EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Gordon, More Gordon and More Gordon

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN

  • Gordon Hayward is playing a different game than he has ever played.   Why ?  Is he made that he wasn’t considered as an all-star?  Did he just realize how good he can be?   Walk though his game right now.  He is on from three and near 40% from the season so you have to close out on him.   He has become strong enough that he can take the hits while drive to the basket.   He can stop on a dime and hang in the air to create a shooting pocket on a drive in the lane and most of all he can jack it at the rim.  The last one might be the most important.  This is what separates a nice college player from an nba stud.  When G puts the ball on the floor there is a chance that he could take you all the way to the cylinder and put it on your head.   With that threat people cover your drive differently.  This is what allows G to stop and pop.  His strength is so improved that when he stops on a dime he is able to hold his body position, stay square and make the shot.    He has the whole package.

 

  • More Gordon.  Tonight he imposed his will on the game.  That is the difference between a solid player and a star.   Last year, the game and the opponent dictated what Gordon would do.  This last few weeks Gordon is dictating what happens in the game.   This is big time.

 

  • More Gordon – The dunk on Plumlee was stupid.

 

  • The Jazz got victimized by three items tonight.   Marcus Morris had a career night with 24 points and 12 rebounds and there was no sign that he was going to do.   We gave him a few open looks early and he has been miserable shooting the three since Jan 1st.   However, he got rolling.

 

  • Second the Suns who had struggled with the three since Jan 1st busted out.   They hit 14 of 27.  That is a lot to overcome.  The Jazz got victimized by the corner 3 for 7 three’s tonight.

 

  • Thrid, the Jazz didn’t get anything going on the offensive glass.  Credit to Phoenix who is a bad defensive rebounding team.   Teams are changing what they do to deal with the Jazz offensive rebounding.  The Jazz got just 6 of 40 chances on the offensive glass.  That is just 15% of all chances and the Jazz usually get nearly 30%.   Jazz got just 6 second chance points and have been averaging around 13.  That is the difference in the game.

 

  • Dante had a nice first quarter.  Exploding into the paint a few times.

 

  • Thomas and Bledsoe wanted to part of the paint.  A great way to look at defense is what shots you prevent them from taking as much as how you defend the shots that are taken.   This would be the Rudy corralary.

 

  • Jazz did a lot of things well.  They played with pace when it was available getting more fast break points than the Suns.  The Jazz negated the Suns fast break for most of the night allowing just 15 fast break points.  The Jazz eliminated the paint and held the Suns to 28 points in the paint.

 

  • Trey Burke has to find a way to turn his 2 for 13 night into a 3 for 9 or 4 for 10.   2 for 13 kills your team.    At least you have to find a way to get to the line.

 

  • It was cool to see Chris Johnson bust out and have a really strong game.   He is on the final day of a 10 day contract and I don’t know what will happen but seems strange to use his 2nd 10 day in the all-star break.   He played like a guy who has had 9 stints with an NBA club realizing it was a chance to be seen and he was terrific.  Love guys like this.

 

  • Impressive win by Phoenix.  3 game losing streak.  Tight playoff battle.  Back end of a back to back.   Sometimes the other guys deserve a tip of the cap.