Thoughts of Utah Jazz Radio Play-By-Play Announcer David Locke
EMPTYING THE NOGGIN—New York, New York
Discouraging performance tonight on what is becoming a tough a road trip. The Jazz fell behind immediately. Down 18-9 and then by 17 at the end of the first quarter. It never got inside single digits again.
The Knicks had won three of their last 16 games. They had just ended a seven-game losing streak. This is a game with two teams that are fragile, and the start was going to dictate the game. Neither the Knicks nor the Jazz are capable of bouncing back if things don’t start well, and we got on the wrong side of that from the beginning.
That is a big issue this trip: if the game doesn’t start well we don’t seem to be able to make the plays to get a run started. The Jazz have been without runs this entire trip. I don’t know if it is a lack of firepower offensively, the inability to link defensive stops or a lack of confidence, but it is clear that if the Jazz are playing from behind, it is a tough battle to keep it close right now.
The Jazz are now 1-22 when Marvin Williams doesn’t play 20 minutes. The problem is, Marvin doesn’t seem right and I’m not sure how Tyrone can get him 20-plus minutes right now.
Gordon Hayward continues to play very well on this trip. He is not a vocal leader, but he might be making a statement of leadership with his consistent play right now. He is staying engaged in the game. He is battling through every possession. His defense was terrific on Carmelo for the brief time he was guarding him. He was very aggressive going to the basket. He hit his shots (both twos and threes) and he finished at the rim. Solid effort—18 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
It seems that Gordon has stopped trying to be the #1 option—he’s eliminating the burden of being the go-to guy and is just playing. He looks more comfortable, his shot selection is better, and he is playing much better.
Through three quarters, the Jazz were 3-for-20 from 3-point range. Trey was 1-for-10 (and 0-for-8 from deep) and Marvin was 1-for 7 (and 0-for-5 from deep) at that point of the game.
One play summed up the game … The Jazz went to Favors on the left block being guarded by Chandler. For some reason that I don’t know, the Knicks decided to double Favors. Favors made the easy pass out to Burke, who was wide open because his man went to double, and the Knicks didn’t rotate at all. It was a terrible defensive play. Just terrible. But Trey came up short on the three and it lead to a easy bucket on the other side. When the other team is awful, you have to take advantage.
The Knicks were last in the league in points in the paint; last in the league in fast-break points; and last in the league in free throws. They got 42 points in the paint, 21 fast-break points and shot 18 free throws.
Over the last 15 games, the 76ers have had the worst run of any team in NBA history. The Jazz have to show up and play an inferior opponent tomorrow.