EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Jazz beat the World Champs

• The Utah Jazz beat the World Champion Miami Heat !!!!

• The Jazz were terrific tonight. After a sluggish start for the opening few minutes they started rolling and played as well as you can hope this team would play. The ball movement was terrific, the defensive effort was strong and the defensive rebounding was great.

• The Heat surge was to be anticipated and the Jazz really dealt with very well, they won. The Heat are the world champs and they put the screws down on the Jazz and the Jazz struggled but that is what every team in the NBA does. The Jazz made the plays they had to make to hold off the Heat. When Miami got this game down to 3 it didn’t feel like the Jazz were holding on to this game but they made enough plays and got enough stops. There is no scenario where you were ever going to blow the Heat out and run away. That doesn’t happen.

• Gordon Hayward scored the Jazz only field goals of the final 11:15. He nailed a cold blooded three, then a runner going with the right in traffic and then he eyed Ray Allen and went 1 on 1 with a behind the back dribble and hit a step back to clinch the win.

• Jeffers on and Millsap were great again tonight. Jefferson is playing at his highest level of the year. 23 points, 11 rebounds, an assist and a steal This is what he has put up every night for the last 4 games and he has done it shooting at a very high level. Tonight he was 8 of 14. Millsap is re-engaged with the team and is playing great basketball 17 pts, 9 rebs and was active defensively.

• The Heat had zero second chance points

• Late in the game the Jazz couldn’t get the ball to Jefferson and Millsap was 0 for 5 trying to beat the Heat swarming defense. That is what makes the performance of Hayward late even more impressive.

• The second quarter the Jazz ran the offense thru Hayward and he was very solid at initiating the offense getting everyone involved and not turning the ball over – The Jazz hit their first 9 shots in the 2nd quarter and finished the quarter hitting 12 of 15.

• Dwyane Wade sat for the entire 4th quarter tonight – That will be the story in Miami. Chris Bosh got benched for most of the 4th quarter because he couldn’t guard Chris Bosh.

• Marvin Williams did a solid job defending LeBron and DeMarre Carroll was a game changer when he came in during the 1st quarter with his energy, offensive rebounding and tenacity.

• Tyrone Corbin had a big time night tonight. Closed with Hayward and Marvin leaving Foye on the bench. He maximized what he could out of Carroll. He had strong high low adjustments to the Miami fronting defense. He gave Burks some burn but when he was overwhelmed he got him out before it was an issue. He turned the offense over to Hayward in the 2nd. The defense was very well prepared for the Heat action.

• This is a big win. This team has won 6 of 8 they have played well in 10 of their last 11 games. They have made really substantial progress over the last few weeks. This is a great momentum win to propel the Jazz into this next stretch of the schedule.

• I would be remiss if I didn’t mention LeBron. He is simply the best to play the game. He gave 44 minutes of insane effort. He guarded Al Jefferson late in the game and took him completely out of the game, he ran the point for much of the night. He finished with 32 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocked shots. He was incredible and willed the Heat back into the game and just about won it. The game was eerie in how similar it was to last year’s game, the halftime score was the same, the mid third quarter score was the same and then here came the run. The Jazz were able to handle it off and there was no pass to Haslem.