EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Jazz wrap pre-season with win over Blazers

Emptying the Noggin
• The pre-season of Kanter ends with an insane flurry. 21 points and 12 rebounds, hitting two outside shots, adding a huge block. Most importantly, it was against Portland playing their top tier guys. The Blazers played this to win and had Adlridge and Hickson getting a majority of the minutes against Kanter. Kanter was terrific.

• The #1 story of the pre-season is the evolution of Kanter. Both on and off the floor he has become a confident force. He is developing at a rate that is hard to impossible to have envisioned. His body, mind, confidence, you name it is different.

• The last two games Derrick Favors got back to his regular self of the end of last year. He was active tonight. He had more good post moves tonight than all of the pre-season combined. He is beginning to get a primary move where he straightens up and then drives on the defender. If he can add a solid jump shot off of that move he will be deadly. That will not happen this year.

• Aldridge did very little offensively when he was guarded by Favors tonight.

• DeMarre Carroll had a huge impact on the game without making a field goal until late in the 4th. He was active, had 4 steals. He guarded the 1,2 and the 3 at different times.

• The Jazz put the ball in the hand of Gordon Hayward on the pick and roll a lot tonight and the outcoming was usually very good. This keeps Hayward involved in the game and widens the offense out beyond simply the post offense of Jefferson, Millsap, Kanter or Favors.

• This team is so deep it is nuts. They played tonight without Mo Williams and it felt like they had too many players. Coach Corbin is going to have crazy tough decisions every night and what is going to make them so hard is whatever he is deciding between is going to have a legitimate reason why it is the right answer.

• Says something that a 15 pts -9 reb – 4 ast game in 23 minutes by Al Jefferson is a secondary story to the game. Or what about Paul Millsap and his 5 steals and 3 assist salong with 10 points. These guys are both very good. Millsap was a force tonight on the defensive end with his defensive hands.

• The Jazz offense didn’t feel as quick tonight as it was earlier in the pre-season and that is going to be a balancing act for them in the first 20 games. The turnovers are too high right not and it is often because they are forcing the action in transition. How to cut down the turnovers but still be a early action team.

• It all starts for real on Wednesday and it is going to be quite a season. I am not sure how good this team is but I am really certain we are deep, we are above the league average at every starters position and then when you start ranking our bench guys to comparable bench guys we have some of the best in the NBA. How this all works together is going to be quite a story to follow.