EMPTYING THE NOGGIN—Professional performance by the Jazz

  • The Jazz blew out the short-handed Suns and moved to 18-9 when healthy. Utah played enough defense in the second, third and fourth quarters to make it tough on the Suns, and Phoenix didn’t have the firepower to fight against it.
  • Gordon Hayward finished an assist short of the triple double. The big moment to me was when Hayward missed back-to-back threes from his old sweet spot on the right side of the floor, and instead of falling out of favor with the game as he did against Minnesota, he jacked it up a notch. He went to the basket hard. He got in the open floor. He attacked the rim for some great dunks. And he finished with a huge night.  All 10 of his rebounds were on the defensive glass.
  • The Jazz have won seven of their last eight with Derrick Favors in the lineup. The schedule has given the Jazz some breaks (tonight for example) but this team—when healthy—has figured out how to play and how to win. It is an impressive step for this team. Favors covers an enormous amount of ground on the floor, but also holds court around the rim. Utah’s defense in games when Favors starts without Kanter allows 98.6 points, and tonight held the Suns to 86 points. When Favors is out, the Jazz allow 105 points.
  • Richard Jefferson got it rolling again after a brief shooting slump (33% from three is now a slump for Jefferson). He went 6-for-8 (and 2-for-3 from three) for 17 points.
  • Diante Garrett played for the Suns last year, and was let go after Summer League this year … then dropped a career-high 15 points on the Suns tonight. The best moment was when the Suns dropped off him on the right angle and he hit the three and then stared at the bench, which had been yelling at the defender to drop off.
  • Garrett hit 3 of 4 threes tonight, making him 19 of 47 (40.4%) for the season.
  • Doing what your are supposed to do in this league should not be pushed aside as doing nothing. Tonight was a nice professional win for a young team.
  • See you on the road.