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Utah Jazz

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Spectacular Donovan and Defense leads to Jazz opening night win

David Locke

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SUMMARY:  Donovan Mitchell 4th quarter overcomes sketchy offensive night for the Utah Jazz in an opening night win.

  • Donovan Mitchell was amazing in the 4th  After not taking a shot in the 1st quarter, Mitchell added 10 in the 2nd quarter, 8 in the 3rd quarter before exploding for his first double double (with rebound) of his career.  Donovan finished with 32 points and 12 rebounds with 14 points and 7 rebounds coming in the 4th quarter

 

  • The Jazz hunted out Danillo Gallinari and got him matched up on Donovan Mitchell on Gallinari and he beat him badly numerous times to the rim. Then with the game on the line Thunder subbed in a defensive minded player onto Donovan and instead the Jazz ran a traditional pick and roll and with Adams dropping (a change in how OKC plays pick and roll Defense) Mitchell found space at 18 feet and buried the jumper.

 

  • The Jazz offense never looked like the Jazz offense tonight. It might have been because Mike Conley had such an unusual shooting night.  Conley missed a bunch of open threes in the first quarter and it snowballed into the worst shooting night of his career going 1 for 16.   He was 0 for 5 in the first quarter on good looks.

 

  • Rudy Gobert was a dominating defensive force tonight. In the first quarter Steven Adams went 0 for 5 and had any offensive impact on the game.   The Jazz defense was great in the 1st and 4th quarters tonight.  They held the Thunder to 12 points in the first quarter on 5 of 21 shootng and forced the Thunder into 15 mid range shots.

 

  • OKC shot 7 of 20 at the rim tonight.

 

  • Donovan had his first field goal at the 6:29 mark of the 2nd

 

  • Jazz only took 25% of their shots as threes.

 

  • Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic both showed their teammates who they are as people and players tonight. Mike Conley hit a free throw late in the game and in a self deprecated fashion mocked himself to the crowd.  This brought a laugh from the fans.   Bojan Bogdanovic turned his ankle badly in the 2nd quarter and looked like he was going to be done for a while.   Instead he opened the 2nd half in the starting lineup and played well in the 2nd

 

  • Emmanuel Mudiay had a really solid debut for the Jazz. He may have been the key to the game.   Mudiay played 23 solid minutes and defended well plus added an offensive bonce with 12 points and 5 assists.

 

  • Donovan was really spectacular tonight. He was relentless.  His desire to win is off the charts.

 

  • Game was slow paced at 100 possessions, right about league average last year. Thunder offense was below a point a possession which wins you game at nearly a 90% rate.    Though Jazz were as well.

 

  • For a night the defensive worries are over and now we can worry about the offense, but worries off a win are good worries.

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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