EMPTING THE NOGGIN—Better team takes the cake

  •  The Jazz played against the best—or as Phil Johnson said on the broadcast, they played the “varsity.” The Spurs play at another level and the Jazz battled it, but the Spurs have more depth and are just a better team. Parker and Duncan have played more than 630 games together.
  • Everything that happens when you play the Spurs happens for a reason. They force you to take certain shots and they get the shots they want. They don’t get many offensive rebounds, so they cut off your transition and they grab defensive rebounds at the highest of levels. Tonight the Jazz got eight offensive rebounds on 52 chances—incredibly low.
  • The Jazz did a good job of getting out and running for a while and they had 15 fast-break points in the first half. The Spurs had played four games in five nights, but that didn’t cause them the slightest problem.
  • Gordon Hayward had a better night tonight against the Spurs, which is important. Last time, the Spurs gave Gordon open looks that he couldn’t knock down, but tonight he played a much better game. This should propel him forward. Hayward is officially out of his slump and has a rhythm to his game.
  • Trey Burke had a nice game offensively. His mid-range jumper was very good. He made the looks the Spurs were daring him to take. He had a tough time with Tony Parker—just like the rest of the league has for the last decade. Trey is way ahead offensively. He is also behind defensively. It is still a process.
  • Jeremy Evans had 11 rebounds . Another huge rebounding game for JE and he only played 20 minutes. Most importantly, seven of them came on the defensive end.
  • Enes Kanter is not good right now. Coach Phil was dismayed by the open cutters he missed on two occasions. Kanter still has all the skills that he has shown in the last three years, but he had the shoulder injury and he has limited experience, and right now he is off kilter. No different than any of the other guys, he has to keep plugging and when he comes out the other side he will be much better for it. But in the meantime it is a bummer and you feel for him. He will be ok.
  • The Spurs are really special. They play the game at a really detailed level.
  • Jazz defense tonight was not awful. They held a 50% shooting team to 47%. They held a 40% 3-point shooting team to 40% and they only allowed 20 3-point attempts. That is a few more than they did the last few games, but San Antonio is a much better team and a team that takes more than Sacramento or Denver.
  • The more I look at this game, there’s nothing to be too concerned with. The Spurs are a much better team than Utah—they are championship caliber. The effort was good,  the opponent was just too good.
  • The Jazz and Spurs tied tonight at 32 in the 18 minutes the Jazz starters were on the floor.