EMPTYING THE NOGGIN—Jazz blow out the Lakers

  • Road wins by 17 points don’t happen a lot in this league. The Lakers are awful and injured, and that makes them a very weak opponent. The Jazz did what they should have tonight. When the Jazz are healthy, they are not in the class with the terrible teams in the NBA. In fact, the complete opposite—when healthy, the Jazz have proven that they compete at a high level, and that is what they did tonight in blowing out the Lakers.
  • I am convinced the Lakers put this roster together to be terrible and knew it was going to happen this way. There was no reasonable person who really thought Kobe could come back at a high level and then they are a simple Pau Gasol trade away from being the worst in the West, and that is where they are.
  • Alec Burks scored 20+ points for the tenth time in his career and the ninth time this season. He was a game-changer going to the basket and making plays. Moreover, I thought he played a more complete game. He got beat on a few backdoors, but he was on the defensive game plan. He handled Marshall well and he played a very engaged game.
  • The Jazz opened on a 7-0 run and then fell apart, but answered with a dominating 36-10 run from the end of the first quarter until halftime. The run was started by Evans, Burks and Kanter.
  • Jeremy Evans was nailing the jumper tonight. He had a tough time defensively when Jordan Hill tried to overpower him, but he was great with the little hopper from 16 feet tonight—14 points on seven jumpers.
  • Enes Kanter had 11 rebounds.
  • More importantly, Kanter threw three passes tonight that I have not seen him throw very often. He threw one pass out of the middle of the lane to the corner-three shooter. He kicked out quickly from the post cross court on another pass. He must learn how to pass or he isn’t an effective offensive player.
  • Richard Jefferson had some nice leadership moments with Gordon Hayward tonight when things didn’t go G’s way.
  • Gordon looked miserable to start the game. He looked like he was unhappy on the floor. But for the second straight night he went and did the little things to get himself going. This is enormous. Tonight he drove to the rim, he posted up Blake and he got his game rolling. Against Miami he did it with offensive rebounds. This is the growth of learning how to get out of slumps we talked about earlier this year.
  • Solid win against an awful team. Hopefully I write the same thing tomorrow night.