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Utah Jazz

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Engaged Jazz blowout the Warriors

David Locke

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EMPTYING THE NOGGIN

Summary:   The Utah Jazz blow out a disengaged Golden State Warriors team for the 2nd time this season.

  • This game was really simple.  The Jazz are tuned in.  They are dialed.  They are playing at an elite clip.  The Warriors want to get to the playoffs.  They had nothing on the line.  They weren’t particularly interested in playing.  With that said I thought there was a moment when the Jazz humiliated the Warriors early in the game that the Warriors would fight back and the Jazz were so dialed in that the Warriors decided that wasn’t worth their time

 

  • Every NBA player is inherently competitive so while the Warriors weren’t engaged they aren’t interested in being embarrassed. The Jazz left them no choice

 

  • Donovan Mitchell throttled Klay Thompson in the first quarter of the game. The Warriors were getting on Donovan’s left hip as he drove with the right hand and drive him into the big.  He had great patience and worked himself until he felt comfortable despite Thompson leaning all over him and nailed both floaters.

 

  • The play by Donovan that really jumped out to me was he was lifted on the right side. Thompson was guarding him and trying to force him to his right.  Donovan started right and then Gobert came for a pick and Donovan was able to get back left off the pick but he did it slowly and in complete control.  He coaxed Thompson into the pick.  He didn’t rush and he step into an off the bounce three.   He has struggled on off the bounce three point shots and being able to control his speed will help a great deal.

 

  • Rudy Gobert had two amazing defensive plays tonight. Klay Thompson came around his curl that gives him an open free throw line jumper.  However, Rudy popped out and took away Thompson’s shooting window and forced him to change from a shot to a pass in mid air. Then on another play the Warriors broke down the Jazz defense and Draymond Green got into the paint headed to the basket on the right side of the rim.  Rudy was on the prowl so Draymond threw a nifty over the shoulder pass to Kevon Looney who was right on the rim.   Rudy was able to change direction from altering Green to block Looney’s shot.  For all the talk about Rudy’s wingspan and standing reach the real gift that he has as a defensive player is multiple actions.   That is what separates Rudy.    The first play is length, timing and scouting.  The second is the ability to make one play and then be so athletic that he can make another immediately following.

 

  • Few years back before Rudy was the Rudy we know today I was on the bus sitting next to Alex Jensen on our way to shootaround in NYC. With NYC traffic it was taking forever.  I was watching (read bothering) Alex as he was breaking down Rudy film.  He told me to watch two plays and both of them involved multiple actions.  He then said, this is why he is going to be great.  There aren’t guys his size that can do this.    It is worth watching for.

 

  • We are on the plane heading to Portland with a chance to win the division and get home court. That is amazing.   If this had been a normal season where a team just plays somewhat consistently all season and the Jazz were competing for the 3rd spot that would be remarkable.  Add in the injury to Gobert, the December skids and the this season is truly one for the ages.

 

  • It looks like OKC for the Jazz in first round. Where we do not know.   If the Jazz win we will be home on Saturday or Sunday.  If the jazz lose it is off to the gorgeous plains of OKC.

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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