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EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Fair to say the Jazz don’t seem to match up well with the Pacers

David Locke

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SUMMARY:  Another loss at home and another blow out to Indiana Pacers as the Jazz fall 117-89

  • The hope coming in was the Jazz could build off last night’s play in Sacramento and get some momentum before heading to the East Coast for games 10,11 and 12 of this swing.  Instead, the Jazz dropped their 6th home game and got blown out by the Pacers for the 2nd time this season.

 

  • Obviously, it is fair to say this is a bad match-up for the Jazz.  Jazz lost to the Pacers by 27 in Indiana.  This is a bad matchup.
  • The Jazz fell behind early in the game. Then whenever it felt the Jazz were making inroads the Pacers would make plays on the offensive end and when you looked at the scoreboard the lead was the same as it was at the beginning of the stretch.

 

  • Then the Jazz cracked. That is what has happened in a few of these games.  They battle, they fight and then at some point It is too much too overcome and it runs away from them.

 

  • Defensively, the Jazz have not been able to stop the Pacers at all over two games. The Pacers are really good.  They are likely a top 3 or 4 team in the Eastern Conference.   Yet, offensively they are far better against the Jazz then they have been against most of the league.  Almost all of their sets come back to a high pick and roll and the Jazz had a hard time with it, particuallarly when they are making the long 2 point shot.

 

  • The Pacers hit 20 of 40 long 2s tonight. That is a really high rate

 

  • The Jazz finished 13 of 51 outside the rim tonight. They struggled on both 2s outside the rim (5/20) and threes (8/31)

 

  • It is really amazing the Jazz are able to get 40% of their shots at the rim despite teams packing it in as much as the Pacers did tonight.

 

  • Over the last 10 games the Pacers are #1 in the NBA in forcing turnovers and defensive rebounding. They have incredibly active hands and get into you defensively from the start of the game.  In both match-ups this seemed to undo the Jazz a bit early in the game.  Tonight the Jazz turned the ball over on 5 of their first 11 possessions.   In both match-ups on the first play of the game they knocked the Jazz off what they wanted to do and it was as though they gained momenteum immediately.

 

  • From a big picture standpoint, it feels strange that the Jazz are losing by such a large margin this often. It seems strange that so many players are having shooting woes.   When all of them are experiencing the same thing I look to see if there is some common thread.   The two things that come to mind are that they know each other are struggling so each of them is pressing to get out of the slump.  The other would be the schedule.  This was not a home game.  This was another road game in an absurd stretch of 12 games, where the Jazz play in 11 cities in 4 time zones and begin and end in the Eastern time zone.   This is taking a tool.

 

  • The Jazz were without Donovan Mitchell tonight.

 

  • Long way to go. Obviously, 6 home losses and some big losses don’t feel good (go back and look at last year they existed as well)

 

  • The Locker-room tonight sounded frustrated but connected. That is probably the most important.  Stay the course.  Things are being done correctly.  Tighten the screws and see if the group can find a collective rhythm.

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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