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EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – How the Celtics messed up Jazz offense late and what happened on D

David Locke

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Summary: The Boston Celtics close on a 9-0 run as the Jazz go scoreless for the final 2:25 and lose for just the 2nd time this year at home when leading going to the 4th quarter.

• Jaylen Brown hit a three with .3 seconds left to give the Celtics the win. Shane Larkin drove right into the paint and Joe Ingles and Rudy Gobert stepped over to help Ricky Rubio. Larkin threw the pass back to Semi Ojeleye who was originally guarded by Gobert and as the pass went back to Ojeleye Brown re-spaced to above the three point line and Ingles and Rubio had collided at this point and there was no one close. He nailed the shot. The Celtics win

• The Celtics did a lot of interesting things defensively late in the game. I will need to re-watch but I believe they went to a zone for one possession. Donovan Mitchell was coming off the pick and roll and getting Greg Monroe involved and scoring on him so the Celtics moved Shane Larkin off Ricky Rubio and placed him on the left side of the screen so that Mitchell would drive right into Larkin.

• The first possession they did this Mitchell hit Ricky Rubio for a wide open 16 footer and he short armed it. Rubio finished the night 4 of 14. I believe he missed 6 of his last 7. The next possession Donovan tried to go away from Larkin to the short side of the floor and Brown came off the corner to knock his dribble away and forced a turnover. On the next possession I believe they may have gone to a zone and Donovan missed a 12 foot floater which is a tough shot.

• When the game was tied with :45 left the Jazz had a possession and Mitchell moved the ball to Crowder and Ingles and neither could get free and it forced Crowder into a contested three.

• The Jazz allowed 30 4th quarter points

• When the Jazz play Crowder and Ingles with Gobert they really need to get some rebounding. With 1:36 left Tatum missed a three where Gobert was the man who closed and without Gobert in the paint Larkin and Monroe both got offensive rebounds. With 4:35 left they got another 2nd chance that lead to another two points

• Terry Rozier hit three straight threes in the 4th quarter that turned the game from a Jazz control to a possessions by possession game down the stretch.

• Boston points down the stretch came as follows A Rozier layup 9 seconds after a Donovan layup going right back up the floor, a Greg Monroe hook shot, two free throws off an offensive rebound, a fast break off a Mitchell turnover for a Tatum dunk and then the final game winner.

• The Jazz missed their first 12 above the break 3s tonight and didn’t make one in the first half. They finished the night 3 of 21 on above the break three point shots.

• The Jazz kept running a great play that freed Joe Ingles for three off a Rudy Gobert pass and Ingles would catch and shoot off the pick on a nice skip pass. Joe just didn’t hit the shots tonight.

• The Celtics left Ricky Rubio a lot of room to shoot and he finished 4 of 14.

• The Celtics physical defense early in the game dislodged the Jazz from their regular offensive rhythm. Then the Celtics went to a zone for a while and the Jazz went 1 for 7 in the third quarter against the zone and the one was a early offense

• Dante Exum’s first stint was a tough one so Quin played him with Rubio in the 2nd stint and was terrific, cutting without the ball and forcing the action at the rim. He let Rozier get free for one or two of this threes that swung the game back to a possession by possession game.

• Donovan Mitchell was 1 of 6 in the mid range tonight

• This is a tough loss. Celtics still have loads of talent with Rozier, Tatum and Brown but the Jazz need wins to get into the playoffs and this is one they needed to get.

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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