SUMMARY: Houston takes it the Jazz early and rolls to a Game 1 win
• This one is not too surprising. The Jazz won an emotional and highly draining series against Oklahoma City 36 hours before tip off. The Jazz didn’t have a single moment of on court time to learn Houston and their unique style of play. Plus, the Rockets are awesome.
• One play summed up the game for me. The Jazz missed a shot and sprinted back defensively and three guys got into the transition wall. And there they waited for Russell Westbrook. However, Russell Westbrook is fishing and he is no longer the opponent. Mitchell was back. Crowder sprinted to the middle of the floor and Chris Paul found Trevor Ariza for a wide open three. The Jazz played 6 games against one team and now they have to make considerable changes to how they are playing and defending. Trying to do that on the fly without practice time is really tough. The irony is the #1 message was “No Wall.”
• In addition, the Jazz were spent. Talking to people who were near the bench they said communication tonight was a bit lower than it has been. That is a sign of fatigue. Oklahoma City was grueling and emotional.
• In many ways, the Jazz lost game 1 when they lost the 25 point lead in Oklahoma City.
• There is another significant factor. The Rockets are really good. They are the #1 team in the NBA this year, with the MVP. They are very well coached and know exactly what they are trying to do. They play each possession on each side of the ball with a purpose.
• Defensively, they were 6th in the NBA this year and they switch more than any team in the NBA . However, they switch differently. When they switch the defender that is switching onto the ball takes a step toward the ball rather than retreating. So it is very aggressive. The Jazz ball handlers were taking a step back in reaction and the ball was stopping. The offensive movement was completely negated in the 1st half. Furthermore, they don’t have any weak defenders other than James Harden who you can try to take advantage of. In the last series, the Jazz hunted Carmelo. You could see the Jazz trying to do the same tonight and that is not how they want to play.
• The Rockets offense was #2 in the NBA. They take 50% of their shots as threes. They have the best shot distribution in the league. However, in game 1 of the series the Rockets only took 32 of 82 shots a three point shots. According to second spectrum the Jazz shot quality was better than the Rockets in this game. That is a huge step toward competing in this series. The Jazz have a math problem playing the Rockets the same way the Thunder had a math problem playing the Jazz. To have solved the math problem in game 1 is significant.
• James Harden makes incredibly difficult shots. He was 5 of 8 on step back threes. The Jazz were tight on most of them and he still made them. He had 41, 2nd time in the playoffs he has gone over 40 and 6th time in the playoffs. He is an unstoppable offensive force. The only players the game has seen that are similar offensively are LeBron James, Michael Jordan and Larry Bird.
• The Rockets offensive rating was a 113.6 . The Jazz offensive rating was a 99.2. The Rockets defense is really good and it has caused the Jazz problems this season. This year the Jazz had their 45th, 51st, 49th and 81st ranked offensive games. Today was about the 63rd. Scoring is going to be as big an issue as stopping them in this series.
• The Rockets were scoring at will early in the game and lead by 25. The Jazz battled back nicely in the 2nd half and looked like they made a lot of strides offensively on how to play against the Rockets switching defense. However, it will be interesting to see if this turns out to be because they simply relented or the Jazz got their footing.
• I like Quin Snyder having two days to prepare.
• The Rockets looked every bit the #1 seed and most dominant team in the NBA in this game 1. The script didn’t favor the Jazz in any fashion, but the opponent was great and took complete advantage.
LOCKED ON JAZZ – Was it another slight to the Utah Jazz? Donovan and Rudy picked last plus live audience questions
The Utah Jazz all-stars were picked last by LeBron James and Kevin Durant. Was this conscience by the two stars? Was this telling Utah to stay in their hierarchy of the NBA? Was this just fun? It all feels like another slight to the Utah Jazz in a remarkable season. David Locke, radio voice of the Utah Jazz and Jazz NBA Insider takes a look at all the options and interacts with a live audience
LOCKED ON JAZZ – Utah Jazz with a flurry of furious comments, great game v. Sixers, Twitter Thursday
The Utah Jazz fell in overtime to the Philadelphia 76ers and both Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert had strong comments after the game. David Locke, the radio voice of the Utah Jazz and Jazz NBA Insider takes a look at those comments and where they come from plus a breakdown of a great game between two of the NBA best teams. Finally it is a Twitter Thursday and some great questions came in about style of play late, lineup choices late in the game and more.
JAZZ GAME REWIND- The Jazz Battled In Their Last Game Before the Break
The Jazz lost a tough one in overtime to the 76ers to close out the first half of the season. Here is a recap of how it all went down in Philadelphia.
- LOCKED ON JAZZ – Was it another slight to the Utah Jazz? Donovan and Rudy picked last plus live audience questions March 5, 2021
- LOCKED ON JAZZ – Utah Jazz with a flurry of furious comments, great game v. Sixers, Twitter Thursday March 4, 2021
- JAZZ GAME REWIND- The Jazz Battled In Their Last Game Before the Break March 3, 2021
- QUIN SNYDER COACHES SHOW- Donovan Is Letting The Game Come To Him March 3, 2021
- POSTCAST – Overtime loss to the Sixers sends the Jazz to break with some fury March 3, 2021
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