SPECIAL EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – The Final 10 minutes

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN SPECIAL
Thoughts as I watch the final 5 minutes of the regulation and the overtime
• Incredible defense by Favors sliding out on Paul George and forcing him into a fade away 18 footer with 4:49 left. Derrick Favors stayed with Paul George

• Really hard to ask Elijah Milsap to be ready for this speed

• Trey Burke threw some incredible passes

• Offensive foul on Hayward was a good call.

• Huge shot by Gordon. Indiana by 6 with 3:29 left. Stuckey goes under pick and roll and Gordon in his sweet spot, angle right, rises and buries a 3. Huge shot #1

• Jazz double PG in post guarded by Gordon with 2:40 left. Good team defense. Dig out by Hood. Booker stunts at Stuckey who gets the pass out of the post from George. Hood closes out. Poor 3 point shooter in Stuckey has no where to go shoots three and misses. Indiana still leads it 104-101 with 2:26 left

• With 2:02 left in 4th Indiana runs a 1/3 pick and roll with George and Hill. Jazz switch it. Leaves Trey Burke on Paul George. He has no chance. Pacers score. But this is the last time Jazz will switch this. The Jazz will double for rest of game and the Pacers keeping trying to go back to it.

• Trevor Booker saves the game. Hayward misses on drive down 5 with 1:37 left and if Indiana gets the rebound game might be over. Instead Booker offensive rebound and bucket – Huge Shot #2

• Interesting Hayward guards Paul George but Rodney Stuckey took Hayward on the other end

• 1:26 left – next Pacers play they ran the same 3/1 pick and roll and Jazz trap PG and get it out of his hands. Stuckey hits a pull up J with :1 on shot clock. Pacers 108-103 with 1:18 left.

• 1:08 left – Hayward beats PG on left hand drive. Lavoy Allen has to come help. Favors does an awesome job of making himself available for the pass by hanging back and bit and gets a good pass from G and is fouled. Favors hits 1 FT – 108-104 with 1:05 left – Huge Shot #3

• Strange move by Vogel. He takes CJ Miles out and puts in another big. So Indiana plays the next possession with 2 bigs. Lavoy Allen misses 17 footer that would have been a CJ three.

• Mahiimi misses both free throws. Jazz ball 108-104 with :42

• Favors misses tough look and missed a wide open Gordon Hayward in the corner. WIDE OPEN. But foul on Mihimini on rebound and Jazz get another shot. Booker lured him into the foul. Bad call. Booker earned this one by fighting but bad call by officials.

• Booker makes one with :31.1 seconds left to make it 108-105 but Jazz rebound the miss. Favors knocks it out of Hills hand, Booker knocks it away from Mahimi, and Hayward gets it. Bullets a pass to Booker who is fouled and goes back to the line.

• Booker makes it 108-107 with both free throws and :27 left

• Jazz trap in bound. Create havoc. Ball gets to Paul George up 1 with 22 seconds left and he inexplicably shoots up 1. Looked like Jazz were trying to foul.

• Paul George makes two free throws Jazz down 3 with 16.4 seconds left.

• No timeout by Jazz – AB goes straight line brings three defenders to him and makes a great pass to Favors for the bucket and now a free throw to tie. Incredible pass and super tough shot by Favors. He was going full steam about to go past the glass. Alec was close to horizontal wrapping the pass around the Pacers bigs – Huge SHOT #4

• OVERTIME

• Super D by Favors forces George to miss a pull up jumper. Great help

• Pacers run the 3/1 pick and roll. Jazz trap again taking ball out of PG hand and Favors makes an incredible play to deflect ball and then save it to Hayward. 3:26 left. Pacers by 1

• Super play by Paul George on an unselfish pass to Allen to put Pacers up 3 with 2:57 left

• Maybe the play of the game. 7 seconds on shot clock Pacers up 1 with 2:40 left and out of a time out the Pacers try to run the Elevator Door play and PG gets tripped going through the elevator door and Hayward gets ball and dunks on other end. Jazz lead it

• 2:00 minutes left Pacers back up 1. Hayward throws really bad pass and it gets deflected into the backcourt and PG fouls Hayward with :03 on shot clock when he is stuck in the backcourt. Jazz get fresh clock and take advantage on a Favors dunk. Nice pass from Trey Burke

• Hayward misses on a runner. Booker grabs another rebound but gets it stripped and the Pacers turn it into a fast break Jazz down 1 with 1:03 left. – Huge Shot #5

• Pacers go back to 3/1 pick and roll and the Jazz trap it and force a turnover. So Pacers go the switch once. Then Jazz trap it three straight time and Pacers don’t get anything out of it.

• Up 1 with 18.6 seconds left. Favors slips the pick for the first time in the final 10 minutes rather than setting the pick and Trey Burke finds him. Favors finishes it over traffic.

• Jazz pick and rolled everything from the top in the overtime

• Solid defense from Jazz forcing CJ into a missed 3. Nice close on CJ from both Elijah who was guarding Hill and Alec.

• Pacers get a 2nd chance. They inbound to Stuckey inside the 3 point line. For some reason, not sure what Elijah Millsap goes to Stuckey and doubles him inside the arch. They pass back to Hill who gets a good look, though Elijah scrambles back quickly,. Lucky break.

• Heck of a game great fun

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – So much to say about Jazz win over Pacers

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN
• Holy smokes what a game. What a week. Incredible basketball played at Vivint Smart Home Arena all week. Tonight the stars were out of this world and this game had plays and plays and plays worth talking about. Gotta be honest my head is still spinning, I am not actually sure everything that happened to get the Jazz a win.

• Without Rudy the Jazz margin to win is small. So everyone has to play at a really high level and that is what happened tonight. The Pacers had won 12 of 15, have the 4th best differential in the NBA and the 5th best efficiency differential. This is a really good team and they have one heck of a star in Paul George. Paul George was other worldly. So to win everyone had to be big.

• The Jazz stars had to be the biggest and Derrick Favors had his career night. He had 35 points, he had 12 in the 4th quarter and overtime. He buried 4 of 5 free throws in that span. He was mammoth around the rim, finishing in traffic. He did it all. He had an amazing dribble drive. He caught passes in traffic, he finsihedf in crowds.

• Trevor Booker playing with the flu and feeling it in a bad way found a way to get 7 rebounds and 7 points in the 4th and overtime.

• The Jazz had a hard time defending in the 2nd and 3rd quarters allowing 65 points but found a way in the final 17 to only allow 35.

• The Jazz executed the game plan terrifically tonight. The Pacers are the #1 catch and shoot team in the NBA and the Jazz made them play with the ball off the deck. In the first half the Pacers were 2 for 11 on catch and shoot. They started to hit them in the2nd half but they took fewer than they usually do. Paul George hit some shots that weren’t fair. CJ Miles couldn’t get the catch and shoot game going, George Hill was forced to play off the bounce.

• Jeff Withey throws really good outlet passes.

• Rual Neto had a great third quarter. He had a career high 13 point and scored 8 straight at one point in the third.

• Quin used every guy he had available tonight

• The amount of plays Derrick Favors made tonight that swung the tenor of the game is unreal. Free throws, big baskets all that had to be made.

• Don’t want to ignore Gordon – 22 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and I know this is crazy when the dude drops 48 but I think if we go back and watch his defense on PG was solid, PG was just unreal.

• Jazz defense was sharp tonight and Indiana still dropped 119 and hit on 12 of 29 from 3. Largely, due to Paul George 8 for 11. Indiana is going to win a lot of game.

• Trey Lyles looked like he belonged tonight. If you were watching you would not have known he was a rookie.

• Really strong night for Trey Burke – 19 points and 7 assists.

• I’m going to do a special Noggin on all the big plays. Just a super win for the Jazz.

GET TO KNOW DRAFT PROSPECTS – Skal Labissiere

Skal Labissiere
Fr. Kentucky 6’11 225lb

– Born in Haiti, moved to US after Earthquake in 2010
– Family trapped under wall after the earthquake collapsed their house
Stats
15.8 MPG
6.6 PPG
3.1 RPG
0.3 APG
0.9 TPG
.516 FGP
.661 FTP
4.2 BLK/40
7.6 PF/40
Strengths
Physically Gifted
– 7’2.5” wingspan
– 9’0” standing reach
– Able to finish above the rim
– Light on his feet and soft hands
Offensive Skill Set
– Smooth with good balance and touch
– Uses good footwork and TOUCH
– Jump hooks using either hand
– Shown flashes from NBA 3 point range
– Able to knock down turn arounds
Defense
– Able to cover a lot of group
– Stays vertical when contesting shots
– Uses instincts well
– Very raw but has ton of potential
Upside
– Intriguing tools and skill set
– Played very little basketball before coming to UK
– Improve spacing and rim protection

Weaknesses
Toughness/Strength
– 5.7% fat, very skinny in chest and rear
– Lacks mental toughness
– Lets some player drive through him on the way to the rim
– Can’t contain on mismatches, burned easily
– Limited upper body strength and tries to avoid contact
Defensive Rebounding
– Can sometimes lose focus on defense and rebounds
– Struggles in challenging spots where loses positioning boxing out
– NOT PHYSICAL ENOUGH
Offensive Polish
– Drives straight into defense
– Always looks to dribble first
– Poor spacing
– Still putting everything together
Fundamentals on Defense
– Lacks discipline
– Bites on fakes
– Caught ball watching
– Slow reaction

3 Things to Know
– Upside and Potential- While Skal may look underwhelming to some with a limited skill set entering the draft, he’s only played basketball for a limited time and the skills he’s already developed are impressive enough that he can polish them for an even greater upside. His jump hook is one aspect of his game that is impressive already.
– Toughness- Skal’s biggest question mark during his rookie year will be towards his toughness. Too many times did he get bullied by other big men while at Kentucky on both defense and offense. On defense especially, he tends to get handsy and foul too much.
– Mental Game- Skal’s mental game needs to improve in order for him to find success. He makes simple fixable mistakes that need to be corrected like biting on pump fakes, yet it extends all the way to the hard parts of bouncing back when things aren’t going his way. Skal hasn’t played basketball that long so with time his IQ should improve. He just needs to get more adjusted to the competitive game of basketball. He explained that when he arrived in the states he noticed how much more serious the game is here than in Haiti.

GET TO KNOW DRAFT PROSPECTS – Wade Baldwin

The following was put together by Leif Thulin and Garrett Furubayahi by scouring all draft sources and making a compilation of the player.

Wade Baldwin
6’3 194 So. Vanderbilt Guard

Stats:
30.4 MPG
14.1 PPG
5.2 APG
4.0 RPG
1.2 SPG
2.8 TPG (67->91 between fresh & soph)
.799 FTP
.427 FGP
(Fox Sports)
Strengths
Physically Gifted
– 6’10 wingspan
– Big hands
– Wide shoulders
– Length gives him an advantage at the rim
Defensive Ability
-Good feet
-Good close out
-Deflections
-Get through screens
-Can guard both positions
(Physical gifts lead to a HIGH ceiling to be a huge defensive presence)
Passing
-Distribute the ball well through variety of ways off of pick and roll or pick and pop
-Able to find shooters while on the move
Shooting
-Good range
-Better shooter with feet set
– Good spot up shooter if defender goes under screen
Weaknesses
Creating Offense
-No floater (5 all season)
-Predictable
-Poor finisher
-Ball Handling
(Limited control, limited moves, NOT SHIFTY)
Inconsistency
-Lazy on defense
(Sometimes gives up after a few steps or doesn’t)
-Shooting motion isn’t always the same leads to poor shots
Decision Making
-Sometimes telegraphs passes
-Can be careless & panic
-Looks to pull up WAY too early in shock clock
(Draft Express)
3 Things to Know
Physical Profile
-Wade’s 6’10 wingspan gives him amazing versatility and the ability to guard the 1-3 positions in the NBA as well as the ability to finish around the rim (doesn’t always though, but length helps).
Defensive Potential
-Wade showed in college his ability to be a top notch defender through his techniques and actions. He’s already shown he’s a GOOD defender but his ceiling could allow him to be an EXCELLENT defender if he works out a few inconsistencies
Passing Ability
-Wade showed the variety of ways he can distribute the ball, especially by finding different ways to hit the roll/pop man off of screens. Wade needs to learn to make better decisions by staying calm in pressure situations and not being careless with the ball.

Questions:
What insights and life lessons did you gain from making the varsity team your freshman year, after basketball was your “worst” sport growing up?
What influences did your favorite athlete growing up having on your development as an athlete yourself?
Describe how watching your friend and high school teammate KAT helped motivate you in your own journey.

GET TO KNOW DRAFT PROSPECTS – Domontas Sabonis

The following was put together by Leif Thulin and Garrett Furubayahi by scouring all draft sources and making a compilation of the player.

Domantas Sabonis:
So. Forward/ Center, Gonzaga.

Stats
Minutes: 31.7
Points per game: 17.5
Rebounds per game: 11.7
Assists per game: 1.8
Steals per game: 0.6
Blocks per game: 0.7
Field Goal Percentage: 60.6%
Three Point Percentage: 35.7%
Free Throw Percentage: 77%

Height: 6’10.5”(with shoes) 6’10”(without shoes)
Weight: 230 lbs
Wingspan: 6’11”
Standing Reach: N/A
No Step Vert: N/A
Max Vert: N/A
Measurable Comps: Luis Scola/ Marc Gasol (NBA Draft.net)

Strengths:
Fantastic motor.
High basketball iq.
Great feel for the game.
Skilled scorer
Excellent footwork in post and on defense.
Very good at establishing deep post position.
Established scorer down down low, with the ability to shoot from mid range effectively. (counter moves, up-and-unders and drop steps)
Fabulous finisher inside. Good patience.
Soft touch
Good in the pick and roll, with ability to catch in traffic and locate the rim.
Willing and improved passer.
Runs the floor superbly. Rim running extraordinaire.
Great rebounder. Physical. Maximizes his frame (238 lbs)
Always boxes out and uses great instincts and timing to grab the ball at its apex.
Solid intangibles on defense. Good rotations off ball.
Good post defender, who sacrifices his body to help his team.
Makes winning plays.
Good defender on switches as well as on traditional matchups. Potentially a very good two way small ball player.

Potential areas for improvement
Left hand dominant and could have issues scoring against NBA length.
Stiff mechanics on his jump shot, however he shoots a decent percentage from the free throw line and also is improving his range, presenting the potential for being a good pick and pop player due to his good touch.

Weaknesses:
May be hard to find role on offense due to mechanics on his outside jumper if they aren’t fixed.
Not a terribly explosive player.
Plays below the rim.
He is only 6’10.5” and has a subpar wingspan, making it difficult for him to be a five.
Shows pretty good lateral quickness, but struggles frequently on switches, switching him onto shifty and and long forwards.

Questions:
What part of your game have you attempted to improve upon the most in the months preparing for the draft?
What influence does your father, a hall of fame player in his own regard, have on you and your game?
What role do you envision for yourself in the future?
What is the main thing you want to show the team that drafts you?

GET TO KNOW DRAFT PROSPECTS — Denzel Valentine

The following was put together by Leif Thulin and Garrett Furubayahi by scouring all draft sources and making a compilation of the player.

Denzel Valentine
Sr. Guard/ Forward, Michigan State.
Stats
Minutes: 33.0
Points per game: 19.2
Rebounds per game: 7.5
Assists per game: 7.8
Steals per game: 1.0
Blocks per game: 0.2
Field Goal Percentage: 46.2%
Three Point Percentage: 44.4%
Free Throw Percentage: 85.3%

Height: 6’5.75” (with shoes) 6’4” (without shoes) (Draft Express)
Weight: 210 lbs (Draft Express)
Wingspan: 6’10.75” (Draft Express)
Standing Reach: 8’6” (Draft Express)
No Step Vert: 27” (Draft Express)
Max Vert: 32” (Draft Express)
Measurable Comps: Danny Green/Greivis Vasquez
(NBA Draft Net)

Strengths:
Fantastic feel for the game
Great vocal leader
Great understanding of the proper timing and spacing
Fabulous shooter, off the bounce and catch and shoot.
Great ability to square shoulders and remain balanced whiole shooting off of screens.
Tremendous distributor. Sees over the defense with his size and makes very accurate passes.
He does a good job in the pick and roll.
Great patience, especially in pick and roll.
Makes good decisions and changes pace well when attacking.
Crafty and versatile scorer, who uses guile to put the ball in the hoop. (floaters and hook shots)
Good finisher with both hands
Versatile player. Has ability to play on and off the ball.
Great rebounder for size.
Great instincts for the game especially well used for positioning on rebounding.
Very hard worker, and dedicated team player.

Potential areas for improvement:
Can improve his transition game, taking less risks, while making up for his lack of overwhelming athleticism.
He will have to adjust his game in the NBA, as he is no longer the alpha dog leader.
Capable of defending multiple positions due to size and good fundamental technique, but must stay disciplined due to his athletic flaws.

Weaknesses:
He has issues, creating space, and relies heavily on screens.
Subpar athlete that might have to rely on athletes around him.
Occasionally plays flat footed and struggles with his lateral movement.
Beat in isolation frequently.

Questions:
Which aspects of your game are most applicable to the NBA?
While preparing for the draft, what aspect of your game did you work the most on to improve heading into the draft?
Of your four years under coach Izzo, What was the most important thing you have learned from him that you will remember as you prepare for the NBA?
Of anyone past or present, who would you say you try to emulate the most?