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Utah Jazz

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – This team has made me re-calibrate all I know about basketball

David Locke

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SUMMARY:  The Jazz go wire to wire for a significant win over the Clippers in a 117-95 blowout.

  • This was not a close basketball game. The Jazz lead by 10 at the end of 1, lead by 20 in the 2nd quarter and lead by 30 in the 3rd

 

  • The coaching staff’s preparation was incredible for this game. They narrowed in on all of the Clippers weakness and took advantage of them.  They made their players understand who the Clippers are and how they play and adjusted the defense perfectly.  The players executed it at a very high level.

 

  • The Clippers since the trade are 26th defensively after a miss and the Jazz ran by them early in this game to establish the feel of this game.

 

  • The Clippers are not a passing team. The Jazz run the pick and roll to start the offense and get the ball moving out of the initial action.   It is advantage basketball.  The Clippers are the opposite they run the pick and roll to score and the Jazz defense overcommitted to that knowing that the instinct of Austin Rivers, Tobias Harris and Lou Williams was to shot and score and all three had tough nights.

 

  • Offensively, the Jazz looked like they knew everything the Clippers were doing defensively and how to react to each play.  They were making passes to the next guy before they had even received the ball.   Even when plays didn’t work or shots didn’t fall the set up was there and the Jazz were on their way to a good look.

 

  • The Jazz lost Ricky Rubio to a sore hamstring 8 minutes into the game and shortly after that Jae Crowder got racked across the face by Derrick Favors (unintentionally) and was done for the night. The Jazz were shorthanded but never struggled.

 

  • Dante Exum brings a unique element off the bench. The Jazz are #1 in the NBA offensively over the last 6 games and what Exum has brought in that span is a large part of the Jazz offensive explosion.

 

  • This Jazz team has made me re-calibrate everything I know about the NBA. The Jazz have won 27 of 32.  That doesn’t happen by accident.  The Jazz are really good.  So why?  What is it about this group that makes them great.  How is it possible?  What did we not understand about the game of basketball?   The main thought I have on this defense is far more important than we previously realized.  That a dominant defensive team is equally as valuable as a dominant offensive team.  If you think of the Jazz defense as the Rockets or Warriors offense then winning 27 of 32 begins to make a bit more sense.  The best comparison is probably the Mike D’Antoni Suns teams that were the #1 offensive team with Steve Nash by a considerable amount and were an average offensive team and won 60 games.  That is what the Jazz are this year just inverse.

 

  • According to numbers, the Jazz have an over 60% of hosting a first round game. That is mind blowing.

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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