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Utah Jazz

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Which comes first bad shooting or bad transition defense

David Locke

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SUMMARY:  Raptors run by the Jazz for an impressive 124-111 win giving the Jazz their 4th straight loss.

  • The Jazz lost their 4th straight at home and their 4th straight overall in a blow loss to the Toronto Raptors.  The final score is not indicative of the margin in this game.

 

  • The Jazz were playing without Donovan Mitchell and had a miserable time trying to score after the first quarter.

 

  • The Jazz led the game 31-30 at the end of the 1st They jumped out early.   Royce O’Neale started in place of Donovan Mitchell and ran the floor terrifically early in the game.  He got some early baskets and made plays with his speed that the Jazz hadn’t been making all season.

 

  • The Jazz shot an incredible 13 shots at the rim in the first quarter.

 

  • Then midway through the 2nd quarter it became obvious the Raptors were taking control of the game. With about 5:00 left in the 2nd it was obvious there was too much time left in the half and sure enough the Raptors went on a 27-10 lead . The Jazz couldn’t make shots they were 1 of 12 from three at the half.  They had gotten to the rim a ton, but missed everything else.

 

  • The Raptors have two weaknesses, they are not great in transition defense and they don’t guard the ball handler on the pick and roll very well. Without Donovan Mitchell that meant Joe Ingles and Ricky Rubio had to take advantage.  At the half, Rubio was 1 for 7 and Joe was 2 for 7.   Without Donovan Jae Crowder becomes your third scorer and he was 1 for 7 and 0 for 5 from three.  Rubio is now shooting 32% on the season and 30% from three.

 

  • The Raptors were taking these misses and sprinting down the floor for easy baskets. Lead by Pascal Siakam, who is crazy fast and Kyle Lowry they got to the rim time and time again.  According to Cleaning the Glass at halftime the Raptors were averaging 1.8 points per transition.   Then it compounds itself because the Raptors are scoring everytime and then the Jazz are in the halfcourt without Donovan Mitchell.

 

  • The third quarter opened with the Jazz committing 4 turnovers and the Raptors converted that into 11 points and the night was over.

 

  • There are three factors here and they all built on themselves. The Jazz couldn’t make shots.    Thru three quarter the Jazz were 2 of 17 from three and shooting 41% overall.   This lead to a ton of transition opportunities for a team that uses 21% of their possessions in transition.  The Jazz couldn’t get stops in transition.   This was not freedom of movement rules, this was running downhill down your throat.   Which comes first.

 

  • If the Jazz have Donovan and are they making more shots because Donovan taxes the defense and then Ingles and Rubio aren’t stretching beyond their usual role then would the transition defense be better. Not clear.

 

  • The other part of this is the Raptors aren’t great in transition defense but when they are running off your misses the whole game and scoring then you are not going to get transition.

 

  • The final and important factor here is the Raptors are great. They will win the East by as many as 10 games.  They are by far the best team in the East.

 

  • Alec Burks was back tonight and without Donovan Mitchell he is the only one who can score. Burks had 12 points in the first 3 quarters and added 8 in the meaningless 4th  He has become a very good catch and shoot player.

 

  • Hard schedule for the Jazz along with a few injuries has rocked this team a bit and it doesn’t get any easier for a while. This is a tough stretch.

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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