EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – 8 things we knew to be true and are

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN

  • Interesting that three games into the season, nothing is surprising.
  • We knew when the year started that closing games would be an issue.  The guys on the floor have never closed games before and the one that has (Hayward) is doing  it a completely a different role.
  • The team bench is a huge weakness and with a plethora of injuries it has become even more depleted.  Bench play the last two nights other than Burks, who is really a starter, has been non-existent.
  • A heavy burden was being placed on the 4 young players Hayward, Kanter, Favors and Burks and their ability to maintain energy with this much on their shoulders for the first time was going to be a really difficult task.   In 2nd half of games this year the Jazz are shooting 38.9% and 4 of 31 from three.
  • The Jazz young players are still developing and the process  is dominating a sequence of plays, then dominate a quarter, then a half.  Eventually you get a game and maybe a week and at some point it would be great to be dominate for a month.  Right now we are seeing the players dominate a half – Hayward was great in 1st half v. Phoenix and disappeared in 2nd half same with Kanter last night.  Burks has had moments of brilliance only to follow with mistaken ideas.  This is where they are and it is a process you have to live through.
  • Offense was going to be hard to come by.  This was before Trey got hurt and is even more so with the injuries to Marvin and Brandon.   Jazz are shooting just 41.2% and hitting on only 24.6% of threes.  Advanced Metrics tell a clearer picture – The Jazz offensive rating is 93.9, the worst in the NBA last year was 97.8 (Washington Wizards) and league median was 102.7.
  • The defense was going to be improved.  In fact it is.   The first half v. Houston was one of the best defensive stretches I have seen from the Jazz since ……. .  The paint was collapsing on the driver, the rim was being protected by Favors, Kanter and Gobert and the weakside rotations were generally very good against a team that really taxes you with spacing and three point shooters.
  • Gordon Hayward was going to be asked to do huge work as a the #1 option offensively and that his stats and performance might take a dip because of it .   Through the pre-season this was true and thus far this regular season it is true as well.   Hayward is shooting 37% from the field and 38% from three.  He is scoring 15 pts grabbing 6 rebounds and handing out 5 assists.  That production is impressive and now he needs to become more efficient.  It will happen.   He is being asked to do an enormous amount.
  • The Trey Burke injury would really hurt the Jazz. The team was built to allow Trey to play without a lot of competition behind him and now that competition is being forced to play 48 minutes a night.   The Jazz are +11 with Tinsley on the floor but he is shooting 2 of 9 and John Lucas is 9 for 28.  The Trey Burke replacements are 11 for 37 from the field and 3 of 16 from three.
  • Bottom line – none of what we are seeing is surprising.  It is tough to handle or stomach when you are hoping to get a win and it slips away. But, it is not surprising.  Watch the season in 20 game increments or at time 10 game pieces.  We are a small portion through the first one and it will be really interesting to watch how they do from game 50-60 or 30-40 in contrast to 1-10.