EMPTYING THE NOGGIN—Jazz fall short in second half vs. Nets

  • In the first half of the game the Jazz were as good as they have been when short-handed this year. They moved the ball. They got open looks. Defensively in the first quarter they were tight. At the half they led 56-48 after having played as well as they could. The Nets had to win this game, though, and that showed in the second half as they stalked the Jazz down and got the win.
  • Trey Burke had a very good first quarter. He hit a bunch of shots in the first quarter and before tonight he had been shooting 33% in first quarters. He had eight points and really played well. The concern on Burke is his utter lack of free-throw shooting.  Over the last 333 minutes he has not shot a free throw off anything other than a technical. That is a really long time. It spans over 11 games. Trey has to find a way to get to the line. He can’t be an effective NBA player without that as part of his game.
  • Alec Burks’ first quarter was as good as I have seen from him in regard to team play. He moved the ball and he moved without the ball. Burks has a gift in his ability to beat his man and to get to the basket. He makes defenses collapse—now he needs to make plays for his teammates. If he can start to penetrate and kick to his teammates for good 3-point looks after the defense collapses on his drive, he’ll become a major weapon.
  • Without Derrick Favors, Utah’s paint defense is really poor. The Jazz allowed 48 points in the paint to a team that ranks 27th in points in the paint and 30th in points in the restricted area. Enes Kanter is not going to be a rim protector, so he must learn how to move and be in position to impact the game defensively with the correct body position. Right now he is not quick enough to do that, and he is not anticipating it quickly enough. That will hopefully come with time
  • Since Jan. 1, the Jazz are 29th in the league at forcing turnovers and the Nets are No. 1. The Jazz turned it over 18 times tonight and the Nets turned it over seven (a season low). The Jazz have been good at defending the shot recently, but tonight they allowed 50% shooting and nine 3-pointers for an EFG% of 55.4%, which is high. The league average is 50%. The Nets have not been a good offensive team recently.
  • Jeremy Evans grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds in just 20 minutes.
  • The Nets started switching defensively and it took away the Jazz’s ability to hit the three. The Jazz nailed the three early, and then when the Nets started switching everything the Jazz couldn’t get the same looks—but at the same time were unable to take advantage of the switches, which were creating favorable mismatches.
  • Utah did a nice job on the glass, grabbing 33 of the 38 chances on the defensive glass.
  • Seven turnovers by Hayward and Burks feels like a lot.
  • Off to Portland to play the shorthanded Blazers. The Jazz have won just once all year when Kanter has started.