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Utah Jazz

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – The shots they were a falling

David Locke

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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.

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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