Thoughts of Utah Jazz Radio Play-By-Play Announcer David Locke
EMPTYING THE NOGGIN—1 a.m. edition
Heck of a game tonight at EnergySolutions Arena. Jazz led from 3:00 in the 1st quarter until 3:00 left in the fourth quarter, but in the end the Grizzlies were able to shut down the Jazz and close the game on a 14-3 run to win it.
Lots of really good performances tonight by the Jazz. Trey Burke’s first quarter was great. The Grizzlies decided they would not allow Gordon Hayward to be a playmaker—they dropped players into the paint in non-traditional ways to prevent Gordon from making plays, and Trey picked up the slack with 10 assists.
The Jazz played through all of the possessions tonight. They maintained strong effort and had a ton of plays go their way that in other games they would have let slip away.
Trey was aggressive, got into the lane and made plays for his teammates. He also took advantage of the Memphis defense, which is not great at guarding the ball handler on the pick and roll, and hit some shots.
Enes Kanter played as good a first half as I have seen from him in a long time. He rebounded with the beasts of the Grizzlies inside, and he rotated correctly on defense. The only problem is that his jump shot is way off and he has lost confidence taking it. This was a good game for Enes. He equalled his season high in minutes played. However, even on night where it felt like he played well, he was -12. His +/- this year is terrible compared to how the team plays when he’s off the floor. When Kanter and Marvin were together, the Jazz couldn’t defend at all.
Kanter played 39 minutes tonight. Jazz are 3-24 when he plays 30 minutes this year and 7-36 when he plays more than 25. It doesn’t feel fair to put this on Kanter, but he is still learning the game every night. He is not instinctual in how he plays and it is not natural for him.
The Jazz only played seven players in the first half.
Favors was very strong tonight: 22 points, 10 rebounds, two steals and two blocks. He really bothered Zach Randolph down low and forced Randolph to the outside, where he hit two big shots.
Gasol and Randolph had seven assists, and Kanter and Favors had two. This is a big issue for Kanter and Favors, and one of them is going to have to learn how to pass. Kanter is beginning to see where to throw passes, but you can’t work the offense through him. And Favors is an OK passer, but again is not able to facilitate the offense.
I really want to re-watch the final five minutes to see what happened to us offensively. However, I can ‘t access anything right now. The Jazz led it 84-77 with 4:22 left. Kanter missed a 21-footer which is not a good shot with nine seconds on the shot clock; Burke missed a layup with seven on the shot clock; Marvin missed a 23-footer with the shot clock expiring, and suddenly the Jazz were behind. Favors committed a turnover trying to sneak a pass to Kanter in the lane, and then the Jazz were down three with 1:23 left. Burke misses the best look of the bunch—a free-throw line pull-up J, and the Jazz were down by five with :59 left. The game was pretty much over at that point.
A strong performance by the Jazz tonight, but when the chips were down Memphis is an experienced team that knows how to win. The Jazz were unable to get the stops they got earlier in the game and make the shots they hit earlier to stay in the game.