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EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Brilliant offense carries Jazz and Jae Crowder to win over Celtics

David Locke

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SUMMARY:  On a night when the headline was Gordon Hayward’s return to Utah. The sub tweet of Jae Crowder facing the team that traded him because they had Hayward was the sweet revenge.

  • The building was pumped tonight.  They booed Gordon whenever he touched the ball, expect the once or twice they forgot.   The lack of video tribute never put the focus on Gordon and placing him in the middle of the starters limited the time for the crowd to erupt.  It was well done by the Jazz organization to not feed the fire and let the game be the focus and it was a great game.  The crowd was awesome recognizing Jae Crowder and the story of him being unloved by the Celtics fans in exchange for Gordon.  The fans showed Jae major love.  The smarts of the Jazz fans are amazing.

 

  • The Jazz had a great offensive night. I am debating if it might have been the best offensive night of Quin Snyder’s run in Utah.  The Celtics are the #1 defense in the NBA.  The Jazz have struggled to explode offensively against elite defensive teams.  Tonight they had an offensive rating of 131 thru three quarters.  That means we were scoring 1.31 pts every possesson.  The Celtics defense on average allows 98.1.    The Jazz finished the night with a 126.   I am not sure the Jazz have ever had an offensive night 28 points better than the opponents average and I am not certain they have ever done it against a team as good as Boston.    Last years, best offensive outing was a 133 v. the Clippers.  The Clippers are not the Celtics defensively.

 

  • The Celtics are incredibly long and active defensively. They insist on pinning your offense to one side of the floor.  The Jazz were able to find Gobert on rolls.  Then the Celtics started to bring another man over to impact the roll man and the Jazz began to be able to swing the ball to the weakside and make the Celtics defense cover the entire floor.  The drive and kick game got going.  Rubio made some mid range shots when he found holes in the defense and then Joe Ingles went nuts on his way to 20 first half points.

 

  • Ingles finished with 27 points, 5 rebounds and 7 points. Think about this it is terrific.  The athletes of the Celtics.  Jason Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, etc all top 10 picks and Joe Ingles was the best player on the floor.

 

  • The Jazz targeted Hayward time and time again in the game. To Gordon’s credit he didn’t bump out or duck it.  The Jazz ran him off screens all the first half and then went at him in isolation with Donovan Mitchell.

 

  • Derrick Favors had 3 offensive rebound follows in the beginning of the 4th quarter that were the key sequence in the win. Favors offensive rebounds and follows are mammoth plays.  Not only do they take a miss and turn it to a make but they avoid having to defend in transition.

 

  • First play of the game was gorgeous. Give Ekpe Udoh credit he came up with what play to run at shoot around today.

 

  • Favors and Gobert had 31 points on 13 shots.

 

  • Jae Crowder had the big shots of the night. The Celtics turned the Jazz 20 point lead into a 4 point lead and it was a tight one down the stretch.   With the game 105-101 Crowder nailed a three with 4:36 left to give the Jazz a 7 point lead.  With the game back to 115-109 with :28 seconds left Crowder got the last laugh with a three.  Remember it was the Celtics fans who chanted for Gordon when the Jazz played in Boston two years ago, in Jae’s mind telling him they wanted him replaced.  He voiced that displeasure after the game.   Now he got to show the Celtics fans what they are missing.

 

  • Jazz got 12 corner three attempts again tonight. These are big numbers

 

  • The Jazz shot distribution is amazing. They had 38% of their shots at the rim.  43% of their shots as threes and only 18 in the non-restricted area.  They made 8 of 13 non restricted area twos which is really high but if the right people take them they aren’t bad shots.

 

  • Rudy Gobert made a ton of plays late in the game at the rim that were vital to the win. You will see the Jaylen Brown dunk but know it was irrelevant compared to the stops at the rim late.

 

  • Jazz need to just stay above water for a while here. The schedule is unpleasant.   Their will be some dips, but tonight was great fun.

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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