Thoughts of Utah Jazz Radio Play-By-Play Announcer David Locke
EMPTYING THE NOGGIN—Bad matchup for the Jazz
Bad night for the Jazz. Bad matchup for the Jazz. Minnesota and Cleveland are similar—they are bad fast-break defensive teams who don’t defend the paint or the restricted area well. The Jazz are not capable of taking advantage of those areas, and in turn Minnesota and Cleveland suddenly look much better than they are and we look worse than we are.
The Jazz went 14-for-29 from deep, 11-for-25 in the paint and 3-for-26 from mid-range. This is somewhat how Cleveland defends. They are one of the worst teams in the NBA at preventing 3-point shots. So what do you do? The Jazz were getting threes and hitting them. Then they went away from it because at some point you have to get into the paint … or are you just playing into their hands? The Jazz went 6-for-7 in the first quarter from three and then in second went 2-for-6 and in the third they were 3-for-6 again before falling to 3-for-10 in the fourth quarter. But the real issue is that the Jazz didn’t make their 2-pointers or their paint shots. In the second quarter, they went 2-for-7 in the paint (and 1-for-7 from mid-range). In the third quarter, the Jazz went 4-for-8 in the paint (and 0-for-7 from mid range). And in the fourth quarter, the Jazz went 2-for-5 in paint (and 1-for-5 from mid-range).
Gordon Hayward had another strong game and opened it by hitting three 3-pointers in the first quarter. He added seven rebounds and seven assists to his 18 points. He also had two steals and two blocks.
Trey Burke’s no-free-throw streak continued. He has taken four free throws (two techs and one foul on a defensive rebound) in 488 minutes. He averaged five a game in college.
In the first half, the Cavs were 5-for-15 in the paint when Favors was in the game and 5-for-8 when he was on the bench, but from the opening of the third quarter on, the Jazz didn’t put up any defensive resistance.
Utah’s a very slow-paced team. They had some early opportunities in the first half but then slowed to a halt as the game went on—and the half court offense also left.
The bench unit had a very poor second quarter.
Kyrie Irving is really good. The Jazz dealt with him well in the first half—he was 2-for-8 and feeding others rather than getting himself going, but that all changed in the third quarter (similar to the game in Utah).
The Cavaliers fronted the post after the first quarter when Favors got deep position on some post-ups and the Jazz couldn’t take advantage. They tried to go high-low and they tried to swing it, but it never materialized.
Alec played a little at the point. Kanter and Favors played together. Corbin tried a little bit of everything and none of it worked.
Burks’ mid-range shooting from the left side is an issue for him.
Brandon Rush was disengaged in his first appearance in a few games and got pulled quickly.
Poor night. It doesn’t get any easier with the vaunted Indiana defense up next.