EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Jazz growing before our eyes

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN
• Solid performance for the Utah Jazz. They have won 4 in a row and 8 of 10. These team has looked completely different since the first of two clippers games. Since then they are 8-5 overall and have played well every night but the back end of the back to back in Denver.

• This is since Jamaal Tinsley took over as point guard and for whatever reason since that happened the offense has been sharper, the Jazz are getting plays out of the offense they didn’t use to get. They are moving the ball better, the floor spacing is better. This maybe because of Jamaal or it could be because the team all knew they had to do a little more then they were doing before. Whatever it is this team is playing much better team basketball.

• I have always believed a team should have an idea how the possessions are going to be passed around. We should be able to guess before the game how many possessions each guy is going to use. Early in the season we were all over the map. Now it is clear Jefferson will be #1 Millsap will be a close #2 with Hayward #3 and Foye #4. It makes for better team basketball. This is how it was tonight. Al Jefferson used 18, Millsap 15, Hayward 15, Foye 9 and Tinsley came in with a higher number than usual with 11 but they weren’t guarding him and he was forced to make some plays.

• Jazz rolled to a 22 point lead in the 2nd and a 21 point lead in the 3rd. It would be nice to run away and hide but that rarely happens in the nba and tonight the Wizards got it down to 4 and made it nervous time but the Jazz took it back to 10 in a hurry. Runs are a reality in a 95 possession game – if one team out plays another team for 10 possessions span you will very quickly get a 15-4 run or something of the sort and that is what happened tonight. The good news is the Jazz ended the run once they had to.

• Jazz have found a solid closing line-up of Tinsley, Foye, Hayward, Millsap and Jefferson.

• Sidney Lowe singled out the strong defensive rotations by Al Jefferson in the first half of the game as the key to the defense.

• Another thing that has happened since Jamaal took over the point guard is a much improved defensive effort. Not sure how that is possible but it has happened. Maybe balanced offense is leading to better defense. Also the guards on the roster are doing a much better job with the defensive rebounding and that has made a huge difference.

• Kanter was very good in the first half tonight and Favors looked better in the post in the 1st half but got sped up in the second half and made a few mistakes.

• The balanced minutes maybe allowing these guys to give more intense minutes.

• Coach Corbin has massaged the issues around this roster terrifically and the roles are becoming more defined and the players are prospering. Hayward off the bench has been a great move.

• Finally, the star of the night was Paul Millsap – He equaled a career high with 15 rebounds, 12 on the defensive end !!!!!! – he also had 16 points but most importantly he was terrific defending Nene tonight who went 3 for 14 shooting. Nene is bigger, stronger and longer than Millsap it took a yeoman effort to handle him and keep him off-balance.

• Lakers in LA on Friday.