SUMMARY: I what was anticipated as being an uncomplicated game on paper was in face that uncomplicated in real life as the Jazz beat the Suns 116-88.
- The Jazz didn’t play particularly well tonight but when it came to the 4th quarter they dropped the hammer and outscored the under manned Phoenix Suns 116-88
- The Suns defensive strategy was clear. They covered the rim and made it very difficult for the Jazz to make shots at the rim. Numerous times in the first half Derrick Favors had to finish his role at about 8 feet and flip in a non restricted area 2. Donovan wasn’t able to get through the traffic to the rim and the Jazz were really having a hard time finishing at the rim.
- The impact is that shooters were being left open if the Jazz moved the ball correctly. They did this more and more in the 2nd half and by the end of the night they had taken 28 three point shots and 11 of those were corner 3s, the Jazz making 6.
- The Suns can’t score without Devin Booker and that showed tonight as the Jazz defense put up great numbers with a defensive rating of 89.6. When someone is under 100 you win 81% of the time, when they are under 90 turn out the lights
- Joe Ingles had a double double with a career high 11 assists.
- Ricky Rubio had some brutal turnovers, mostly on passes to Rudy but by the end of the night had a line of 13 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. Plus, he had 3 steals. The Jazz took advantage of the Suns who are 29th in the NBA at taking care of the ball.
- Favors and Ingles had the pick and roll game going well tonight even if it meant floaters instead of rim finishes.
- Jazz won despite only 1 three from Kyle Korver
- Royce O’Neale is a terrific story. He has improved tremendously in a lot of different aspects of this game. He is shooting over 40% from three. His rim finishing is much improved. He is a really big asset to the Jazz right now. He had 15 points and was a +31 tonight.
- Jazz got the lead in the 1st. Never got seriously threatened and put down the hammer in the 4th.
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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