SUMMARY: Jazz were unable to stop the Memphis half court offense and fell to the Grizzlies at home.
- Surprisingly the Utah Jazz have started the year 0-3 at home with 2 losses to the Grizzlies
- More surprisingly the Grizzlies have opened the year 5-2.
- Even more surprisingly, the Utah Jazz defense was not able to get stops against the Memphis Grizzlies offense.
- In the pre-game talk Memphis coach JB Bickerstaff talked about how what he wanted on each possessions was getting his best two players in to a two man game with space on every possession. It simplifies the game and is so accurate. The unique thing the Grizzlies did is at times that space was in the middle of the floor with guys spaced on each side. At other times they ran the two man game on the side of the floor with 3 players over loading the other side of the floor.
- With a 2 man game being played in space the difficulty got to be how you deal with Marc Gasol and his ability to pop out to the three point line. Gasol is shooting 50% on threes this season. When he pops the Jazz have two choices. One is to have Gobert try to stay with Gasol and now your shot blocker is out at 25 feet. Your other choice is to switch and now Gobert is stuck in space on the point guard. Neither is a great option.
- The end result is that in back to back games the Jazz have faced stretch 5s, Karl Anthony Towns and Marc Gasol, and in both games the opposing guards have had mammoth games. Derrick Rose had 50 and Mike Conley and Shelvin Mack combined for 47. My thought is this is all related. That when Gobert has to stay with the big it doesn’t leave a rim protector to help defensively.
- According to Cleaning the Glass the Grizzlies half court offense tonight ranked in the 97th percentile of all half court performances this season
- The Jazz offense was pretty strong tonight. It feel apart when Ricky Rubio got his 4th foul early in the 3rd The Jazz were un able to get in their offense when Rubio went out of the game. Quin was forced to go back to Rubio with 4 fouls mid way thru the third and that settled things a bit.
- Considering the Jazz were without Donovan Mitchell and Alec Burks I would have been really pleased before the game if you told me this was the offensive performance of the Jazz. I wouldn’t have anticipated the Grizzlies to have a 120 offensive rating.
- Ricky Rubio got it going early which was great. He had struggled in the past against Conley so this was great to see him get his offensive vibe going. He had 22 points, 2 rebounds and 11 assists. The 4th foul that knocked him out of the game seemed like a really tough call. Ricky Rubio was +10 in a 10 point loss.
- Jazz finished 2 of 8 on corner 3, only got one attempt in the 2nd half
- Memphis takes away the Rudy Gobert roll. He had 1 shot attempt in the first half which was the same amount he had in the first meeting. The Grizzlies bring a third guy into who is bumping Rudy while Marc Gasol is playing back in the paint. It should leave someone open. The Jazz got 36 three point attempts.
- Denver game is going to be brutal. 6th game in 6 cities.
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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