Thoughts of Utah Jazz Radio Play-By-Play Announcer David Locke
EMPTYING THE NOGGIN—Rewrite the script in L.A.
I didn’t like the script on this one at all. The Jazz on a back-to-back. Clippers having lost two games back-to-back and both of them were tough losses that might have even been games they were robbed. Jazz had a win the night before. I fully expected the Clippers to come out guns blazing and overwhelm the Jazz, and it didn’t happen. Moreover, every time the Clippers made a push, the Jazz answered and stayed in the game.
It might have been my emotion, but on numerous occasions I thought the Jazz had fatal possessions that were going to blow the game wide open. The Jeremy Evans soft inbound pass to Hayward. The three-quarter court pass from Trey. The three from Lucas with guys open underneath. There were a few more. All of those I thought were going to cause the game to swing dramatically to the Clippers and it never did. That is super impressive.
The Jazz are still making mistakes that cost them games, but to compete for the entire 48 minutes and be in the game for the entire 48 minutes in L.A. on the back end of a back-to-back is not something a lot of the Jazz teams of the last decade can say they did. The mistakes they are making have to be expected.
Defensively, the Jazz completely took away the 3-point shot tonight from the Clippers. The Clippers are not a great 3-point shooting team, but they take 23 per game on average and tonight they only shot 14 and made three. If Utah could have kept the Clippers off the line, the defensive night would have been a good one. This is the next part of the game—taking the three away and suddenly the post player will become important again. It is all part of the cycle.
Great to see Enes Kanter have a strong game, and I love that Tyrone let him run. Tyrone is doing a super job of balancing winning games while keeping development on course. Tonight was Enes Kanter’s night. He finally had it going and Ty let him ride it as long as he could, and you could see his game come back as the night went on. Tyrone also played Favors and Kanter together, which he has been saying he would do but also mentioned that Marvin has been very strong—which he was again tonight.
Early in the game, the Clippers’ defense was causing the Jazz major problems, and Marvin and Richard were able to react to the pressure and make plays. Not sure if the Clippers decided they were going to take Trey, Gordon and Favors out of the game and this opened the door for Marvin and Richard or if they just made the plays that were there.
I am underwhelmed by the Clippers as a championship contender. Something is missing.
Diante Garrett got Brandon Rush’s minutes as the backup shooting guard.
Jazz had my favorite possession of the season: Hayward bypassed a long two and moved the ball, Lucas bypassed a mid-range two and moved the ball. They got it into the post and Kanter kicked it out to Hayward for a three. That is great basketball.
Overall, this is a night that shows me this team can really compete with the best in the NBA. On the road in adverse circumstances. This is going to be a very enjoyable next 49 games. The growth this group is showing is very impressive. With the entire starting lineup, this team is 8-7 and the losses were all against good teams on the road.