SUMMARY: Jazz blow out another inferior opponent with a 21 point win that was never that close
- The Eastern Conference is truly awful
- The last two nights the Jazz deserve credit for being locked in and playing the game the correct way. When you play teams as bad as Washington and New York are defensively you can get caught up with how easy it is to get a shot and not play the game the right way. Instead, the Jazz have been making the extra pass, working shots from good to great and been dominating offensively. For most of the night the Jazz were averaging 1.5 to 1.7 pts when they cross half court.
- The Jazz shot selection has been through the roof. Tonight they took 41% of their shots at the rim and 44% of their shots as three point shots. When you are getting no resistance this reveals your philosophy and what you believe in as a team and a system. The Jazz were getting whatever look they wanted and the want rim, corner 3 and above the break 3. That is what they got.
- Ricky Rubio is struggling with some of his shots so instead he is attacking and going to the line. Ricky is an 85% free throw shooter. His efficiency is dictated not by making shots but if he goes to the line. His usage is low so when he goes to the line it is a really big deal for his efficiency. Tonight he took 10 free throws and he took 8 v. Washington.
- Donovan Mitchell is suddenly so efficient. Makes you wonder what he would be like if he got to play in the Eastern Conference every night. He shoots 4% better from the field and 3% better from 3 in the Eastern Conference.
- The last of the 3rd team all-nba guard is going to be Bradley Beal or Kemba Walker, likely Bradley Beal. I am having a hard time why he should be getting it over Donovan. He is more efficienct but Washington’s offense is not better than Utah’s and the Wizards are 11 games below .500 compared to the Jazz who are 13 games above .500 Makes me pause at least to consider that maybe Donovan in his 2nd year is deserving of all NBA 3rd That is an incredible thought even if you don’t believe he deserves it.
- The narrative to start the year was Donovan was in a sophomore slump and that he had slipped. He wasn’t great but as the process has played out and the season has gone on he has been amazing. He is so much better than he was a year ago right now. Since Jan 1st he is averaging 28 pts, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. He is shooting 44% and 39% from three while taking 6.5 free throws. He is shooting the three really well right now. He was shooting 43% on above the break threes over the last 12 games coming into the game.
- Good day in the standings with Houston, San Antonio and Oklahoma City all losing. The key is catching OKC because the Jazz likely have the tiebreaker with the Portland Trailblazers if needed.
- Off to Atlanta
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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