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.
LOCKED ON JAZZ – Why so passive? How Harden blows up the Jazz defense? Donovan Mitchell 2nd year playoffs
The Utah Jazz are getting ready for Game #3 v. the Houston Rockets. David Locke, the radio voice of the Utah Jazz and Jazz NBA Insider takes a look at why the Jazz looked so passive in Game 2 in Houston. Then Locke digs into what makes Harden so unique and why he has blown up the #1 defense in the NBA. Locke also takes a look at what other 2nd year players like Donovan Mitchell have done in their 2nd year playoff season.
LOCKED ON JAZZ – How good is Houston? Jazz can’t hit open shots. Facebook Live questions
The Utah Jazz have been blown out in both of the first two games of their first round series with the Houston Rockets. David Locke, the radio voice of the Utah Jazz and Jazz NBA Insider tries to figure out what has happened and why it has happened. Plus, it is a live show so Locke takes your questions from Facebook live.
EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Opening stretch tells the strory
Summary: The Jazz start poorly, the Rockets pounced and Harden was amazing it all lead to a Rockets blow out of the Jazz.
- The Jazz opened the night turning the ball over on 4 of their first 8 possessions. The Rockets scored 10 points on those 4 turnovers and that would tell the story of the night. The Jazz trailed 12 to 4 at the first time out.
- Then Harden went nuts. He is incredible. He never misses a read. In Game 1 the Jazz took away the step back and free throws. In the first quarter he had as many step backs and as many free throws as he had all of the first game. I really have no idea how you are supposed to guard him, He was 5 of 11 on step back tonight. He makes those at 40%. You have to take that away but the only way to do that is to play him from behind and force him into a drive.
- He has become the perfect modern player. The league values the three. He can make it at nearly 40%. The league knows you can’t afford to have a 40% three point shooter take 15 to 20 threes a game so you have to play him in this strange manner to force him to drive. Harden would take 20 threes if you let him. No one has ever had his three point shooting step back coupled with his handle and his passing. This just destroys the defense. When you force him to drive he has the floater game and he reads the defense perfectly.
- The Jazz defense failed in transition tonight. According to cleaningtheglass the Rockets averaged 1.7 pts per transition and only .94 in the half court. The .94 is a little above average but the Rockets are usually much better than that in the halfcourt. They are the #2 halfcourt team in the NBA. So the Jazz halfcourt defense was actually ok tonight.
- The Jazz offense is where things should be most concerning. The Jazz were not able to score with regularity against the Rockets in the playoffs last year, they weren’t able to score against them in the regular season and they haven’t been able to score against them tonight.
- The Rockets offense averages about 116 pts per 100 possessions. Even if the Jazz have a great defensive night hey will be around 108 but the Jazz offense v. the Rockets all season has been below 1 point per possessions. Until that is fixed it is hard see a scenario where the Jazz defense can hold the Rockets offense down far enough to win a game.
- The talk around the Rockets is that they are a better team than a year ago. A year ago they won 65 games and were a Chris Paul hamstring or a glutton of missed 3s away from winning the title.
- The Jazz average .74 pts in the half court
- Rubio and Crowder are a combined 2 of 14 on open threes.
- The Jazz came into the night 22 of 100 on above the break three point shots v. the Rockets this year. It continued again tonight as the Jazz shot 6 of 27 on above the break 3 and some of those were late.
- The Jazz have lost the first two games by 52 points. The Rockets look to be capable of winning the title
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