EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Taking control late

• YES SIR !!!!!!

• Mentally tough. Fighting. High Five that oozed emotion. Defensive intensity. Clutch offensive plays, electric ball movement. Physical toughness, defense that dictated the game. Everything we have wanted to see from the Utah Jazz in one night in Portland

• According to my ace stats guy Kevin Pelton that was an 18% increase in making the playoffs win for the Jazz.

• Mo Williams took it at Damian Lillard and was terrific late in the game. The Blazers are a bad defensive team and Lillard is really struggling with NBA defense. In the first half the Jazz didn’t take it at Lillard at all but in the 2nd half that changed and made a world of difference in the game. The Jazz became the aggressors.

• Mo had 14 points and 2 assists in the 4th quarter.

• The Jazz fired out in the 3rd quarter and took a 10 point deficit and turned it into a 1 point lead only to have the Blazers hit them with a 10-0 run. The Jazz them finished the night an awe inspiring 25-6 run to win it.

• Tyrone Corbin started Derrick Favors in the second half after the Jazz started the night in the first quarter with miserable defense. The Blazers scored on 7 of their first 10 possessions. In contrast it took 15 possessions for the Blazers to score 7 times in the opening of the third quarter. This is when the Jazz made their run.

• Mo Williams was benched in the second quarter as after Alec Burks struggled against Eric Maynor’s pressue Corbin went to Jamaal Tinsley who sparked a Jazz run in the second quarter until the second quarter on a 12-2 run.

• The end of the 2nd quarter run by the Blazers was like so many we had seen this year. The Jazz tied it at 40 – Marvin Williams made a nice steal and then in transition missed a open three, the Blazers board and Batum hit a three the other way and next thing you know the run had started.

• Burks missed played the clock badly at the end of the first quarter allowing Wesley Matthews to hit a three with the extra time and when the game felt like a one possession game that was looming large.

• Gordon Hayward had a career high 8 assists in the game. My guess is he breaks 10 before the end of the season. 40 minutes for Gordon. Big night for him tomorrow against a physical and active Gerald Wallace.

• Derrick Favors defense in the opening portion of the 3rd quarter was out of this world. He also hit a few jump shots. The coaches have been raving about the work Derrick has been putting in recently and how hard he is working, how much he is improving and his level of detail he taking to the improvement of his game.

• Al torched the rookie Meyers Leonard, Millap had 10 4th quarter points and Mo did the work late. The veterans on the road showed how this team needed to play to make the playoffs. Pretty strong bounce backs from Millsap and Mo who were both basically benched tonight.

• Defense on Wesley Matthews and Nic Batum was very good tonight. They are vital to the Blazers success and neither had a huge impact on the game.

• 62 points in the paint

• Best moment of the night was Al Jefferson giving Paul Millsap a high five at the free throw with a huge amount of ummmphhh to it. It was pure emotion. It showed a level of buy in we have not seen from this team recently.

• The Jazz took control of the game and dictated how it was played on the road in the 4th quarter. THAT IS HUGE.

• See you tomorrow or is it tonight.

Brian Zettler changed out the old road uniforms because they weren’t winning enough. Maybe that was the Magic.