Thoughts of Utah Jazz Radio Play-By-Play Announcer David Locke
EMPTYING THE NOGGIN—A good lesson in a great performance
A wire-to-wire, blowout win. Solid. The best part is that the Jazz never blinked—they never let Sacramento get any momentum and they never relented. A complete 48-minute domination.
Watching the Kings is what we as an organization have to be very careful to avoid. They have lost so much that the minute things got bad they packed it in and quit. Mike Malone (the new head coach) said at one point to them that this is embarrassing, and what is most embarrassing is that you are not embarrassed. As we go through this developmental process, we must hold as the signature of this organization that we play hard and play to win. Once the losing culture seeps into your organization, it’s a nasty abyss that’s tough to get out of.
The key is having good guys. Good young kids and good veterans. Marvin Williams, Richard Jefferson, John Lucas and Andris Biedrins are very important to this team because they hold the group together. Couple that with the fact that our young players have been taught the right way to play and are very solid people and you have a chance to get through tough seasons and come out on the other side.
The Jazz defense has been improving a lot the last few games. Both Favors and Kanter played very good pick-and-roll defense, smothering the paint and denying the driving lane for Thomas. In addition, Trey Burke has done a nice job getting over on the pick and knowing that he has the big back to help him recover to the ball handler. There is still a lot of work to be done, but there has been significant improvement.
Jazz have won 4 of their last 5 games with Marvin in the lineup. Richard Jefferson pointed out in our postgame that with Marvin on the floor with Favors and Trey the floor is wide open. Favors rolling to the basket draws the defense in. Trey is really solid on the mid-range jumper off the pick and roll if they go to Derrick and don’t leave a shooter, and if they take someone off a shooter then Trey is finding them—the three shooters (Gordon, Marvin and Richard) all play the game the correct way, leading to great ball movement.
Derrick Favors has been playing with a great deal of confidence. He got in some foul trouble tonight, but DeMarcus Cousins is a beast. Favors is getting better on the pull-up shot. He is getting better on the pick and roll. He is getting better at holding vertical defensively and picking his spots when to block a shot. He is just getting a lot better. Anyone who would take DeMarcus Cousins over Derrick Favors (Kevin Pelton, I’m talking to you my friend) is nuts because DeMarcus is nuts.
Brandon Rush buried three 3-pointers tonight. If he can give the Jazz 15 to 20 minutes a night and lessen the burden on Gordon Hayward, that would be a great addition for the Jazz. Tonight Gordon was 7-for-15 for 17 points, four rebounds and four assists. He only got to the line twice, but they were allowing first-degree murder in the paint on drives tonight.
Alec Burks has linked seven straight games together. Lots of credit goes to the coaching staff because they kept him going when things were bad and got him back on track. Having Trey back so that Alec could move off the point helps, but the coaching staff has also put Alec in positions to succeed and he is playing with great confidence.
Diante Garrett is working hard to make a career for himself in the NBA. What a great story this is becoming.
Solid outing. Tough one coming in Denver. Frankly, not many easy ones until Christmas. But this one will give the guys confidence that games in Charlotte and Orlando on the upcoming trip are games the Jazz can grab.