EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – 20% loss in Houston

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN
• Making the playoffs is going to need a lot of help from other people at this point but this team should only look inward, they are 3-9 over the last 12 since the trade deadline and they have buried themselves in this playoff race.

• I was stunned the team didn’t show more desperation. I don’t know if that is a lack of confidence and so without the confidence they don’t have the ability to play with gusto. Whatever it is it was hard to believe that they only could score 33 points in the first half againast a bad defensive team.

• The first quarter the Jazz got open look after open look and they didn’t hit. Now should they bypass those looks to get closer into the paint I don’t know but it felt like they got great looks and couldn’t hit. Again is that a lack of confidence. Not seeing the ball goes through the hoop drains teams energy in a hurry and it happened tonight.

• The furious comeback was nice to see. The key sequence was Marvin fouling Harden on the 3 pt shot and then Marvin missing a wide open three off great inside open ball movement.

• It wouldn’t change the outcome of the game and there are hundreds of approaches on how to handle end of game fouling and shooting 3’s so there is no blue print but I wish we did some of those things better.

• Hayward played very well tonight He was pissed about the team’s performance. If you believe in the theory that what has happened to this team is a lack of buy in from some of the guys because of an unknown future then it is almost time for Gordon to take over and be the leader of this team. He has grown and seen things he doesn’t like and he is obsessed with winning and he is ready to become a leader of this franchise and set the tone. His game still has steps that need to be taken and it is hard for him to lead while he is still developing but this franchise needs someone who is committed to the franchise to lead them in the upcoming years and Gordon is the most ready to do that, he just needs to be in a locker room where he can do that.

• Never sure why things happen so I try not to make too big a deal about it but I was surprised when not everyone on the bench was standing during the run at the end. That was concerning.

• Alec Burks was terrific in the 3rd quarter and the 4th quarter. He did the best he could on Lin. I love how his defense has improved and how it impacts the game. I love the length. He is one the one guy who can get to the rim. He doesn’t finish a lot yet but he has the skills to learn that. He has grown and earned his time on the floor. Very successful season for Burks.

• It happens so fast and the Rockets are spread out so wide it is hard for me to tell where the defense was breaking down on every play but the ability of Lin and Harden to get to the rim was way too easy. I would really need to look at this again but my feeling was the guards were getting blown by with regularity.

• This is one of the most disappointing stretches of Jazz basketball we have experienced. I am not sure why it happened or how it happened. I have learned an awful lot in the last three painful weeks and I am sure I am not the only one.

• What now – easier for us to cash it in and say it is over than the players and the coaches. They aren’t going to do that until it is mathematically impossible and that is the right thing to do. But who gives us the best chance to win and who has earned time has become a more and more legitimate discussion every day.