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Utah Jazz

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – The Grizzlies 2 man game undoes Jazz

David Locke

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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.

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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