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Utah Jazz

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Perfect Basketball

David Locke

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SUMMARY: The Utah Jazz continued their brilliant play, winning their sixth game in a row in the third largest win in franchise history, 116-69.

  • This is truly remarkable and honestly, it is beyond me what is happening. Twelve games into the season, the Jazz simply couldn’t score. We wondered if this team might finish the season 30th in the league offensively. After the loss to Brooklyn, the Jazz were 6-10 and the question was how many pieces could the Jazz move before the trade deadline, and whether or not it was worth tanking. Since then, the Jazz have won five games (in a span of eight) by 19 or more points. The offense is ranked in the top two in the NBA and the Jazz have the fifth best point differential in the NBA for the season. I don’t really understand what is happening. I am not sure any one of us are sure either, but we do know it is a great deal of fun to watch.

 

  • The first quarter felt like the best basketball the Jazz have played all year (at least until the second quarter). The Jazz won the first quarter 29-15. They moved the ball and they got open look after open look. They got high percentage shots and forced the Wizards into mid-range jumpers.

 

  • In the second quarter, the onslaught continued. The Jazz defense was even better and within 5 minutes, a 14-point lead jumped to 26 and within 6 was at 31. The Jazz led this game 52-21. That is unheard of.

 

  • This was the second worst lost in Washington Wizards history and the Jazz’s third largest win.

 

  • The Jazz’s offense was clicking. They got into the front court quickly and then started putting the Wizards in the blender. “The blender” is when the Jazz are able to break the paint with the drive, kick the ball out, drive again and kick again. At this point, the defense is in a scramble. The other night on the plane, Quin Snyder jokingly said that wasn’t a blender, we had them in the Vitamix. Tonight, they had the Vitamix on high.

 

  • Every Jazz player had a field goal and an assist by halftime.

 

  • My halftime question for Igor Kokoskov was what is it like to watch your team play perfect basketball. He didn’t disagree. That is the best way I can sum up the Jazz’s performance.

 

  • The game never went inside 30 points in the second half.

 

  • Rudy Gobert returned and looked fine. At times, he was a bit off balance. There was a play where you would have thought he would have dunked, but fatigue may have been an issue. He blocked two shots of Gortat’s early and eliminated Washington’s interest in going to the basket.

  • Three minutes into the first and third quarters, Quin Snyder subbed out Derrick Favors and brought in Jonas Jerebko, so the Jazz played only six minutes the entire night with Favors and Gobert on the floor together. The score was 7-7 in those six minutes.

 

  • Favors circled back and played with Jerebko at the 6-minute mark. Favors was +25 in the 18 minutes he played the center and Gobert was +18 in the 15 minutes he played center with someone other than Favors playing power forward.

 

  • The Jazz shot 34 of 75 shots as 3-point shots (45% of all shots) and made an incredible 47%. The Jazz’s shooting is through the roof. They entered the game at 39% for the season and as the third best 3-point shooting team in the NBA.

 

  • Alec Burks led all scorers with 27 points, making it was the first time in his career that he scored 24 or more in three straight games. This is a new Alec Burks playing the game in a different manner than we have seen before.  Donovan Mitchell went over 20 points for the 9th time in his career. That is the same amount of time LeBron James went over 20 in his first 24 NBA games.

  • The Jazz held the Wizards to 28.8% shooting which is the seventh lowest by a Jazz opponent in franchise history.

 

  • Dan Clayton pointed out the Jazz didn’t need to score for the final 18 minutes of the game and they still would have won.

 

  • Ekpe Udoh was out of the rotation.

 

  • Raul Neto was back and superb.

 

  • Joe Ingles is 31 of his last 56 from 3. That is simply stupid.

 

  • I don’t know who this team is right now. The metrics are beginning to make you believe this team might have something, but they also said this team was on the verge of being one of the six worst teams in the league not too long ago. The Jazz may not be favored in more than one game until after Christmas. This stretch will let us know.

 

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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Utah Jazz

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