SUMMARY: Shorthanded Jazz team beats an equally shorthanded Suns team 118-97
- The Jazz came to Phoenix without Derrick Favors, Kyle Korver and Dante Exum. Before warm ups Jae Crowder was out and after warm ups Ricky Rubio was out. However, the game changer was Devin Booker spraining his ankle and leaving the game with 4:29 left in the first quarter and the Suns leading 21-12
- The Suns started 10-0 and 15-2. By the end of the first the Jazz had it down to 6 and the Jazz took the lead at 40-39 and never relented.
- Joe Ingles was the star of the game for the Jazz tonight. Phoenix played him to go right as dramatically as any team has all season. Igor know Joe. Joe showed great development of his game with the ability to answer to what the Suns were doing to him. He told us post game that Ekpe Udoh helped him on how to run the pick and roll against their over shading and that when Rudy returned he followed the lead of Ekpe. Joe was snaking the pick and roll so he could get back to his left hand at time and at other times get a flipped pick that got him back to his left hand. It was a brilliant performance from Joe who by the night’s end had equaled his career high 27 points along with 5 rebounds and 8 assists.
- Donovan Mitchell finished with 29 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. There is a level of awesomeness to this line because it wasn’t flashy at all. He just got it done. He is deadly right now on a catch and shoot 3. He is over 50% on catch and shoot 3 point shots since Jan 1st.
- In a statistical abnormality the Jazz had 11 field goals in every quarter.
- The Jazz had a 33 point advantage behind the three point line. The Jazz hit on 16 threes again tonight on 32 attempts. The Jazz are also the best team in the NBA at not allowing a 3 and tonight the Suns went just 5 of 21
- The Jazz shot distribution was brilliant again. 41% of the shots at the rim and 41% of their shots as three point shots.
- Rudy Gobert for the last 10 games is averaging 18 points and 13 rebounds and shooting 79%. Tonight he had 17 points and 13 rebounds on 7 of 9 shooting. Just to add to his greatness he had 3 assists and 5 block shots. The Suns got to the rim a ton tonight and shot below 50% at the rim.
- The Jazz bench was awesome. Ekpe Udoh changed the game with his ability to run the pick and roll. Raul Neto who is one of the best plus minus players in the NBA did again tonight in 21 minutes he was +19. Georges Niang hit on 3 three point shots and was a plus +23.
- The highlight of the bench was Grayson Allen who coming off his brilliant G-League playoff game played with great confidence and scored 10 points on 2 of 5 from three. He was able to guard Jimmer on the defensive side.
- The Suns had decided that Jimmer Fredette would play more. He did. He played 22 minutes and scored 10 points. The Suns were -21 when he was on the floor. Jimmer can’t play pick and roll. Everytime he goes off a pick and roll he retreats back into a one on one. He doesn’t come off the pick and roll to shot, drive or pass he retreats back everytime. Then he goes one on one and he is not athletic or tall enough to play that style in the NBA. He has a decent floater game and an ok pull up but it is all off isolation drives. He is not big enough to pass when he gets in traffic. It is nice for him to get to play in the NBA again but there aren’t signs that he can be a consistent NBA player. The exciting news is he had a baby boy last week. He held a nice event after the game with the fans and I sure the ownership was very happy to have him so he could host that event and be an attraction with the season dwindling away.
- The Jazz have won 11 of 12.
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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