EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Grizzlies show the Jazz how good good is

Emptying the Noggin

• Hard to remember the first half when the Jazz were fabulous. The second half was really disheartening. The Grizzlies came out of the half with a playoff level of intensity and the Jazz didn’t come close to matching their performance. This was a glaring example of where the Jazz need to go. Memphis has played 4 playoff series in the last two years and the experience and understanding they have in how to take over a game is something lacking in the Jazz. The Jazz don’t have the understanding of how to match that and play with the level of intensity.

• Zack Randolph really overwhelmed Millsap and Jefferson tonight. He finished with 25 points and 16 rebounds and moreover Randolph eliminated Jefferson on the offensive end of the floor. Randolph manhandled Millsap with his length and size and Jefferson didn’t have an answer either. This has to be a discouraging outing for Paul and Al.

• The Jazz came out of the 3rd quarter with great ball movement and missed three straight good looks and from that point they stopped moving the ball and seemed to lose confidence in moving the ball and believing that good things would happen with ball movement. The Jazz shot 3 of 20 in the 3rd quarter and just 6 of 15 in the 4th quarter. The Grizzlies defense is the 3rd best in the NBA and they showed why when they smelled blood they just kept coming and coming.

• If you have this game on DVR go back and watch the first three minutes of the 3rd quarter and if those shots go in it is a different game. With that said as Ty Corbin said post game when it doesn’t you can’t feel sorry for yourself. The Jazz were really brilliant in the first half and if they make those shots the mo from the 1st half carries into the second half.

• The first half was crisp. They played great defense that created open court opportunities and the Jazz had 15 fast break points, they only had 2 in the first 21 minutes of the 2nd half.

• Kanter had another good night – that is 5 in a row for Enes. The start against Toronto really helped his game. He allowed the extended time to help his confidence and he is prospering.

• Jamaal Tinsley got the minutes at back up point guard tonight instead of Earl and had a good 1st half and a dreadful 2nd half. No idea what Corbin does next there.

• Favors continues to have some offensive flashes but he is just a little short on the offense the team needs to have him relieve the pressure off Jefferson. When the opponents dig in on Jefferson and the Jazz can’t get anything playing off him it forces Corbin’s hand to bring Millsap back in the game for offense but the defense struggles significantly when that happens. Numerous times this year Millsap makes the correct rotation and just isn’t long enough to have any impact.

• If my math is correct the Jazz had another dreadful defensive night – I have the Grizzlies with 86 offensive possessions and 99 points. When you give up 18 offensive rebounds it would be almost impossible to be a good defense team. Moreover, over the last 10 games the Jazz rank 27th in the NBA in defense and tonight is not going to help that. This issue has to be addressed before all other items are addressed. I haven’t done the research but the Jazz are heading toward being a bottom 6 defensive team in the NBA and I don’t think a bottom 6 defensive team has been above .500 in years. I would say we are at a crisis level defensively.

• The Grizzlies got 39% of all offensive rebounds

• The Grizzlies came into this game as the 28th ranked offensive team in the NBA over the last 10 games.

• Memphis is really good. If they get in the San Antonio side of the bracket they will likely make the Western Conference Finals and considering they hammered the Thunder earlier this year and beat the Heat by 20 – who knows.

• Remember Memphis beat Miami by 20 and OKC by 10 and the Knicks by 10 on back to back to back nights this year. They are super legit. They came in losing three in a row. That is a very good, maybe great team that was pissed and they showed how good they could be and what you have to do to be that good.