage of that weakness. It is hard to beat a team twice in 48 and because they know where you are coming from and how you are attacking from them. However, Minnesota had a weakness significant enough that the Jazz were able to continue to exploit them.
• The Jazz are 9-7 on the road against Western Conference team. Only the Warriors are better at 9-6 and they are the only other team over .500.
• The key stretch of the night was in the 3rd quarter when the Timberwolves went nuts from three. The Wolves hit their final 2 threes of the 2nd quarter and then proceeded to hit 7 of 8 to start the third quarter. That the Jazz were able to stay in the game in this stretch was the key to the night.
• It was largely Donovan answering their threes with twos to keep the game close. Ricky Rubio made a bunch of plays in the third quarter as well.
• Minnesota lead 2 to 1 and didn’t lead again until 79 to 78 with 3:10 left in the 3rd quarter. The Jazz re-gained the lead after each of the three time Minnesota lead until they broke away at 86-83 and never trailed again.
• The Jazz went shooting nuts in the 4th quarter themselves. It was 90-85 to start the quarter. The Jazz opened 3 of 4 from three to start the quarter and it was 99-90 with 9:00 left in the 4th and the game was virtually over.
• Jazz had great balance tonight. 7 players were in double figures. The ball moved really well. Donovan knew where to get his shots in the 2nd half and when to attack and when to take the mid range shots.
• For all the talk of rim and threes and no mid range. That is not really fair. It is the correct mid range shots. The Jazz shot an amazing 85% of their shots at the rim or as a three. More importantly of the 14 mid range shots 10 of them were taken by Donovan. Donovan can use the mid-range to open up driving lanes for himself and for threes for his teammates. The mid range shots that have no chance to develop any other offense are to be avoided. In addition, Donovan is the only player shooting above 40% on long twos on the roster. Donovan taking mid range is not a bad shot since it opens other things. Moreover, it is really not a bad shot if he takes 10 free throws like he did tonight.
• Jazz have a nice rotation going to that starts with the starting line-up then runs with Donovan and Rudy before turning into Favors and Ingles. The Jazz are playing Rudy and Donovan 30 minutes together a night and it is wildly successful.
• Jazz offense won this game. Great ball movement. Super shot selection. 16 corner 3s. Consistent effort on the road. Solid win tonight that a good team wins.
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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