EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Jazz knock down another one – 3 to go

• Sorry for the late post we had no internet on the plane tonight

• On the plane, sitting in the 8th spot. We win and we are in !!!!

• This has become one of the most remarkable seasons. To leave Portland tonight with the playoff destiny in our own hands considering how we felt about this team leaving Portland after the first pre-season game is almost incomprehensible.

• Tonight Portland gave this to the Jazz with a team a summer league team on the floor. However, the bigger picture that the Jazz come home for three games needing three wins is so cool.

• A Portland personnel person said to me today “You just played hard.” It is so true, that is what this team has done. It is a testament to character, to togetherness, to leadership and to Coach Corbin.

• Devin Harris continued his remarkable play. He has scored 20 or more in 5 of the last 8 games. The games got bigger and he got better. The jump shot is rolling for him right now. He tied his career high with 5 three’s the other night and broke it tonight with 6. 11 three pointers in the last two games. This opens up his drive game and his ability to get to the rim when teams have to deal with his three point shot.

• Jefferson had no legs tonight. He left them at the Dallas game. Their were two or three times he jumped for a rebound and got nothing and the ball just slipped over his finger tips. Good for him to get the rest in this one. Millsap was in the same category.

• As the games have gotten tighter, more important and tougher Gordon Hayward has raised his level of play. Over the last 10 games he is shooting 51% and hitting 51% from three and shooting nearly 90% from the line while scoring 18 points a game.

• The Jazz get two days off for the first time since All-Star Break.

• When we came to Portland for the pre-season they had Nate McMillan, Brandon Roy and Greg Oden in huge mural type banner on the Rose Garden. Tonight none of them were still with the team.

• The character the Jazz have on their roster in contrast to the Raymond Felton and Jamal Crawford’s Portland added to the roster is as much the difference in the two franchises seasons.

• Classic moment on the plane when we informed Enes Kanter if we make the playoffs we don’t get our 1st round pick and we might not get the Warriors pick meaning he would be a rookie again next year. The look of horror.

• Alec Burks had a nice night as I thought he would against the lower level talent. He is going to figure the NBA out and be able to score with consistency in this league. Burks had his first 5-5-5 tonight with 17-5-5. Burks ability to pass really separates himself from a lot of players at this position. You can’t teach a player to pass or rebound and he does both.

• DeMarre Carroll has brought something to this team it didn’t have earlier this year. A hustle and toughness that wasn’t present out of that position with CJ, Raja or even Josh. He is making the 17 foot jumper at a Ronnie Brewer rate maybe a notch above and doing a lot of the same things Ronnie did. He is not a great jumper when he goes to the basket he isn’t able to get up and score in traffic but he is able to have a great impact on the game.

• It is amazing when you get inefficient players out of your lineup how much it improves.