SUMMARY: Jazz buck the Spurs off their rodeo road trip with a blowout 129-109 win
- This was a really strong performance from the Jazz. They executed at a very high level on both ends of the floor.
- Defensively the Jazz wanted to make sure they didn’t get into rotations from the actions of LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan. The Spurs are the #1 three point shooting team in the NBA and though they don’t shoot a lot of them they make them and that is what makes their offense successful. The jazz gave the Spurs very few open look threes in this game. The Spurs hit just 7 of 22 from three and took just 22 of their 89 shots from three.
- At halftime the Jazz had allowed the Spurs to take just 5 shots at the rim. Instead they had taken 24 mid range shots and 12 threes. That is a really hard way to live. As good as many believe Aldridge and DeRozan to be they both only shoot 41% on mid range shots so if you keep them off the line they are very inefficient players.
- Aldridge finished the game with just 4 free throw attempts and when he takes less than 8 free throws they are 19-22. Aldridge tonight was 5 of 16 shooting and had just 15 points.
- If you were wondering Rudy Gobert gad 21 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 block shots and his team was +15 when he was on the floor.
- The Spurs rodeo road trip has become a disaster they are 0-4 and have allowed 125 points or more in every game.
- The Spurs started the night in a gimmick defense, playing a triangle and two face guarding both Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles. The Jazz subbed in Jae Crowder and Kyle Korver and the Spurs tried to stay in but it finally failed. The Jazz were getting wide open looks but weren’t able to convert for a bit and then it came together.
- Quin and the staff did some interesting things. They got the ball to Rudy in the middle of the triangle and let him make plays. They started playing pick and roll with Ricky Rubio in the middle of the floor creating a 3 on 3 and they began to score at will.
- The Spurs really dropped off Jae Crowder and Ricky Rubio tonight and as the game developed both of them took advantage.
- Royce O’Neale was vital off the bench. He played some more at the 4 tonight as he did v. the Suns. He went 4 for 4 from three and finished with 17 points.
- Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert both had double doubles.
- The Jazz win the season series from the Spurs and are in 6th in the West.
- The Spurs have the worst road record of the good team in the West and are now just 1.5 games ahead of the Kings for a playoff spot.
- Jazz have won 14 of 19.
LOCKED ON JAZZ – Why so passive? How Harden blows up the Jazz defense? Donovan Mitchell 2nd year playoffs
The Utah Jazz are getting ready for Game #3 v. the Houston Rockets. David Locke, the radio voice of the Utah Jazz and Jazz NBA Insider takes a look at why the Jazz looked so passive in Game 2 in Houston. Then Locke digs into what makes Harden so unique and why he has blown up the #1 defense in the NBA. Locke also takes a look at what other 2nd year players like Donovan Mitchell have done in their 2nd year playoff season.
LOCKED ON JAZZ – How good is Houston? Jazz can’t hit open shots. Facebook Live questions
The Utah Jazz have been blown out in both of the first two games of their first round series with the Houston Rockets. David Locke, the radio voice of the Utah Jazz and Jazz NBA Insider tries to figure out what has happened and why it has happened. Plus, it is a live show so Locke takes your questions from Facebook live.
EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Opening stretch tells the strory
Summary: The Jazz start poorly, the Rockets pounced and Harden was amazing it all lead to a Rockets blow out of the Jazz.
- The Jazz opened the night turning the ball over on 4 of their first 8 possessions. The Rockets scored 10 points on those 4 turnovers and that would tell the story of the night. The Jazz trailed 12 to 4 at the first time out.
- Then Harden went nuts. He is incredible. He never misses a read. In Game 1 the Jazz took away the step back and free throws. In the first quarter he had as many step backs and as many free throws as he had all of the first game. I really have no idea how you are supposed to guard him, He was 5 of 11 on step back tonight. He makes those at 40%. You have to take that away but the only way to do that is to play him from behind and force him into a drive.
- He has become the perfect modern player. The league values the three. He can make it at nearly 40%. The league knows you can’t afford to have a 40% three point shooter take 15 to 20 threes a game so you have to play him in this strange manner to force him to drive. Harden would take 20 threes if you let him. No one has ever had his three point shooting step back coupled with his handle and his passing. This just destroys the defense. When you force him to drive he has the floater game and he reads the defense perfectly.
- The Jazz defense failed in transition tonight. According to cleaningtheglass the Rockets averaged 1.7 pts per transition and only .94 in the half court. The .94 is a little above average but the Rockets are usually much better than that in the halfcourt. They are the #2 halfcourt team in the NBA. So the Jazz halfcourt defense was actually ok tonight.
- The Jazz offense is where things should be most concerning. The Jazz were not able to score with regularity against the Rockets in the playoffs last year, they weren’t able to score against them in the regular season and they haven’t been able to score against them tonight.
- The Rockets offense averages about 116 pts per 100 possessions. Even if the Jazz have a great defensive night hey will be around 108 but the Jazz offense v. the Rockets all season has been below 1 point per possessions. Until that is fixed it is hard see a scenario where the Jazz defense can hold the Rockets offense down far enough to win a game.
- The talk around the Rockets is that they are a better team than a year ago. A year ago they won 65 games and were a Chris Paul hamstring or a glutton of missed 3s away from winning the title.
- The Jazz average .74 pts in the half court
- Rubio and Crowder are a combined 2 of 14 on open threes.
- The Jazz came into the night 22 of 100 on above the break three point shots v. the Rockets this year. It continued again tonight as the Jazz shot 6 of 27 on above the break 3 and some of those were late.
- The Jazz have lost the first two games by 52 points. The Rockets look to be capable of winning the title
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