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Utah Jazz

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN, Toughness, Dante injured and a running game

David Locke

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SUMMARY:  In their first pre-season game against an NBA team the Utah Jazz showed their new approach and ran away from the Phoenix Suns 112-101

  • Dante Exum was injured in the opening portion of the game.  He got caught in the air around the basket and went down hard on his shoulder.  He banged his feet in pain and then popped up grabbing his left shoulder and ran to the locker-room.  At this moment the official word is left shoulder injury.  This is a serious bummer considering the work Dante put in during the off-season and his effort to break through this season.    Quin Snyder said he is heading for imaging but if you saw his shoulder it didn’t look good.

 

  • The biggest thing that jumped out to me tonight is the Jazz are tougher than they have been in the past. Ricky Rubio battles for loose balls and is always in the mix.  Donovan Mitchell, Thabo Sefolosha, Joe Ingles, Rudy Gobert and more are always scrapping.  This team has a toughness to it.

 

  • The Jazz lead 28-25 after the first quarter and then ran away with the game in the 2nd They lead by as many as 22 in the 2nd quarter 65-43.

 

  • Phoenix was not a good transition defensive team last year and that seemed to be the case again tonight. The Jazz are really focusing on running off of the opponents misses and they were able to do that tonight

 

  • The Jazz dominated the offensive glass. They had 19 offensive rebounds on 54 chances for 35% offensive rebounding rate.  Moreover, they scored 26 2nd chance points.   This might be a bit of the model on how the Jazz are able to be successful offensive team this year.  They dominate the glass and then hit some threes and that makes for at least an average offense.

 

  • I had the game at 98 possessions and the Jazz allowed 101 points so the defense was solid but not great tonight.

 

  • Rodney Hood started slowly, but managed to fit his grove and lead the Jazz with 19 points on 7 of 12 shooting and took 4 free throws as well.

 

  • Alec Burks continues his strong pre-season with 19 points, 6 rebounds and 1 assist. With Dante Exum out Burks may find himself with a roll in the rotation and with some serious playing time.

 

  • Ekpe Udoh and Joel Bolomboy had really strong 4th quarters to close out the win. Earlier in the day, Udoh said he was one of the best defenders in the world and tonight he showed that to be true.  His really long.   His length impacted a lot of shots that I don’t think guys thought he could impact.  He plays good position basketball and he plays really smart basketball.

 

  • Joel Bolomboy continues to play well. He has shown a variety of parts to his game.  He hit another three.  He played off the bounce.  He showed his rebounding.

 

  • Rudy Gobert had 3 assists to lead the team.

 

  • Donovan Mitchell was forced into playing the point guard with Exum and Neto out of the game and it impacted his shooting. He went 3 for 16 from the field.   Nothing to worry about it.  He was generally in control and the shots weren’t forced or selfish.

 

  • Overall a good night. The Jazz are trying to run and they were able to do it against Phoenix.  If they couldn’t run v. Phoenix then it would be a problem.

 

  • Devin Booker really doesn’t like playing Joe Ingles.

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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