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Utah Jazz

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Impressive defensive performance again fuels Jazz blow out of Blazers

David Locke

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SUMMARY:  Jazz impressively re-create the same blow out of the Portland Trailblazers 5 days later.

  • This was a very impressive win by the Utah Jazz. To be able to beat a good team twice in 5 days is really difficult.  To blow them out with a similar game plan to one you previously executed and they prepared for is even more impressive.

 

  • Damian Lillard and CJ McCollulm average 52 points a game, the second highest scoring backcourt in the game. They scored 31 tonight and they scored 31 in the previous game.

 

  • The Jazz in as many circumstances as they could brought two player to the ball when Damian Lillard came off a pick. This meant that more often than not Rudy Gobert had to play out at 25 feet on the ball.  He did a great job.  He is the best defensive player in the world and now he is learning to add a new skill to his repertoire.  He has unprecedented in how great he is at the rim in both altering and discouraging shots.  Recently, he has begun to add the ability to impact the ball out at the three point line.  He is taking away the three as well as the mid range shot and still getting back to the rim.   There is a phrase in the NBA about offensive players being 3 level scorers, three point, mid-range and the rim.   Draymond Green and Rudy Gobert are the only 3 level defensive players in the NBA.

 

  • Rudy finished the night with 18 points, 14 rebounds and 7 blocked shots.

 

  • However, with Rudy playing more at 20 feet or even 25 feet the defense has to protect behind him. Derrick Favors and Jae Crowder did a great job with this assignment tonight.   One area where Derrick Favors has been negated as defensive player is he hasn’t been able to be a secondary rim defender because he is so often pulled out of the middle.  Recently, he has been helping behind Rudy in a manner that makes him a force.  Jae Crowder was terrific tonight.  Really terrific.  His backside defensively help was on point and allows for Rudy to have the impact on all 3 levels.

 

  • The Jazz defensive rating tonight was a 96.4. The Jazz have now had 7 straight games with a defensive rating under 100.   This stretch defensively is as good as any 7 game stretch last year when you consider that Portland is a top 10 offense and the Jazz got them twice, Houston was the top offensive team over the last 20 games and Golden State is the #1 offense in the NBA

 

  • The Jazz now have the 5th best efficiency differential behind the Spurs by .5. The Thunder, Nuggets and Warriors are significantly ahead in efficiency differential.

 

  • The Blazers EFG% tonight was 44.4% The Blazers took 42% of their shots as mid range shots tonight.   The Jazz only allowed 23 three points shots.  The Jazz are the 2nd best team in the NBA at not allowing threes.  That is an incredibly important number.

 

  • The Jazz actually changed their offense a bit tonight and were still able to have a great offensive night. They started the night 0 for 8 from three and then finished making 13 of their final 21. 7 different players made three point shots.

 

  • Kyle Korver is having a tremendous impact on this team. Maybe most of all on Dante.  With Korver on the floor Dante has so much more room to work and use his speed.   Prior to tonight’s game Dante and Korver have been on the floor together for 77 possessions.  The Jazz are a +28.3, one of the best numbers in the NBA.   The offensive rating is a 116.0 and the defensive rating is 88.6.

 

  • Dante Exum has been really solid for multiple games in a row against different styles of defense. Tonight he was aggressive taking a three, he finished on his drives and he hit three floaters (he only had 5 all season before today)

 

  • Ricky Rubio continues to thrive.

 

  • Jazz have now played 5 home games that we not 1 game homestands. They are 4-1 with wins over Dallas, Boston, Houston and Portland

 

  • Joe Ingles was really good.

 

  • This has been a very solid 5 game stretch for the Jazz. They are showing signs of the defensive excellence that makes them very good.

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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David Locke

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David Locke

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Now live on You Tube for every episode

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