Thoughts of Utah Jazz Radio Play-By-Play Announcer David Locke
EMPTYING THE NOGGIN—Jazz terrific in Denver
Super strong performance tonight. To fall behind in the fourth quarter on the road in Denver and then find a way to come back to win is a big-time performance.
The growth of this team is impressive. Trey Burke has changed everything, but along with his emergence the rest of the team has also really stepped up.
Ty Lawson was held scoreless. The defense of the Jazz bigs to stay in the paint and take away the driving lines was terrific. The coaching staff has made some nice adjustments that are matching the strengths of this team.
The last four games the Jazz opponents are 20-for-68 from 3-point range. Holding teams to 29% from three is awesome, and holding teams to 17 attempts a game is impressive. This is all part of the defensive adjustment the coaching staff has made, and it is working. Nice work by Favors in the middle and the other guys to stay to their tasks and get the job done.
Gordon Hayward was big-time tonight. Only LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Durant and Kevin Love have had games with 30 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists. He also had zero turnovers. He is shooting the ball above last year’s percentage for the last seven games. He may be done with his shooting woes and has broken over to the other side. Tomorrow night is a big night because it was the Spurs who unnerved his game by letting him take the mid-range shot, which he couldn’t knock down.
I thought Derrick Favors was masterful defensively tonight. He controlled the paint. He got back defensively, preventing Denver from getting out on the run for most of the game. He was available for the passes in the paint and made strong plays at the rim. He hit 9-of-13 shots and has hit 39 of his last 61 (64%) from the field.
The coaching staff has started to use iPad videos on the bench with players. In Portland they did it with Trey Burke. They used it at home against Sacramento as well, and tonight they used on-bench video for Gordon Hayward.
Jazz went 19-for-20 from the free-throw line.
The opening barrage of 3s was awesome. The Jazz hit six 3s in the first quarter. The ball movement was awesome. They had assists on their first eight baskets of the game. The starting lineup has a vibe in how they are playing together.
In 20 minutes, the starting lineup tonight was +15. They are +33 for the season in 108 minutes played. They shot 59.4% from the field, 50% from three and scored an insane 52 points in 20 minutes. Their offensive efficiency was off the charts tonight. When they are the floor so far this year they are shooting 51% (and 40% from three). Their offensive rating is 114 and their defensive rating is 101.
Jeremy Evans played key moments down the stretch as Tyrone didn’t sub him out until 3:54 left. By that time the Jazz had taken the lead to 94-89.
The second quarter has been an offensive issue and it was again this game. The Jazz shot only 8-for-27, but they also held the Nuggets to 6-for-21.
The Nuggets were up four with 9:00 left when Corbin went back with Jefferson and Hayward. He stayed with Jeremy Evans. Favors made back-to-back terrific defensive plays and the game was tied. The Jazz scored 26 points in the final nine minutes of the game, shooting 9-for-15 down the stretch.
Lots of good things happening with the Jazz right now. The coaching staff is making serious adjustments that are working terrifically, the group is coming together, the young point guard has something special to him, and they are playing with a belief that is likely the most important item of all.