TIP OFF – December 22 – Final Stop: Memphis

Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke gives you the NBA 5 and then digs deep on the Utah Jazz and the road trip


EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – New experience and not dealt with well


  •  The story of the season is learning experience and guys doing things they have never done before.  Only Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward have ever played significant roles on teams that were playing 4 games in 5 nights.  Last year, we never played 4 games in 5 nights.  So even Hayward and Favors have never carried this big a burden in a 4 games of 5 nights.


  • This team was searching all night.   They couldn’t find a rhythm or a momentum in the game.  At some point in one these nights you have to get a momentum as a group to find a way to fight through the fatigue.


  • Enes Kanter,Alec Burks and Trey Burke both had poor games.  From a shooting standpoint as they do this a few more times they will figure out how to turn a 2 for 9 into a 3 for 7.  That becomes a really big difference.  You can feel you legs are dead and you have no explosion.   So you end up settling for the first open jumper you get but because your legs are dead you end up front riming all of those shots.


  • Al Jefferson caught the ball with a foot in the paint on every touch early and Favors was dead from the start.   Jefferson got him on pump fakes, weezies and everything that big Al does


  • Rudy Gobert was the highlight of the night.  He had his first double double of his career.  In the 2nd quarter he was dominant.  He impacted shots, grabbed rebound and even began to make some plays on the offensive end.   A GM once told me when evaluating players look for dominant plays then they can play in the league.  Then look for dominant sequences, then they can impact the game.  Then look for dominant quarters, then they can start to determine who wins game.  Then look for dominant games, weeks and months and then you have a player you can use as a core piece of your franchise.  Rudy is dominating sequences and getting close to quarters.   He will dominate games and weeks.  He is going to be a core piece of a great defensive team.


  •  Alec Burks played his 23rd game of 30 or more minutes tonight – he had only played 36 games of 30 minutes in his career prior to this season.


  • Joe Ingles got it going and had 13


  • Jazz battled back to within 10 but never were able to get past that.


  • New experience and the Jazz didn’t deal with it very well.  Let’s see if they deal with the next 4 games in 5 nights better than this one.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Jazz making consistently strong efforts


  • Solid performance from the Jazz tonight.  Before the game Quin Snyder talked about in Sacramento when he say something that told him the team was turning the corner.  He talked about the club making 3 or 4 plays in row correctly rather than 1 every now and again.   Since then the Jazz have been much better.  Tonight they did it defensively.   Sequences of the game tonight the Jazz was exactly what they talked about doing in shootaround.


  • Some of the best defensive execution plays were Kanter digging in on Vucevic and then getting back out on Frye.   Hayward had a play where he got into the legs of the cutting Vucevic and then got back out on Harris forcing him to give up the look and the Jazz made the next rotation to the next shooter.   This happened on numerous occasions tonight where the Jazz were sharp defensively.


  • I didn’t think Orlando played with a lot of zest tonight.  They are not a great offensive team.  They may not have been forcing the Jazz into numerous defensive efforts but the efforts they had the Jazz defended terrifically.   These are big steps for this team.   The system they are being taught are good and they have to believe they will work and they have improved at them greatly.


  • Jazz defense shifted as well as I have seen it all year.  The key to shifting is getting back and recovering and they are doing that with more and more effort.


  • Good night for Enes Kanter.  Guarding the premier stretch 4 in Channing Frye and holding him to just 9 points and I think two of the three’s may have come when he was being guarded by someone else.  Late in the game, the Magic went small and Tobais Harris played the three and Quin Snyder had enough faith in Enes to leave him on the floor.


  • One of the biggest plays of the game was with 5:00 left the Magic had the game down to 6.  Fournier missed a layup, Hayward grabbed the board and pushed the tempo.  The pass came to Kanter in the middle of the paint and he threw a bullet pass while on the move to the left corner for Alec Burks for a dagger 3 that put the game back to 9 points.  Awesome pass.  Great catch and shoot.  Playing with pace


  • Jazz played with pace much more than they did earlier in the season.  One thing they have asked is if Trey Burke is outside the 3 point line when the shot goes up to sprint down the floor rather than come back for the ball and let someone else bring the ball up the floor and then they will get the ball to Trey.  It has helped the tempo a great deal.


  • Another major play was with 3:23 left the Jazz had the ball up 8 and Hayward worked the possession and then hit Favors at 14 feet right side and quick release confident jumper by Favors put the Jazz up 10 to virtually clinch this game.


  • Gordon Hayward has become the master at the hard drive into the lane and then stop on a dime and hit the jumper.  73% of his 4th quarter baskets are unassisted this year.


  • Favors 23-10 – the 8th time he has 20 or more this year and he did that only 10 times last year.


  • Good bench night.  Jazz got 28 points off the bench tonight.


  • Story of the night is the consistent effort.  The Jazz took the lead at 12-10 and never let it go.  They were ahead by double digits for most of the night.  The Magic made runs and surges but the Jazz always answered and took control of the game without every letting the Magic feel as though they had a chance to win.

POSTCAST – Locke and Boone breakdown Jazz 2nd straight win

TIPOFF – December 19 – Trust and teamwork

Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke (and his daughter) give you the NBA 5 and then talk Gobert, Exum and Utah’s play as of late.

TIPOFF – December 18 – Coaches might know something

Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke talks Atlanta and James Harden in the NBA 5, then turns the focus to the Jazz, including the play of Kanter and the defense plus the overall play against Miami.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Jazz put together 48 strong minutes


  • A Fabulous 48 minute performance from the Jazz in Miami.   The Jazz controlled this game throughout and it was really never close.  The Jazz hit 6 straight shots in the middle of the 1stquarter to take a double digit lead they held for virtually the entire game.


  • The game swung in the 1stquarter when Dwayne Wade left the game and the Heat didn’t get a single field goal when Wade was on the bench.  In fact thru 3 quarters the Heat had just 1 field goal, a Marion Chalmers fast break when Wade was on the bench


  • The Jazz elected to hold the single coverage on Wade and not allow any of the other Heat players to play in space and get good looks.  Wade was awesome.  Jazz players after the game were in awe of how great he was.  Wade dropped 42 the most he has scored in a game since December of 2010 but the rest of the Heat did nothing.


  • Wade shot 12 of 19 and the rest of the Heat were 15 of 51.


  • Gordon Hayward in his own way matched Dwyane Wade’s brilliance tonight.  Hayward had 29 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists.  It is remarkable how often Hayward is having big nights this year.  I am not sure many people thought he was capable of being a guy who ever put 29-6-7 on the board not to mention doing it with some regularity.  Hayward is beginning to get some signature moves.  When he drives into the lane and stops on a dime and fades back slightly it is nearly unguardable.  It takes incredible strength to make this play and hold body position to make the shot.    Gordon is doing really big time stuff right now.  He is averaging 19 points a game, 3 points more than a year ago.  He is only taking .4 more shots a game.  He is taking more threes and shooting more free throws, a great combination.


  • Dante Exum is making strides.   Exum played 12 consecutive in the 1sthalf and finished the night playing 24 minutes.  Dante has played 20 plus minutes in back to back games and he has scored in double figures in back to back games.   He has hit 9 of his last 12 from the floor.   Stats don’t tell the story he looks different on the floor.  He is become a bit more assertive and it is clear that he is going to get more and more leash from the coaching staff.  Some nights he is going to be good and some nights it will be too much to ask.


  • Rudy Gobert gave the Jazz a really strong 19 minutes and the Jazz played Favors and Gobert together when Booker got ejected late in the 2ndquarter.  Made me wonder about a three big man rotation.  It is going to be hard to keep Kanter and Gobert off the floor right now.


  • The biggest offensive plays of the game came from Kanter.  Kanter  hit a corner 3 and then on the next possession drove at Williams on the right baseline and curled into the lane for a short shot.   Kanter has the mid-range shooting game.  He is adding the one dribble drive to the hoop from the top.  He showed a little something new on the baseline drive and he has some post moves which the Jazz didn’t use tonight.   He is growing impressively.  Couple with further body development over the next year and you have a bonafide scorer in the league.  Can he be a Zach Randolph


  • This league is about making shots and the Jazz made their 3 point shots tonight with 14 three’s equaling a franchise record.


  • Biggest overall thing tonight was the consistent performance.  The Jazz have had too many “out for lunch plays”  and tonight they had almost none or at least very few.  This is a major difference from the last few nights.  The Jazz have played really good basketball for 88 of their last 96 minutes.   If they can learn how to play with this focus we will see more of this.


  • Having Derrick Favors is helpful