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EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Morant steals the show on Conley’s night

David Locke

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SUMMARY:  A night when the Memphis Grizzlies honored Mike Conley for his time with the franchise their new star Ja Morant gave their fans the ultimate cheer

  • Jazz offense looked better than it had all season in the opening quarter getting great looks and wide open threes but they weren’t able to knock them down. It was crazy balls were doing deep in the cup and popping out.  This is the offense we had been hoping to see, but the shots didn’t fall.

 

  • In the second half the Jazz weren’t making shots but they were living at the free throw line.

 

  • A few times during the game it felt like the Jazz were on the verge of pulling away and when they didn’t it was clear the game was going to wire.

 

  • Memphis is likely the worst team in the Western Conference and they have won three straight with wins on the road at Charlotte and San Antonio and now a home win v. Utah. This may not be true because of Ja Morant and if Golden State sits Steph.  This team is pretty good, there are no easy nights in the West.

 

  • Ja Morant is outstanding. He is the best rookie since Donovan.   He is taking over games and the best player on the floor for extended periods the way Donovan was three years ago.  He has amazing control of the dribble, he has a great wiggle and he can really elevate around the rim.   Most impressive, was how smart he was with his choices and his attack

 

  • Mike Conley had a tough night in his return to Memphis. He didn’t get a field goal in 3 attempts in the first quarter and was 2 of 8 in the first half.  He hit some big shots late in the game with 6 points and 2 assists in the 4th

 

  • The Jazz 2nd quarter was tough. They took just 6 threes out of 23 shot attempts and shot and only had 2 free throws and had 7 turnovers.

 

  • Rudy Gobert was magnificent again. He was 9 of 11 and had 23 points and 17 rebounds.  In the last three games he is now 27 of 32 from the field.   He added 9 screen assists

 

  • Donovan had 29 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists.

 

  • Jazz were 9 of 34 from three.

 

  • Memphis did some nice things late when they played Morant in a pick and roll with the power forward and kept Gobert occupied on the weak side with Jonas Valancinus allowing Morant to have room to drive.

 

 

  • The Jazz were -11 in the 11 minutes Rudy Gobert was off the floor and had a tough time in pick and roll defense.

 

  • The Jazz defensive rating with Rudy Gobert on the floor was a 96.1 and with him off the floor was a 117.9

 

  • Sure looks like Donovan Mitchell was fouled on the final play

 

  • My overall feeling is there are too many bad offensive possessions, a dribble fest till 11 on the clock and then passing out of the post (happened 3 times) a fast break with open shooters on the wing that are ignored (happened once) mid range jumper too early in the clock. When each of those cost you a little bit by the end of the night it is a bad offensive night.

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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