EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Defense stifles the rookie

• Wins count. You have to get this one and the Jazz did in commanding fashion. Home opener, early in the year, seemed like a night where the Sixers could give a fight and it was over in a hurry.

• The defense was terrific. They had a solid game plan on Okafor and Noel. It prevented either of the them from getting any type of rhythm during the game. The Jazz sent a strong dig at Okafor and knew he would immediately revert to playing straight up basketball rather than post ball. Noel has no game outside 5 feet and the Jazz took advantage of that in numerous ways.

• It was great if someone got by Gobert Favors was waiting and vice versa. The Wasatch Front is imposing.

• One of the first plays of the game Okafor got into the body of Rudy and power through him. Rudy never allowed that to happen again and caused Okafor a lot of troubles.

• Rudy Gobert had 6 blocks and Favors had 2.

• Trey Burke had a really nice night off the bench. He found open guys. Made a nice weakside pass to a corner 3 for Alec Burks. Defensively he got beat the first few possesions and then adjusted and didn’t have troubles again after that.

• Philadelphia is really awful.

• Derrick was a beast again with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Add 3 steals and 2 blocks and that is an all around performance.

• The defense shut down the Sixers and held the to 20 or fewer points every quarter. They sagged off Noel and clogged all the lanes so the Sixers couldn’t get anything to the basket.

• Raul Neto is a pest. 3 steals but neither Isaiah Canaan or TJ McConnell are NBA caliber point guards right now

• Rodney Hood took 6 threes. He has taken 13 in 2 games – AWESOME. High volume three point shooters are crazy important in this league.

• 15 points and 7 rebounds from Alec off the bench in 27 minutes is big time production. He had 15 points and 8 shot attempts. Rebounding guards are one of the most underrated things in the NBA. Every really good team has them. If Burks and Hayward rebound well enough Jazz might be able to play a small line-up.

• The small line-up gives Favors rolls to the basket a lot of room and makes him a tough guard.

• Jazz got the offensive rebounding back tonight with 13 offensive rebounds in 44 chances. 29.5% right back at the league leading level of last year. Jazz had 23 2nd chance points on 8 of 13 shooting. Jazz were #1 in the NBA in offensive rebounding and putback percentage last year.

• Rudy and Okafor had a nice battle. It got heated. Rudy got the best of him.

• Gordon Hayward’s off night is now 12 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal.

• Jazz shot distrubtion thru two games is off. Tonight Favors had 17, Hood 14, Hayward 12, Burke 10 and Burks 8. The offense can have all the movement but the right guys have to get the shots at the end if your offense is going to be good. In two games, Favors has taken 32 shots, Hood 29, Hawyard 23, Burks 22 and Burke 12. This will rectify itself.

• The Jazz are still learning and this team will improve as time goes on. Indiana would be a good win. 2-1 would be a super trip.