EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Jazz get a must win v. Memphis

• Gordon Hayward returns to starting line-up, the big line-up with Millsap at the 3 returns and the Jazz win. A huge win for the Jazz against one of the hottest teams of the NBA. The Jazz had to get this win. There are going to be a bunch of nights coming up that feel like if they lose the season is over and this was the first of them and the Jazz got it done.

• Hayward lead the Jazz with 17 points but most importantly had 8 defensive rebounds to lead the team. The change in the game happened in the third quarter when the guards started helping out on the rebounding side of the ball. The Jazz defended well in the 1st half but allowed 9 offensive rebounds and in the 2nd half they only allowed 2 in the 2nd half.

• The third quarter was the best defensive quarter of the season for the Jazz. They held the Grizzlies to a 9 points in the 3rd quarter and held the Grizzlies to 2 of 16 from the field.

• Al Jefferson moved the ball on offense tonight.

• With 6 minutes left the Jazz went to the big lineup with Millsap, Favors and Jefferson and they outscored the Grizzlies 15-11. The key to this is that Hayward was at the 2. Earlier this year the line-up had Foye at the 2 and then it failed. It worked tonight because of Tyshaun Prince at the three but there is an argument to just putting your best guys on the floor and that gets about as close as the Jazz can.

• Memphis had won 14 of their last 16 but were also playing their 4th game in 5 nights.

• Paul Millsap battled back. He had a dreadful 1st half and played very well in the second half.

• The first sub of the night was Marvin for Randy Foye putting Marvin and Gordon on the floor together and I love that line-up together. Marvin and Gordon add a defensive element with their length that changes this team and then when Favors comes it is even better.

• Kanter defensive understanding is improving a great deal.

• Favors had two sick moves from the free throw line. More importantly, he flashed to the top of the lane when they started to front Jefferson exactly as the offense is designed to be run and his understanding of that and where the defense is at that moment allowed him to make numerous plays out of the high post.

• Favors is 22 of his last 24 from the free throw line

• Jazz only committed 6 turnovers tonight against the team that is 2nd in the NBA in forcing turnovers.

• Memphis was a frustrated team tonight which is often a tired team.

• Don’t undervalue Earl Watson 13 minutes without a turnover. The Jazz were losing close games and their turnovers were up 3 a game.

• The Jazz were not perfect, they allowed too many three’s late when they simply couldn’t allow a three, they lost some battles for loose balls but they played with a much higher level of detail tonight and that is what got the win.