SUMMARY: A hot shooting night coupled with a great game plan and defensive execution leads to a 30+ point blow out of the San Antonio Spurs.
- This was as good as the Utah Jazz can be. They hit a franchise record 20 three pointers tonight and beat the Spurs 139-105.
- While the story will be about the offense and the three point shooting the real story should be about how connected the Jazz defense was tonight. The Jazz defensive rating in the first quarter was a 76 and at halftime was a 94. They made Aldridge and DeRozan uncomfortable through out the night.
- Aldridge wants to play in the left block and he got their only two times all night. The Jazz were impacting the post up before it got there. They were picking the ball up early, they weren’t concerned about the drive games of any of the Spurs guards so they played tight and impacted the passing angles and in turn Aldridge didn’t get the ball where he wanted it. The same was true with DeRozan. DeRozan would prefer to play the right side of the floor and he never got their easily. He would prefer to post up or settle into his mid-range shots and he wasn’t able to get those.
- The Spurs only shot 2 free throws in the first half and only made 3 three pointers and that makes it nearly impossible to win in the NBA if you aren’t going to shoot threes and you don’t get to the line.
- Royce O’Neale was a defensive star tonight with the effort he put together against DeMar DeRozan.
- The Jazz played offensively with a great deal of force tonight. They have really picked up their tempo recently in how quickly they are getting up the court and on the top of the basket. This started most noticeably in Brooklyn and was evident in both Charlotte and Miami. This is getting them Jazz even better looks and helping the offense get some more opportunities.
- Ricky Rubio came into the game shooting 46% overall and 40% from three over the last 10 games and went 5 for 10 and 2 for 3 from three. He seems to have found a rhythm.
- Donovan Mitchell hit three corner 3 point shots tonight. He was 2 for 15 coming into the game on corner 3 shots. He shot 50% last year.
- Rudy Gobert was great and was +30
- The Spurs are in a vital 7 game stretch v. Western Conference playoff contender and they lost to Minnesota by 39, Houston by 31, beat Portland (who has lost 6 of 7 and 8 of 11) and lost to Utah tonight by 34. They play the Lakers in their next two before playing Utah again. They may have a hard time keeping up with the Lakers speed.
- Jazz have won 4 of 6.
- Jazz set a frachise record with 20 three pointers. They took 12 corner 3s and made 9.
- The Spurs took 52 mid range shots tonight and only took 16 shots at the rim. That is one of the lowest totals of the season.
- Jazz transition defense was great tonight and that has been the biggest problem defensively .
- As good as the Jazz can be. Houston late Thursday.
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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