EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – A mind-bogling second half

• Wow. That was crazy impressive. What the Jazz did to the Pacers in the 2nd half is hard to fathom. Teams don’t manhandle other NBA teams like this unless you are really good. The Jazz defense was incredible. They held the Pacers to 27 points in the 2nd half. To blow out another NBA team by 30 over 24 minutes is unheard of.

• Rudy Gobert is the core to the defense but it goes much farther than just Rudy. In no way am I minimizing what Rudy is doing. He is the most impactful player I have seen in the NBA since either a young Dwight Howard or Ben Wallace. But the whole team is connected. They build incredible walls. They take away huge portions of the floor with their shifts. They react to each others actions. They are forcing teams to make skip passes over the top that slow down the offense and force them deep into the clock and into weakside 1 on 1 actions. It is awesome.

• Gordon Hayward had a tough offensive night but his defense and the team defense on Paul George was fabulous. He busted his *&* defensively. Ron Boone says it is the hardest he has ever seen him work defensively.

• The Pacers scored 29 first quarter points. The Jazz were having a hard time with the Pacers pressure. They were turning it over time and time again. The Pacers were getting out on the run and the Jazz looked like a team on the ropes. Instead the defense clamped down and held the Pacers to 20 points. It kept the Jazz in the game.

• The Pacers completely outplayed the Jazz for the first 24 minutes and then in a span 3 minutes of the 3rd quarter the Jazz outplayed the Pacers and took the lead. The Jazz opened the third quarter on a 13-0 run and the Pacers missed their first 8 shots of the quarter. Pacers ended up shooting 6 for 21 in the 3rdquarter. Paul George was 2 for 6, if he is going to be the best player in the league as he said he was then he needs to be able to stop these type of droughts.

• Favors got in foul trouble in the 1st quarter 4 minutes into the game and he came out in the 3rd quarter with a point to prove. He dominated with 8 points and Rudy grabbed 10 rebounds in the 3rd quarter. It was pure domination.

• Little moments in the first half mattered – Rodney Hood kept the Jazz in the game in the first quarter, Trey Burke bailed the Jazz out after Raul Neto had a tough first 6 minutes. Joe Ingles scored 5 in a row after the Pacers lead by 10.

• The lack of three point shooting is still a problem for the Jazz. Only 17% of the shots were 3s. it is going to be impossible for this team to be anywhere near the league average if Alec takes 13 shots without a 3 attempt.

• Trey Burke has made some passes I have seen from him over the last two games. He is playing a much different game.

• I love George Hill. He is so physical defensively. He had his hands all over Neto tonight and Raul had no idea how to deal with it in the beginning. Hill is a 40% catch and shoot 3 point shooter. He is a super player. If Indiana implodes he could be a major piece for a contending team.

• Rodney Hood was really good tonight. 4 steals on the defensive end. He has only taken 2 free throws in 80 minutes. This needs to improve.

• Favors 18-7 again. He is averaging 21 points and 8 rebounds thru 3 games and he showed a full array of an offensive game.

• Neto is 1 for 11 inside the 3 point line.

• Thru three games teams are scoring 83.1 pts per 100 possessions with Rudy Gobert on the floor and 82.4 with Derrick Favors on the floor. Those numbers are mind boggling. Teams are shooting 36% with Rudy Gobert on the floor.

• An incredible performance to go from down 7 at the half to a runaway 20 point win. Super job. Great 2-1 road trip. Jazz might be a Trevor Booker hand slap away from being 3-0 but Detroit is good.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Defense stifles the rookie

• Wins count. You have to get this one and the Jazz did in commanding fashion. Home opener, early in the year, seemed like a night where the Sixers could give a fight and it was over in a hurry.

• The defense was terrific. They had a solid game plan on Okafor and Noel. It prevented either of the them from getting any type of rhythm during the game. The Jazz sent a strong dig at Okafor and knew he would immediately revert to playing straight up basketball rather than post ball. Noel has no game outside 5 feet and the Jazz took advantage of that in numerous ways.

• It was great if someone got by Gobert Favors was waiting and vice versa. The Wasatch Front is imposing.

• One of the first plays of the game Okafor got into the body of Rudy and power through him. Rudy never allowed that to happen again and caused Okafor a lot of troubles.

• Rudy Gobert had 6 blocks and Favors had 2.

• Trey Burke had a really nice night off the bench. He found open guys. Made a nice weakside pass to a corner 3 for Alec Burks. Defensively he got beat the first few possesions and then adjusted and didn’t have troubles again after that.

• Philadelphia is really awful.

• Derrick was a beast again with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Add 3 steals and 2 blocks and that is an all around performance.

• The defense shut down the Sixers and held the to 20 or fewer points every quarter. They sagged off Noel and clogged all the lanes so the Sixers couldn’t get anything to the basket.

• Raul Neto is a pest. 3 steals but neither Isaiah Canaan or TJ McConnell are NBA caliber point guards right now

• Rodney Hood took 6 threes. He has taken 13 in 2 games – AWESOME. High volume three point shooters are crazy important in this league.

• 15 points and 7 rebounds from Alec off the bench in 27 minutes is big time production. He had 15 points and 8 shot attempts. Rebounding guards are one of the most underrated things in the NBA. Every really good team has them. If Burks and Hayward rebound well enough Jazz might be able to play a small line-up.

• The small line-up gives Favors rolls to the basket a lot of room and makes him a tough guard.

• Jazz got the offensive rebounding back tonight with 13 offensive rebounds in 44 chances. 29.5% right back at the league leading level of last year. Jazz had 23 2nd chance points on 8 of 13 shooting. Jazz were #1 in the NBA in offensive rebounding and putback percentage last year.

• Rudy and Okafor had a nice battle. It got heated. Rudy got the best of him.

• Gordon Hayward’s off night is now 12 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal.

• Jazz shot distrubtion thru two games is off. Tonight Favors had 17, Hood 14, Hayward 12, Burke 10 and Burks 8. The offense can have all the movement but the right guys have to get the shots at the end if your offense is going to be good. In two games, Favors has taken 32 shots, Hood 29, Hawyard 23, Burks 22 and Burke 12. This will rectify itself.

• The Jazz are still learning and this team will improve as time goes on. Indiana would be a good win. 2-1 would be a super trip.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Lots to be thankful for after Jazz win in L.A.

• Super performance. Ends the Clippers’ 13-game winning streak over the Jazz.

• David Aldridge of TNT tweeted out: “Utah’s defense is just outstanding.” It was tonight. The whole team was terrific.

• 5-5 on the road to start the season in this brutal start of 10 of the first 14 games is really impressive. Over the last two years, Quin’s teams has been surprisingly good on the road. The Jazz’s road performance has far exceeded their home performance the last two years.

• The Jazz starters were +5 in the first half, and then the Jazz starters broke the game open in the third quarter, taking the game from a tie at halftime to a 9-point lead midway through the third. Awesome night for the starters to be +19 in 18 minutes against one of the best starting units in the NBA. Our starters were 18-for-25 shooting when on the floor together.

• Neto had a brilliant third quarter. He had 10 points and four assists and outplayed Chris Paul. Paul is the generational point guard and for Neto as a rookie to go head to head with him and handle himself is a huge step for him. Talking to Neto after the game, it was impressive to me how grounded he was. He said: “I am still going to have bad games and I will have some good games.” His approach is really strong.

• Snyder had a big impact on this game. He changed the rotation to have Hayward start the second and the fourth quarters. He held Derrick out of the first half with two fouls so he could play freely in the second half. He spotted Ingles, Johnson, Lyles to get through stretches, and they were able to survive. He ran some nice 1/3 pick and rolls to get Gordon matched up with Paul. This gave Hayward an advantage and made Paul work on the back end of a back-to-back.

• Hayward was brilliant. He carried the team down the stretch. This was one of the five best games of his career. He has the big games v. OKC two years ago, New York and New Orleans last year, and a great game his rookie year v. Minnesota. I’m sure there are some others, but this one goes into the category of best games of his career. He was the best player on the floor in the fourth quarter.

• Hayward is well over 50% from three his last four games. He had 33 pts, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals. He went 1-on-1 and hit the step-back. He nailed his first two threes. He aggressively went to the basket. He played with super confidence.

• Utah’s wing defense was good tonight. It eliminated Wesley Johnson and J.J. Redick. The Clippers didn’t hit a 3-pointer until the fourth quarter.

• All five Jazz starters were in double figures. Favors put out an incredible effort. He guarded an insanely hot Blake Griffin and then still notched 22 points and another 3 steals. His shooting on the free-throw line jump shot is terrific.

• Rudy Gobert put in another 38 minutes. 10 points, 11 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks. He had a hard time early in the game catching and making offensive plays. When he starts doing that, it’s going to be terrific.

• The Jazz dominated the offensive glass. In the first half, they led second-chance points 17-1.

• The Clippers might be in real trouble. They have lost 8 of 11. They have been down by 15 or more in both of their last two home games. The Clippers’ bench is a disaster. Doc Rivers insists on playing a five-man bench unit, which allows him to play his 5 starters or lineups with four starters more than any other team in the NBA. The impact is a terrible bench unit on the floor. They are playing uninspired basketball.

• Alec Burks is now shooting below 40%. Trevor Booker is averaging 3 points a game and shooting below 30%. And Joe Ingles can’t find a rhythm. These are problems. The Jazz overcame it tonight, but these guys are really important to the well-being of this team.

• Chris Johnson has become a part of the rotation.

• The schedule was brutal to start the year. 10 of 14 on the road and games against a lot of really good teams. The Jazz are sitting at 7-7 with a 5-5 road record. The road wins include Indiana, Atlanta, Clippers and Denver. Those are tough places to win.

• Happy Thanksgiving and see you at the arena in the near future.

JAZZ GAME REWIND – Thunder rip apart the Jazz

Jazz Game Rewind takes you back to the key parts of the game; lets you feel the action; and gives the player of the game and the stat line of the night. If you missed the Jazz game or just want to relive it, Jazz Game Rewind is your answer. Voiced by Matt Biamaonte.


• My noggin is pretty empty after that one.

• This game really got away when Westbrook, Durant and Ibaka were off the floor in the second quarter and the Thunder took at three-point lead and turned it into 10 before their big three came back into the game. Then the stars went to work and blasted the Jazz into a 17-point halftime deficit, and then the same thing happened in the third quarter and continued the whitewash.

• The book is out. Hold, grab and be physical with the Jazz and see how they deal with it. Now these guys are going to have to learn.

• Remember at the beginning of the season we talked a lot about how many of these guys are in a new role. Three of Utah’s five starters are in a new role. The two guys that have played well the last two nights and handled the heat have been Favors and Hayward, and they have been through this before.

• Rudy is a first-year starting center in the NBA. This is a new experience. He has not dealt with some of the physical play well. He is not a physically imposing player. He is a rim-protecting shot blocker.

• Gordon has linked three straight good games.

• The Jazz got beat on a ton of backdoor cuts and baseline cuts by the Thunder.

• The speed of Westbrook and the Thunder was overwhelming.

• The Thunder are at a different place than the Jazz. They are on their final run to try to win a title and hopefully hold onto to Durant.

• Durant was terrific. 27 points on 13 shots. Westbrook had 20 points on 10 shots.

• Rodney Hood is going through this for the first time and has not been able to affect the game as he did earlier. He’s really struggling from three if a defender is anywhere near him. He is 9-for-41 if a defender is within four feet on a 3-point attempt.

• Hayward is not getting the same air space he got last year in the offense.

• The Jazz have dealt with bad stretches of basketball well this year until tonight, when they became unraveled in the second quarter.

• The schedule may be wearing this team down. They have yet to play back-to-back home games. This was their fourth home game. Every other team in the West has played at least six at this point. The Thunder have played 9.

• Trey Burke has regressed a bit the last few nights.

• Trevor Booker’s struggles continue.

• There is a huge difference between playing the first 30 games of a season and the last 30. It’s why the first 30 is always a much better playoff indicator than the last 30. Teams are prepared, they have game plans, they are engaged. It’s a different world right now than when the Jazz had success to close last season.

JAZZ GAME REWIND – Re-live the Jazz battle with the Mavericks

Austin Facer takes you through the Jazz game v. Dallas with the best action, the best stretch and the player of the game. If you missed the game this will give you the feel of the night. If you want to re-live the night this will do it. If you watched TV and want to know how it sounded on radio this is the answer