EMPTYING THE NOGGIN — Jazz go 0 for the road trip

Emptying the Noggin
• 0-3 road trips are not good. The real issue is not the losses but the mood of the team. I can give you a whole breakdown of how the only loss that is really a bad loss is the Hornets and if the trip was in the opposite order I am sure we would have left 1-2. The first road game is a tough one, I would bet most teams lose it. And I could tell you I never thought we would win in Memphis or San Antonio. However, the concern is that this starts rolling a bit in the wrong direction and the balance of the team becomes a negative rather than a positive. This team has no defined order and is clearly in a considerable transition of how it is playing the game. Who gets shots, minutes, opportunities, etc is still being defined and that is going to make for some hard adjustments for some of the guys. This is easier to handle when you are winning, when you are losing is when players begin to quibble about their situation because they believe they can get the team back to winning. It is usually done with the best intention, that of improving the team, but it is still a quibble.

• With all that said there was a lot to like tonight. The defense was pretty good. The Grizzlies had 103 points on somewhere near 100 possession which is ok. This would have been a ton better if the Jazz could have kept Zach off the boards. The Jazz help the Grizzlies to 41.8% shooting. They gave up 25 free throws which is high but the Grizz took 91 shots.

• The Jazz started with great energy tonight. They really played hard all night. Memphis is good , they only lost 7 games at home all year last year 3rd best in the NBA. The Jazz battled they got hit by a big run in the third and couldn’t stop it before it became insurmountable.

• Memphis tightened the screws defensively in the 3rd quarter and took control of the game. Up to that point the Jazz had played very well, they had great energy to start the night. They handled a surge in the 2nd quarter and they took the lead to the half. But the 3rd quarter the Grizzlies who were the 7th best defensive team in the NBA last year got tough on the perimeter. The forced 6 turnovers in the quarter and the Jazz shot 7 of 22. The Grizzlies defense was too much.

• On the other end Zach Randolph had 9 offensive rebounds in the game. Millsap just couldn’t handle him. 4 of the offensive rebounds were in the 4th quarter. Zach is the master at working his body into position for the rebounds, he is one of the best and the Jazz couldn’t answer.

• Key play of the night Jefferson had a great block and had the ball, when Allen snuck behind him and knocked it free to Conley who hit a three, it was Jazz ball 92-85 with 2:00 left and instead it was 95-85 ball game.

• Burks got into the game- he wasn’t great or even good but don’t evaluate him on 7 minutes that is not fair. He has to find a mid range game.

• Rotation changes tonight. First half we saw Burks and Jeremy Evans and no DeMarre Carroll and Jamaal Tinsley. Then in the second half we only saw 8 players as Favors never checked out after coming in and Foye played the backup one but Burks didn’t come back in. The Jazz played the big line-up from the 5:11 mark of the 4th quarter to the 1:21 mark when Foye checked out.

• Tyrone said after the game putting Burks and Evans together may not have been the best idea. Coupled with Kanter’s struggling play that group lost a lot of the momentum the start built.

• In the 3:50 seconds the big line-up was on the floor – the Jazz got outscored by 3 points. They scored on 5 of 7 possessions

• Marvin Williams played terrific defense on Rudy Gay forcing him into a 3 for 17 night.

• Gordon Hayward had a super first half. His 11 shot attempts were the most he has ever had in first half of a game. He is more aggressive he is going to the hoop more, he is playing higher above the rim. His 19 points lead the team .

• Favors played very well and had two great post moves and was a beast inside. He is beginning to demand his time on the floor and Corbin has reacted by using the big line-up with Millsap at the three.

• To Paul’s credit he is putting up good numbers every night but I have never seen him struggle to get his shots and get free in traffic and around the 10 foot area like he is this year. The three ball is his weapon right now and his amazing hustle is getting him points. Tonight he was 5 of 13, coming off a career low last year he is down to 45.5% this year. Last year, playing the three hurt his shooting percentage.

• Big Al and Paul are both around 45% shooting is this because of the offensive change and transformation ?

• Enes Kanter is scuffling. He had a poor road trip.

• I am having a hard time wrapping my head around who this team is. In key possessions to stop a run what do we do? Are we going to Al Jefferson left block? If so, why he is he shooting the 5th most amount of shots in a game. Do we have a go to play? Should Mo Williams be leading the team in shot attempts every night?

• The essence of balance is that on night 1 Marvin Williams and Mo Williams had 21 to lead the team, then on night two Foye lead the team with 20, then in San Antonio Mo went nuts for 27 and tonight Hayward lead the team with 19. That is balance but it leaves a lot of unknowns. Moreover, Jefferson and Millsap haven’t lead the Jazz in scoring on any night in the first four nights of the season.

• The FGA for the season are Mo with 64; Jefferson with 50; Gordon with 46; Millsap with 44; Foye with 42; Marvin with 35 and Favs with 24. Maybe this is who we are? That might be exactly it- that looks a lot like the Denver Nuggets.

• Good basketball teams know who is going to get the ball, when they are going to get the ball and where they are going to get the ball and I don’t know this about the Jazz. With that said the Jazz offense is pretty strong but I don’t think I can answer those questions.

• This is all part of the evolution of trying to change the way this team plays to better fit the new talent the roster has incorporated. This is going to be delicate and winning in the process would make it a lot easier.