EMPTYING THE NOGGIN—Burks and Kanter lead the Jazz

  • Tonight might be the perfect recap to the season thus far. Falling behind, bouncing back, team and individuals bouncing back, and Trey Burke hitting a cold-blooded shot late to win it.
  • The Jazz were getting blown out coming off back-to-back bad performances against Minnesota and then they fought back into the game and won a close one.
  • Utah didn’t close the final minute well, but this was a 92-90 game with 3:00 left—the Wizards had the ball and the Jazz (playing Burke, Burks, Hayward, Favors and Kanter) found a way to win the game. This young team has been amazing at winning close games.
  • The Jazz are 12-8 with this starting five.
  • This was a mammoth night for Enes Kanter, who had two really poor games against Minnesota and has been a momentum player for much of his career. For him to turn it around with this strong of an offensive night is a great sign for his development.   He went 11-for-13 from the field and had a huge assist to Favors late in the game. Plus he hit a big jumper from the free-throw line, plus he had a nifty up-and-under move on Gortat and drew a foul to go to the line, where he made both. The area where he still needs to improve is that he is no longer a good rebounder. He had only four defensive rebounds in 30 minutes on the floor.
  • Alec Burks’ play in the third quarter was some of the best I have seen out of him. He played well without the ball and was in the right spots. With the ball, he was in control—he was calm. He made the right play time after time and had terrific hustle plays that altered the game. Burks got at least three 50-50 balls that were key for the Jazz to win this game.
  • This was one of the most interesting lineup nights of the season. The Wizards starting five has been great this year—second best in the NBA out of lineups that have played 200+ minutes. Tonight they were outscored by two in the 17 minutes they were on the floor.
  • The Jazz played Burke, Burks, Hayward, Favors and Kanter more tonight than any night all year. They played 13 minutes and were outscored by nine (35-26). The group failed defensively, and lots of that was late in the final minutes of the game.  The Wizards went 14-for-26 from the field (and 4-for-7 from three) when those five were on the floor.
  • Kanter and Favors played 17 minutes together and were -6.
  • Trey Burke hit another mammoth late-game shot. He is unreal late in games.
  • Both Richard and Marvin have slowed down a lot, and their time on the floor is shrinking. They both played only 17 minutes tonight.
  • Favors quickly went to work and nabbed another double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
  • Diante Garrett played the back-up point guard against the length of Wall and Temple and played well tonight.
  • This night was highlighted by the growth of Kanter and Burks. Both were the best player on the floor for periods of the game.