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Utah Jazz

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Ugly wins sometimes are most important wins

David Locke

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SUMMARY:  In a hard fought defensive dominated game the Utah Jazz came up with the plays late to beat the Phoenix Suns 96-95.

  • The Jazz trailed by 6 85-79 with 5:18 left in the game. Then the Jazz made the plays to win the game and that is what separates teams.   Bojan Bogdanovic hit a bi three to get the game down to 3.  Rudy Gobert began an incredible stretch of making 8 straight free throws in the clutch.  The Suns lead by 4 with 3:24 left and had the ball.

 

  • Then the game turned on turnovers, ironically enough on a night when the Jazz gave the ball away all night long. Gobert dunked on a Conley give to make it 92-90 when Ricky Rubio drove and threw the ball away leading to a Donovan Mitchell fast break dunk and a tie, then Devin Booker tried a down the baseline pass that Donovan Mitchell stole and found Bojan Bogdanovic for a layup and a foul.   The Suns tied it on a Jevon Carter 3 and then after a Donovan Mitchell turnover Kelly Oubre missed a three and the Jazz had one final chance.

 

  • Quin Snyder diagrammed an out of bounds play where Ingles was the inbounder. Conley and Bojan started in the back court while Donovan was at the free throw line and he sprinted to the back court got the ball and then came full speed down hill drawing a foul with .4 seconds left on the clock.  He made the first free throw to clinch the game

 

  • This was not a pretty win, but it might be a better win that a pretty win. This game was absurdly physical and at times borderline dirty.   Both teams were playing their 3 game in 4 nights and while the defensive effort on both sides was amazing the offensive shooting legs were gone.

 

  • The 2nd quarter was a mess the Jazz shot 4 of 20 and only because they hit the last two shots of the quarter on transition threes by Bojan Bogdanovic and Royce O’Neale. The Suns shot 4 of 24.

 

  • The Jazz had 23 turnovers. They shot 38% and 32% from 3 and they won.

 

  • The Jazz defense has been elite through the first 4 games and was again tonight. The Jazz have held all 4 opponents to under a point per possessions (86% win rate) and under .95 pts per possession in 3 games (98% win rate)

 

  • Rudy Gobert is getting better. He was truly fabulous tonight.  He alters every play.  He protects the rim, changes shot charts, effects offensive rhythm and disrupts everything the other team wants to do.    Tonight he also grabbed 18 rebounds.  He nailed 11 of 12 free throws and 8 of 8 in the clutch.

 

  • Bojan Bogdanovic is a fabulous well rounded offensive player. He has so many elements to his game and he continues to show new aspects.  Tonight he had 29 points on 8 of 13 shooting, with 4 of 8 from three. He added 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and a block.  He came off pins downs, he hit open threes, he drove from the wing, he beat his man to the baseline and dunked.  He had a play in the paint where he quickly elevated for a layin both quicker and higher than I had seen him do before.

 

  • The Jazz having multiple offensive weapons was vital tonight when it was a struggle.

 

  • Mike Conley had another tough night at 0 for 7 with 1 point. He was in foul trouble all night.

 

  • Royce O”Neale was exceptional both on defense and making enough offensive plays.

 

  • The Jazz bench is a little disconcerting right now.

 

  • It is a win against a gritty team and it is a win where the group had to make plays late. These one feels pretty good despite how it looked.

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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