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Utah Jazz

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – How good is Rudy Gobert

David Locke

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EMPTYING THE NOGGIN

Summary:  In a west that won’t blink the Jazz won’t blink either and win their 15th of 17 games

  • You can call it winning ugly or you can discuss it however you wish but the Jazz defense is as equally dominant as any team’s offense is in the NBA right now.

 

  • The Jazz held the Orlando Magic to a 41% EFG, league average is 52%. The Magic offensive rating was below 90, the league best defensive of team is 101.   The Jazz specific game plans to Fournier and Gordon and took them completely out of their game.  However, the simple impact of Rudy Gobert does this as much as anything.  When players who shot 20 to 30% of their shots at the rim no longer have that as an option it derails their entire rhythm to how they play.

 

  • I am currently mesmerized by how great Rudy Gobert is and how big his impact on games has been. Is he this generations Ben Wallace?  Is he better?  For the Jazz to have won 15 of 17 doesn’t make any sense unless there is something we are greatly undervaluing.   I am stuck on Rudy as that undervalued entity.   I believe it is somewhat Joe Ingles who is having a larger offensive impact than people realize.  Quin Snyder is a wizard and his staff prepares an unequalled game plan.  Donovan is wonderful. However, none of this works without Rudy.   If you take your heart out of loving this team, then this roster winning 15 of 17 doesn’t jive with how people are talking about basketball.   What does Dennis Lindsey know that the rest of us are missing?   Again, it must be Rudy Gobert.  He changes every play the offense runs.   Offenses are designed to break the defense down and then kick to shooters or attack the rim.  If you eliminate the attack of the rim it becomes very hard to kick to shooters.  If a defender knows Rudy has the middle covered then they don’t have to leave the shooter.  The jazz aren’t allowing corner 3s because you don’t leave the corner 3 shooter when Rudy is in the game.

 

  • The Jazz defensive rating when Gobert is on the floor is 99 for the season. Since he returned on Jan 19th the defensive rating with him on the floor is a 97.4.   Overall, since he got back the defensive rating is a 98.7.   To put this in perspective the 2nd best in the NBA is Toronto at 101.4 and the league average in that time period is a 107.7.   The Jazz are nearly 10 points better than the league average defensively.   The Rockets offense in that same time period, which is their win streak, is a 115.2  (same as Warriors in that span) The Rockets are 8 points above average and the Jazz are 9 points below average.  Thus, I would argue the Jazz defense has been more dominant since Gobert returned than the Rockets or Warriors offense in the same time period.

 

  • Back to tonight. Joe Ingles pick and roll partner this year has usually been Derrick Favors.  Recently, they have been one of the most efficient combinations in the NBA.  Tonight without Derrick Favors it had to be Ingles and Gobert.  This is has not been as successful.  They struggled a bit early, but as the night went on they got better and better.

 

  • Ricky Rubio played with great passion tonight , made his first two layups and that opened up the game.

 

  • In the first half the Jazz got 11 corner 3 attempts (unofficially) which is close to their season high. The Jazz lead the NBA in % of 3 point shots as corner 3s.  In the 2nd half the Magic took that away.

 

  • Solid win. No wiggle room in the playoff push

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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