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EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Rubio’s career night, Mitchell’s surge, Jazz Defense

David Locke

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EMPTYING THE NOGGIN

SUMMARY:  The Utah Jazz continue to amaze all of us with their resiliency, perseverance and winning.  Today it was season series winning victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.

  • This game was hard. The Pelicans have won 10 straight games with Anthony Davis.  Last time the Pelicans lost at home with Anthony Davis was against the Jazz on Feb 6th.   Anthony Davis is a superstar and was great defensively tonight for the first 3 quarters and the Jazz could get nothing.

 

  • The Jazz lead by 10 early and 29-23 after the 1st By halftime the Jazz offense was really struggling and the Jazz trailed by 3, 51-48.   Donovan Mitchell was 1 for 8, Rudy Gobert was 2 for 8, Jae Crowder was 0 for 7 and the Jazz were shooting 33% from the field and 5 of 18 from three.

 

  • The Pelicans stretched the lead to 9, 66-57 with 4:59 left in the 3rd quarter and then the Jazz hit stride and closed the game on a 59-33 run over the final 17:00 to blow out the Pelicans.

 

  • The explosion started when Donovan Mitchell scored 18 points in 2:51 seconds. Mitchell couldn’t get anything going and then he pushed the tempo on a play where Davis wasn’t getting back defensively and got a layup  Then Mirotic checked in for Davis and Donovan started attacking the rim time and time again.   Then the three started to fall and he took the team from down by 5 to up 7 by the time his barrage was over.

 

  • The Jazz defense was great again. The Pelicans came into the game with the 10th best offense in the NBA.  Over the last 10 games they were 9th  Tonight they had an offensive rating of about 100.   That is below the worst offense in the NBA.  The Jazz have held 17 of the last 20 teams to below an offensive rating of 101.  The Jazz have held opponents to below 101 in 29 of the 41 games Rudy Gobert has played.

 

  • A ton of this is Rudy. Tonight Jrue Holiday who is making 68.8% of his shots in the restricted area goes 2 for 7.  It changes everything.

 

  • Anthony Davis was 40 of his last 99 against the Jazz in games when Rudy Gobert played coming into the game tonight. This evening he went 9 of 22.  He is now 49 of his last 121 against the Jazz in games Rudy Gobert played against the him.  That is 40%.

 

  • The rest of the Jazz defenders deserve a lot of credit as well . Rubio is playing more aggressive positional defense.  Mitchell is developing and had his best defensive game of the year in Indiana.  Jae Crowder is a defensively really strong and the lineup with him at the 4 has been terrific.

 

  • Ricky Rubio has never been in a playoff run in his career. He has dropped back to back points/rebound double doubles.  Tonight was a 30 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assist night that is as good as any box score in his career.  He went 10 of 22 from the field 4 of 5 from three and made all 6 free throws.  He had been struggling since all-star break with his shooting.   For Rubio, its his 5th 30 point game of his career and all of them coming in this calendar year.

 

  • Derrick Favors got 3 fouls in 6 minutes in the first quarter.   Then didn’t play again until the 2nd

 

  • Anthony Davis didn’t score in the 4th

 

  • Nikola Mirotic has not been great for the Pelicans after they gave up a first round draft pick for him. The only two first round picks traded were by Detroit and New Orleans.  The Clippers will get a lottery pick from Detroit and we will see what Chicago gets from New Orleans.

 

  • Joe Ingles opened the game brilliantly for the Jazz. He was 2 for 2 on layups on ball fakes in the pick and roll and hit 2 threes.   He finished with 20 points, 3 rebounds and 5 assists in 36 minutes.

 

  • Jazz have won 18 of 20 and 11 straight on the road. Still it is going to tough to make the playoffs.  I think the Jazz will have to finish at least 10-5 to be able to get in.  That is why this win and the Indiana win were so necessary.

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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David Locke

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