EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Why again

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN
• I have no idea where to start, what to say and how to explain the week that this has been for the Utah Jazz and Jazz Nation.

• We are in an outcome oriented business so they all count as losses. On the other hand we have played three straight road games that went to the wire and as silly as that sounds that is a big step in the correct direction considering how we were playing on the road.

• We just aren’t making the play late in the game. Tonight we had two chances on the offensive end to win the game. Jefferson missed a 17 footer and Gordon missed the game winner. If we make either of those plays we win. If Mo hits his shot in Cleveland, if Kanter hits the put back in Milwaukee and if Jennings misses, Bellinili misses or Irviing misses once. It is unreal.

• If we grab a defensive rebound in Cleveland or Chicago we win. This has been an awful 4th quarter defensive rebounding team all year. Why I have no idea. Sydney Lowe sad we have to hit first and that may be it. That our guys don’t hit first in those circumstances.

• I loved Al Jefferson tonight. After falling apart to close the 2nd quarter the Jazz need a little desperation and he brought it. Al played with incredible fire in the 3rd quarter tonight and willed the team back into the game. He played with awesome passion and the team followed. This is what this team needs and he brought it. It was one of the best leadership nights I have seen out of Al Jefferson. Then late in the game he answered the offensive needs of the team again.

• Derrick Favors was terrific on Boozer tonight and made the defensive plays that had to be made tonight. The Jazz held the Bulls to below 25% shooting in the 2nd half. They rotated great on the defensive end. They closed on shooters, they got loose balls, they forced turnovers. Everything we have wanted from them expect clearing the defensive glass.

• Jazz closed with Jefferson, Favors, Marvin, Gordon and Mo. This is the line-up I thought we would live by all year when the season started. Obviously, nothing this year has happened as anticipated this year. Marvin and Gordon have great length on the wings and Favors patrols the lane. I really like that group.

• Mo Williams had a terrible night. Probably not a surprise. He was sore after the first game and he never got it going tonight.

• I will admit when Jamaal came in the game I thought it was nuts instead of Alec and the craziest thing is it worked. Against the Bulls pressure defense Jamaal did a great job reading the defense making passes to where they needed to go, anticipating movement before it happened and he played very well. He is just not a good shooter at this point in his career and really never was a great one. The Bulls defensive system forces you to anticipate where things need to go and Tinsley was the one doing that better than any of the other guards.

• Kanter had another very good game.

• Hayward’s look at the end is about as good a look as you can hope to get in that circumstance and he just missed it. He had it there, he had air space, he had gotten himself free but he missed it.

• Marvin Williams played the game we have been hoping for him all season – a double double – 10 rebounds to go with 14 points. He played good defense on Deng and he was active and cutting on the offensive end.

• Really the Jazz were very good tonight. Guys played well, they played hard. They had a lapse to end the 2nd quarter and the coaches altered things in the 2nd half. The jazz defended the shot great, we got a ton of loose balls and they made a lot of plays but just 1 short.

• Lastly it was a pretty awesome game – No team lead by more than 5 18:20 and the game was within two possessions for the final 20:00 minutes. The first quarter only had two possessions the entire quarter outside of 1 possession lead and 3 for the first 9 minutes of the 2nd quarter. That is strong basketball.

• I have no idea what happens next. If they play like they did tonight and for the Cleveland game and the Milwaukee game the rest of the year they are going to win a bunch of games. Will luck come back on our side? Will we make a few plays in the next realm of close games? Will the ball bounce our direction? Will this be the week we look back and remember as the week we missed the playoffs?

• Talk to you from New York.