EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Jazz lose confidence in OKC


  •  This is tough.  Tough to watch.  Tough to watch the guys go through.  If you were paying attention you knew this was coming.  I suspected we could win 2 of our first 10 and 1 of our next ten.   But I don’t think anyone thought we would spend so much time down double digits and at time 20 points or more.
  • What I didn’t consider was how a team where every guy, other than Marvin and Richard,  is being asked to play a role they have never player before would react to losing.   Marvin and Richard have experience everything this league has to throw at them and they are not surprisingly the most consistent of the bunch.   On the other hand, the young guys haven’t experienced this before and therefore don’t have any reference point on how to get out of it and what to do next.
  • Let’s take Gordon Hayward for example he is in the doldrums right now.  He is being asked to do more than he has ever been asked before and time will tell if he can figure out this role or if it is too much for his game.  But for the time being he wants desperately to fix everything that is wrong and doesn’t know how.  He doesn’t have a reference point of when this happened last time.   They are different players but it is worth noting Kevin Durant went through the exact same stretch his first year and he eventually got out of it.  Now he can go back to that when he has a few tough nights and know we will get out of it.  Hayward will get out this and will have strong stretches this season.  Four years from now Hayward will have a bad stretch and he will be able to go back to the experience of getting out of past slumps and in turn will get out it faster.  Right now, however, this last longer because he doesn’t know the answer.
  • If you look back at this game the Jazz defended very well early.  They just couldn’t make a shot.   They hit only 2 of 15 to start the night.   They held the Thunder in check pretty well and for the quarter had a defensive rating of 90 which is excellent.  They trailed by 9 and the game stayed right there for most of the 2nd quarter.   Then the Jazz went dry from the 6:00 mark to 1:00 they went 3 for 12 and had two turnovers.   The frustration was obvious watching the guys on the floor and they lost their spunk.  They lost their confidence and the Thunder put it on a 15-6 run and the game was over.
  • In the third quarter the analogy I used on the air was they looked like a golfer who had sliced his last 4 drives out of bounds and was sitting on the tee box just hoping.  Rather than rearing back and ripping that drive you trying to coax it onto the fairway and you start to play defensively without any belief.  That is what they Jazz looked like in the third quarter.  They just don’t have belief and without the experience of how to get out of these struggles it is a nasty combo.
  • Jeremy Evans played his third straight sold game and looks like he belongs in an NBA rotation.  Next step is to stretch his range out a little to a three point range but his 6 rebounds were terrific and he continues to impress
  • Alec Burks had a nice 4th quarter going 3 for 3 after 0 for 5 in the first three quarters
  • We have played the most games and the most road games in the NBA.  We have had a depleted roster with limited experience and we have played games against the best in the league.   There are few teams that would be “winnable” games but we haven’t had many against those teams yet this year.  It is a convergence of lots of things swirling right now.
  • Lots will be learned in the upcoming weeks (which don’t get a lot easier) and I am excited to see the growth and experience that our players will get out of these tough times.  These are good guys.  That is very important in times like this.