EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – After 3 OT’s in Toronto.

Emptying the Noggin
• Wow again. That was nuts. Another 3 OT game. Why do we do this to ourselves. The improbability of it all is what makes this one so crazy. Al Jefferson hits the second three of his NBA career to tie the game. Jazz never led in regulation. John Lucas III enters the night 2 for 25 and hits a three to force the 2nd overtime. Millsap goes Miami Millsap and buries three three’s in overtime. What a night.

• The Jazz had a lot of flaws in their performance but most importantly they held together and kept themselves in the game –They seemed out for the count numerous time and even more often the amount of times they had to get a stop or the game was over and they came through and got that stop.

• Toronto lead by 11 with 7:00 left and had the ball. They were up 10 with 6:00 left and went empty on back to back possessions. They were up 6 with 3:31 left and Calderon turned it over, they were up 5 with 1:30 left and Bargnani missed. They were up 3 with :45 seconds left and Bargnani missed a running hook.

• For three quarter the Raptors who came in shooting 40.8% 28th in the NBA ripped the cords above 55% but in the 4th quarter the Jazz held the Raptors to 8 of 23 and only put them on the line for 2 free throws.

• Derrick Favors guarded Andrea Bargnani in the 4th quarter and he went 0 for 2 and then he went 0 for 6 in the overtimes. Bargnani had 10 points in the first quarter shooting over Paul Millsap and was on fire, but the minute Favors checked in on him he went silent. This was an enormous part of the game that Favors completely eliminated Bargnani. For the game Bargnani was 0 for 10 shooting when guarded by Derrick Favors. Bargnani was 5 of 7 otherwise. INCREDIBLE.

• Some of the plays Favors made were out of this world. Bargnani drove the baseline from the left wing and tried to reverse side lay-up using the rim and a barricade and Favors still rose up and blocked the shot on the reverse side. Bargnani then tried going middle and using a running hook and Favors got that also.

• On the flip side Amir Johnson completely eliminated Al Jefferson. He pushed Jefferson off the left block and Al couldn’t get rolling. Jefferson was 1 for 6 when guarded by Johnson and 8 of 14 the rest of the night but it was more that Al couldn’t get the ball.

• The Jefferson three will be the talk but he also hit a shot with 19 seconds left to tie the first overtime.

• What made this game incredible is both coaches lost their primary options offensively. With Bargnani and Jefferson unable to deliver both teams had to scramble. Corbin went to the high pick and roll with Mo Williams and Derrick Favors and Dwane Casey rode DeMar DeRozan all night. DeRozan was terrific. He is a very good post up player and he took Foye into the left block and faded back over him time and time again. DeRozan played an hour (60 minutes) and had 37 points on 16 of 33 shooting.

• Paul Millsap had another one of those nights. Playing largely the three as the Jazz went big line-up for much of regulation and all of the overtime he scored 33 points on an insane 16 shot attempts. His three point shooting is a tribute to the amazing evolution of his game.

• This game was not without its flaws. Toronto is really short handed and controlled the entire game until the final 5 minutes. The Jazz allowed a poor offensive team to shot 50%. The Jazz only had 40 points in the paint, they are not getting fast break pts in paint or action off the offense points in the paint. Mo Williams had 7 turnovers and some decisions that show how much work he still has to be a point guard. Gordon still doesn’t look quite right on his shot. As brilliant as he was defensively we saw how far Favors still has to go offensively. Kanter is losing focus on plays too often and is too often a bystander on the rebounding end. So there is still a lot of work to be done to for good basketball and good road basketball.

• Marvin Williams had a really nice game and an awesome dunk early in the game. 17 points for Marvin and 5 rebounds on 6 of 9 shooting.

• 7 Jazz players played over 30 minutes and Tinsley and Kanter put in about 12 each.

• They held strong, they stayed together and they won. That is an important early season experience.

• Finally, walking out of the arena I said to Derrick, you shut him down. Derrick says “David, that is what I do.” He did tonight.

This flight is crazy busy so I need to wrap it up

ADDED LATER
Millsap defense on DeRozan on final possession of the 1st overtime.
Jazz never lead in regulation.