SUMMARY: Bucks pull away in the 4th quarter to win a terrific game in the new Fiserv Forum
• This was a great game. Super game plans from both sides. Great play from stellar players. Closely fought. Each team trying to exploit the other. Super effort on both sides. Stars going head to head. A great game all the way around other than the outcome.
• The Jazz came out with Rudy Gobert guarding Giannis Antetokounmpo. But guarding him only in the paint. When Giannis was outside the three point line Rudy stayed in the paint with both feet planted in the green. When Giannis came at him he absorbed him and made him shot over his verticality. We never saw a Giannis Euro Step. He didn’t make a shot outside 5 feet all game and it took him 30 shots to score 30 points. Rudy did an exceptional job with this assignment. Giannis got nothing easy. He was able to get the basket on a few occassions but many of his 13 field goals came off action that was not driving at Rudy, but instead was transition, offensive rebounds, pass offs, etc
• As the night went on the Bucks made adjustments to deal with this defense. They set a back pick on Gobert with the point guard leaving Neto as the man who had to try to slow Giannis before he got to Gobert. They increased the amount of pick and roll they were running forcing Rudy to deal with the ball handler a bit rather than Giannis one on one. These adjustments had a bit more success.
• The Bucks got great performances from Malcolm Brogdon and Thon Maker and that is what they had to have with Rudy Gobert causing Giannis to have an uncomfortable game. Maker hit 2 threes and made some really nice plays around the basket and Brogdon was able to go 1 on 1 on Jazz defenders and get to the basket.
• The Bucks don’t run a lot of offense. They space the floor and they penetrate to the rim or pass out to shooters. The Jazz weren’t able to keep them off the rim but they greatly reduced the amount of three point shots they attempted.
• Ricky Rubio came out slashing from the wings and exploiting the Bucks defense that was sagging off of him. He scored 9 points and assisted on the Jazz other points. Then he hurt his hamstring with 7:35 left in the 1st quarter.
• The Jazz were seriously short handed at this point. No Rubio. No Dante Exum and No Thabo Sefolosha left the Jazz missing about 60 minutes of rotation players on a night when they were playing 3 games in 4 nights. The Jazz were certainly not as sharp in the 4th, but the Bucks are really good as well so hard to tell how much it changed the outcome.
• The Jazz had the ball popping tonight. In the first half the Jazz were hitting the Bucks with multiple actions, moving the ball, taking advantage of their over shits and getting great look threes. Then the threes stopped falling and the Bucks hung onto shooters a bit more. Then for a sequence of the 4th quarter the Jazz lost the ball movement and got caught in the mid range against the Bucks sagging defense and the Bucks took advantage to jump to 9 point lead.
• Raul Neto played 29 really solid minutes.
• Joe Ingles has missed 10 straight above the break 3 point shots and is 8 of his last 44 on above the break threes. I don’t know if he is hurt other than the fingers on his right hand which are still clearly giving him a lot of pain. Joe would never let you know if he is hurt since he simply battles every night.
• The game had 24 lead changes and 10 ties. 23 of those lead changes and 9 ties all happened in the first 3 quarters.
• 2-2 trip. Jazz are home for 4 and it is time to get on a roll
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