Emptying the Noggin – Overtime of Course – Jazz beat the Magic

Emptying the Noggin
• One more win Tuesday night and the Jazz make the playoffs. This season has been just incredible. Can’t believe this team has one win to make the playoffs. Everyone involved deserves a ton of credit for getting the team to this point. Now it is your time to get in the arena and be INSANE.

• 42 times in 64 games the Jazz have played a game that was within 6 points in the final 5 minutes. Third most of any team in the NBA.

• Big Al Jefferson hit a big shot in regulation and in the overtime and from that point the Magic decided to double and Al waited patiently for double team and passed out to Harris, the floor was spaced correctly and the first time Harris bypassed the three and hit Hayward for a huge three. Then Harris faked a pass and drove to the window for a goaltended two and finally Harris hit a big three.

• The Jazz went to the big line-up again with Millsap at three tonight – according to Kevin Pelton at Basketball Prospectus the Jazz were +34 with the big line-up tonight outscoring Orlando 71-37.

• Paul Millsap was brilliant tonight – he got his hand on balls, he defended great he just made plays. He is the essence of a battler regardless of what the scoreboard says and that is what the Jazz did tonight. He blew up numerous Nelson drives that Nelson finishes but Millsap blew them up before Nelson could start to finish it.

• Derrick Favors changed the game with his defense. He made the play of the night on the final play. Everyone will talk about Devin Harris block but I believe the play was for Ryan Anderson and it got cut off because Favors defended it brilliantly leaving Nelson nowhere to go with the play but 1 on 1.

• The Jazz are amazing defensively with Favors on the floor. Read Kevin Pelton’s piece at basketball prospectus

• Talking to the Magic people the Magic are running the pick and roll better than they have all season long. They come from every angle, the come relentlessly, they come with a double, a single and a triple, they bring them on the side, they bring them from the top, they bring them with Nelson and with JJ and they run them great. No team can have more than 2 schemes ready for a game and the Magic have a different answer for either one. The Jazz struggled with it but as the game went on they got better and better.

• Al Jefferson battled on the pick and roll, it is not his strength and he gets split a lot but he battled and tried to get better as the night went on and did get better.

• Gordon Hayward made a ton of mistakes tonight and had 6 turnovers but when it mattered he hit a huge three to clinch the game. Growth moments. Hayward was 1 of 10 from three in the clutch before nailing one v. Dallas and another tonight in OT.

• Kanter has stepped up the last few nights with some big moments and big plays for the Jazz. Neat to see him fight through the struggles and make some big plays that he can use as building blocks for next year, same with Burks tonight who played better defense than I have seen him play in a while.

• Devin Harris play in this playoff push has been as good as you could ask for. Tinsley added a lot as well tonight with super floor management. The experience those two bring when on the floor is leading this team through the big moments.

• The Magic took 38 three’s – insane.

• Big offensive night for the Jazz – 53% FG, 4 of 8 from three and 83% from the free throw line.

• This was a game of runs until the 4th quarter and then neither team scored more than 4 straight until the Jazz did it in overtime.

• Strong win. This game went as you would anticipate. The Magic bombing three’s and when they are making it is tough to beat them. Jazz stayed in the game and stayed focused and were able to finally get it done with another late game win. One more.