Thoughts of Utah Jazz Radio Play-By-Play Announcer David Locke
EMPTYING THE NOGGIN—Dirk and more
It was an honor to watch Dirk Nowitzki become the 10th all-time leading scorer in NBA history. He is so dedicated to his craft. He plays every night, and he has become one of the most unguardable players in NBA history. His work ethic and dedication are carrying the torch of Karl Malone into the next generation of NBA players.
The Mavericks’ first quarter was out of this world. They shot 16-for-17 in the first quarter and hit four 3-pointers for an effective field goal percentage of 106%. In other words, if the Jazz gave them 17 uncontested layupsit they would have scored fewer points.
Often, the Jazz are playing defense to execute the plan, but they do it without any intent to stop or without any vigor. They are so set on making sure they are in the right spots that they don’t impact the play. The defense of this team since March 1 has been dreadful.
With that said, the Jazz put together one of their best halves of defense in the second half. They started playing harder and getting into the Mavericks. They held the Mavericks to a season-low 34 points in the second half. This after allowing a Dallas season-high 39 points in the first quarter.
Enes Kanter played the best game I’ve seen out of him this season. He was a beast on the boards and made numerous plays. His energy level was fabulous. This is the strength of his game, and Enes was playing at his best. He has a long way to go to be a winning basketball player, but the first thing for him is to have impact on games in the areas where he can be terrific—and that is what he did tonight.
Richard Jefferson wasn’t bashful tonight.
Tyrone Corbin has talked a lot about lineup changes and playing the five young guys together as a starting lineup. It has never happened, but tonight in the second half he started Alec Burks in place of Richard Jefferson and Jeremy Evans in place of an injured Marvin Williams to guard Dirk.
Jazz hit just 4-for-24 from three. Trey was 0-for-5 and is 4 for his last 29.
Trey Burke has to figure out how to play defense in the NBA. The Mavericks bread and butter is the Monta/Dirk pick-and-roll, and they moved away from it and went to a Calderon/Dirk pick-and-pop game simply to isolate Trey, and then when Devin Harris came in the game they let Devin go 1-on-1 at Trey. Rick Carlisle knows what he is doing. This was not by accident. He went right at Trey defensively and exploited it. Rick is not the first to do this.
The Mavericks are better offensively and defensively when Monta Ellis is on the bench.
Have to wonder if we see Marvin again this season.