Emptying the Noggin – Jazz put up one of their worst playoff performances ever

Emptying the Noggin
• Wow – it was historic – historically bad – up there with 97 v. LAL, 98 in San Antonio and 98 in Chicago

• The Jazz have not controlled one of the 96 minutes of this series so far.

• The Spurs are a superior team. We knew that coming in. They are championship caliber and we fought our tails off to make the playoffs. They are on fire. They have won 40 of their last 47 and have outscored their opponents by an average of more than 10 points a game in that span.

• The Spurs lead by 15 or more in over 50% of their games this season.

• The Spurs don’t miss on any possession. Not on the offensive end or the defensive end. They execute the possessions perfectly. They rotate perfectly. You can play them correctly and they will still tax you into a position where you are hopeless and they will make the correct decision. It is incredibly impressive. I am not sure they get beat this year in the playoffs. They don’t have lulls, they miss possessions, they don’t slip off for periods of time. They are the closest I have seen to a complete 48 minutes of basketball in quite a while.

• I think tonight will be in the long run a good night for the Jazz franchise. This is an eye opener of what level they need to try to attain. Making the playoffs was awesome. The fight and determination to get there was terrific. But this is a different class. This is tells you how far as a franchise and as a player you have to go to attain the ultimate.

• Realistically, beating the Spurs in a playoff series was not likely. Competing and learning from that was the hope. Tonight was a harsh lesson on what it takes and the level you must play.

• That is the big picture now let’s dive into the details.

• The defensive adjustments worked. Parker shot jumpers and missed 5 early in the game. The Jazz jump shots didn’t and that was way too much to overcome.

• The starting line-up was outscored 42-10 when it was on the floor in the first half and 16-10 in the 2nd half before Favors checked in for Howard down 31

• Tyrone Corbin has legitimate concerns on why he has been tentative to use the big line-up largely how they spread the floor and if they can get to the three point shooters. In addition, how they will be able to score. Millsap couldn’t score on Jackson tonight and Favors couldn’t score on Bonner. It is not clear how this line-up will score or will defend. However, since the other line-ups haven’t worked its pitfalls seem far less significant in comparison.

• Offense is a major issue. The Jazz offense in game #1 was their 11th worst offensive outing of the season and I have to assume this was the worst or at least top 3.

• The Jazz starting line-up shot terribly. They missed their first 7 shots and then late in the 2nd quarter they missed 12 straight. In the first quarter the Jazz were 4 for 12 with the starters on the floor (little did we know that would be classified as hot) Then they were 1 for 12 to close the 2nd quarter for a combined 5 for 24 from the field in the first half. The other line-ups were 6 for 23 so not a great deal better.

• You have to wonder if Al Jefferson is psyched out of his match-up with Tim Duncan. They have played 24 times and Duncan is 23-1. Al seems down-trodden on the floor against Duncan. 13 of those 23 losses are by double figures and numerous by 20 or more.

• The Jazz need Devin Harris to be good to win.

• Favors was playing great when he checked out in the 1st half it is hard to understand why that move was made other than it would have meant leaving Al on the bench for the entire 2nd quarter.

• The Jazz got to within 5 and that is when Favors went out and the wheels fell off. It is also when Parker and Duncan came back in and the Jazz haven’t had an answer for that.

• The lack of aggression in the 3rd quarter might be the most disturbing part though the game was over already. The Spurs are 43-2 when leading at the half.

• Every one likes to place blame. Let’s be real. None of the things we are complaining about would have changed the outcome of the game or probably made it a lot closer. We struggle to defend this team, though we looked better for a while tonight and we couldn’t hit shots or we aren’t good enough to hit shots against their defense. The offense is as big a problem as the defense (I said this after game 1 as well) and if the Jazz don’t make shots they can’t stay with the Spurs.

• For all those clamoring for DeMarre Carroll because the line up hasn’t done well it seems like an easy answer, but the idea that these games have any similarity to the games we played to close the season is inane and the issue is largely offensive and Carroll is not a big upgrade and finally to win anything in this series we were going to need something out of Josh. It might have been a wild card but it is what we need. Some scoring from Josh.

• Series doesn’t feel like it but it is on serve. Spurs are a superior team, maybe to everyone in the NBA, but if the Jazz can grab game 3 it will feel a little different heading to Monday night.