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EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – The game allows for greatness and Derrick Rose found it

David Locke

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SUMMARY:  It will be remembered as the Derrick Rose night.  The former MVP Derrick Rose went back into a time machine and scored a career high 50 points leading the Wolves to a win over the Utah Jazz.

  • Solely viewed inside the capsule of sports this was a pretty amazing night.   Derrick Rose was at one point at the pinnacle of sports.  One year ago he left the Cleveland Cavaliers because he no longer had the internal fight left to still play the game thru all of his injuries.  In between, he tore his ACL, had numerous other knee surgeries and was at the nadir of basketball.  For this night he took out 6 years of tumultuousness and channeled into a brilliant virtuoso experience.  His post-game tears and emotion were a genuine representation of that struggle.

 

  • I feel it needs to be mentioned that I am not sure Derrick Rose can be viewed only inside the basketball capsule. His civil trial last summer in Los Angeles was disturbing and disgusting.  His claim that he didn’t understand what consent was when he was on the stand is hard to forget.  I only point this out because I have a hard time with 50 points = good guy narrative.    Inside the basketball capsule the night was one perspective when including the off the court issue some of the praise is harder to disperse.

 

  • The 3rd quarter is when Derrick Rose got rolling. The Wolves just pounded the Jazz with the Derrick Rose and Karl Anthony-Towns pick and roll.   When Derrick Rose is making his pull up mid range jump shot this becomes incredibly hard to defend.  Towns is a bonafide catch and shoot threat as a 5 and that is hard for the Jazz.   It pulls Gobert out from the rim.  The guard has to drop and try to keep Rose off the rim and when he is making his mid range shot that becomes really tough.   When Rose is going this is as good a pick and roll combo as there is.   It was too much tonight.

 

  • The Jazz tried Dante for a long time, they tried Ricky. However, none of them slowed Rose down.

 

  • Jazz offense was really good to be able to be in this game until the end. The offensive rebounding was a large part of the Jazz offensive success tonight.

 

  • The high pass was going early but they couldn’t get to it later in the game.

 

  • Donovan Mitchell had 16 in the 3rd quarter to go head to head with Derrick Rose who had 19 in the 3rd However, with about 5 minutes left Donovan Mitchell left the game with right hamstring tightness and didn’t return.

 

  • The Jazz offense had some tough possessions late in the game, namely one which ended in a Rudy Gobert 8 foot hook shot.

 

  • Dante Exum did some really nice things tonight. He slowed down on a fast break allowing Joe Ingles to trail and hit Ingles on a pass for a wide open three.  Then on a pick and roll he held the ball in the pocket and froze the defense before wrapping a pass around to Derrick Favors.  Dante has to learn how to play in a speed other than full blast.  He showed signs of this and then on his two drives to the basket he was wide open for a layups.

 

  • Ricky Rubio had 6 turnovers. Minnesota is #1 in the NBA in deflections.

 

  • Minnesota is #1 in transition and they got that rolling in the first half

 

  • Josh Okogie was impressive. He defended Donovan really well and made a bunch of plays in his time on the floor.

 

  • The great thing about the NBA is that the game allows the greatest players to take over. There are no intentional walks, you can’t clog the box with 10 defenders.   The rules make it so greatness can prevail.  For the first time in 6 years Derrick Rose felt that greatness.

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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