SUMMARY: The Jazz play their best offensive game of the year and sting the Hornets in Charlotte.
• 9th road win of the year for the Utah Jazz.
• The Jazz had one of the best shooting nights in the NBA tonight. They hit 18 three pointers, one short of the franchise record. Jae Crowder hit 6 and Kyle Korver 4. The Jazz ball movement was terrific and they exploited the weakness of the Hornets defense.
• The Hornets were 26th in the NBA at denying shots at the rim and 29th in the NBA at taking away three point shots. The Jazz took 37% of their shots at the rim tonight and took 45% of their shots as three point shots.
• The three point shots went in. The Jazz hit 18 of 40 from three. Most of them were above the break three point shots. According the cleaning the glass the Jazz hit on 15 of 28 above the break 3 point shots which is in the 95th percentile of all shooting performances this season.
• Defensively the Jazz weren’t great tonight. They allowed Parker to get to the rim too many times and while they took away Kemba Walker’s mid range game he was able to get to the basket. The Hornets took 33 shots at the rim which is a lot.
• Kyle Korver made his debut and on the very first play came from the baseline up to Rudy Gobert who was with the ball at the three point line. Korver got the handoff took one dribble to his right and fired a perfect three.
• Korver also got a wide open corner 3. And nailed it
• Jae Crowder hit a career high tying 6 three pointers and had a career high (regular season) with 7 assists.
• Donovan Mitchell was a star. He had 10 points in the first quarter and then kept rolling on his way to 30 points. If you look at Donovan’s first 7 games of the year he was averaging 23 points a game, while shooting 45% from the field and 36% from three. Then he got a hamstring, ankle and rib injury in consecutive games. Playing injured he struggled. His last two games have both been over 30 points a game. I think Donovan is fine.
• Mitchell was 12 of 22 tonight. He has turned the mid range game and the floater into weapons. He is making the mid range pull up at a very high level. Teams are not letting him get to the rim like he did last year. He is taking 21% of his shots at the rim instead of 26%. He came into the game at 48% on the long 2. When teams have to bring the big out to take away that shot he will be able to get back on the rim.
• Rudy Gobert was a beast. It is important on a night when the opposing team is throwing Cody Zeller (for 7 minutes before being injured) Frank Kaminsky and Marvin Williams out as centers that Rudy Gobert fully dominates the game . He did exactly that and he did it with an array of offensive plays larger than he usually does.
• Best part of the game is that the game got tied at ______ then the Jazz went on a 9-0 run and then the Hornets cut it to 6 and the Jazz went on another run. The Hornets never lead.
• Dante Exum didn’t play tonight. The point guard position has become Ricky Rubio and Raul Neto and also Donovan Mitchell. We saw Joe Ingles, Kyle Korver, Jae Crowder with Donovan Mitchell tonight for a few moments. The jazz had a lot of success with Donovan Mitchell as the back up point guard last year. So it is hard to find point guard minutes. Then the back up wing minutes are being allocated between Kyle Korver and Royce O’Neale. This may be where Dante resurfaces. Dante is a great kid who has been curtailed by injuries thus slowing his development. He has battled in the past and will battle again. In the meantime, he will continue to work and improve the areas of his game that need improvement. He will be a valuable piece of the puzzle over the course of the season.
• 9th road win for the Jazz. One more game in the 12 game stretch from hell. Jazz have won 3 of 4.
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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