EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Jazz beat the Thunder shut down Durant

Emptying the Noggin

• The Jazz just beat the Lakers and the Thunder in back to back games

• Kobe went 3 of 20 v. the Jazz and Durant went 6 for 22. Neither of them got to rim at all. The Jazz were helping well and cutting the drive off. Forcing them into jump shots. Hayward was terrific on Durant late in the game. Durant didn’t not score in the 4th quarter and he averages 7 points a game in the 4th quarter.

• Jazz have won 6 in a row at home and 3 in a row overall

• Paul Millsap has been great. His defensive hands have been terrific. Tonight he battled against much bigger guys and had them on their heels and then late in the game he made the big offensive plays. Millsap had 10 of 16 from the field. He was the go to guy tonight. Jazz don’t win a lot when Jefferson goes 5 of 16 but Millsap did the work tonight. To Al’s credit he went to the line 4 times and hit his free throws to make his shooting more acceptable.

• Tony Parks had a great story after the game about Al Jefferson by passing the final play and asking to have it run to Paul Millsap instead. Neat moment for this team.

• Hayward had a tough game shooting but made two amazing passes late in the game, he hit Millsap off a cross screen below the basket and then hit Jefferson on a floating pass off a front. The entry pass is an underrated skill and Hayward has it.

• The Jazz are really going to miss Josh Howard’s rebounding. Hayward and Miles did a nice job with that tonight. Hayward had a career high 8 rebounds and CJ Miles had 5 rebounds.

• Phil Johnson talked on the post game show that this was one of the better execution games the Jazz had on the offensive end.

• Favors, Hayward and Burks are great defensive players. Hayward and Burks are the best perimeter defenders on the roster and Favors is close to an elite level big man defensively already. Favors is really good on the defensive end. As he learns more he is going to be a special defensive player. The Jazz have a very strong defensive core for the future.

• Tonight Favors was amazing defensively. He covers the pick and roll with aggression and takes teams out of what they want to do. One of the best was when he forced Harden into a fadeaway three in the right corner off the pick and roll because he had nothing else left.

• The game changed on a three play sequence in the third quarter when Jefferson got the ball in the post. He patiently waited as the double team showed and he hit Harris for the three and they did it three times in a row. Harris who is shooting a career high from three hit all three. The Thunder had to switch Sefolosha on Harris – it worked and put the Jazz on their heels.

• However, late in the game they didn’t want to leave Harris from out side and this allowed Jefferson to get the Thunder bigs in foul trouble and that was huge in this game.

• Jamaal Tinsley played very well tonight and had the play of the game. He came off the pick and roll and bounced the dribble through the legs of Nazr Mohammed and picked it up on the other side and hit a floater.

• Tyrone Corbin deserves a lot of credit. He has kept this roster happy and balanced some very difficult issues and he has come out of the other side with a team that plays incredibly hard and is together.