EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – A mind-bogling second half

• Wow. That was crazy impressive. What the Jazz did to the Pacers in the 2nd half is hard to fathom. Teams don’t manhandle other NBA teams like this unless you are really good. The Jazz defense was incredible. They held the Pacers to 27 points in the 2nd half. To blow out another NBA team by 30 over 24 minutes is unheard of.

• Rudy Gobert is the core to the defense but it goes much farther than just Rudy. In no way am I minimizing what Rudy is doing. He is the most impactful player I have seen in the NBA since either a young Dwight Howard or Ben Wallace. But the whole team is connected. They build incredible walls. They take away huge portions of the floor with their shifts. They react to each others actions. They are forcing teams to make skip passes over the top that slow down the offense and force them deep into the clock and into weakside 1 on 1 actions. It is awesome.

• Gordon Hayward had a tough offensive night but his defense and the team defense on Paul George was fabulous. He busted his *&* defensively. Ron Boone says it is the hardest he has ever seen him work defensively.

• The Pacers scored 29 first quarter points. The Jazz were having a hard time with the Pacers pressure. They were turning it over time and time again. The Pacers were getting out on the run and the Jazz looked like a team on the ropes. Instead the defense clamped down and held the Pacers to 20 points. It kept the Jazz in the game.

• The Pacers completely outplayed the Jazz for the first 24 minutes and then in a span 3 minutes of the 3rd quarter the Jazz outplayed the Pacers and took the lead. The Jazz opened the third quarter on a 13-0 run and the Pacers missed their first 8 shots of the quarter. Pacers ended up shooting 6 for 21 in the 3rdquarter. Paul George was 2 for 6, if he is going to be the best player in the league as he said he was then he needs to be able to stop these type of droughts.

• Favors got in foul trouble in the 1st quarter 4 minutes into the game and he came out in the 3rd quarter with a point to prove. He dominated with 8 points and Rudy grabbed 10 rebounds in the 3rd quarter. It was pure domination.

• Little moments in the first half mattered – Rodney Hood kept the Jazz in the game in the first quarter, Trey Burke bailed the Jazz out after Raul Neto had a tough first 6 minutes. Joe Ingles scored 5 in a row after the Pacers lead by 10.

• The lack of three point shooting is still a problem for the Jazz. Only 17% of the shots were 3s. it is going to be impossible for this team to be anywhere near the league average if Alec takes 13 shots without a 3 attempt.

• Trey Burke has made some passes I have seen from him over the last two games. He is playing a much different game.

• I love George Hill. He is so physical defensively. He had his hands all over Neto tonight and Raul had no idea how to deal with it in the beginning. Hill is a 40% catch and shoot 3 point shooter. He is a super player. If Indiana implodes he could be a major piece for a contending team.

• Rodney Hood was really good tonight. 4 steals on the defensive end. He has only taken 2 free throws in 80 minutes. This needs to improve.

• Favors 18-7 again. He is averaging 21 points and 8 rebounds thru 3 games and he showed a full array of an offensive game.

• Neto is 1 for 11 inside the 3 point line.

• Thru three games teams are scoring 83.1 pts per 100 possessions with Rudy Gobert on the floor and 82.4 with Derrick Favors on the floor. Those numbers are mind boggling. Teams are shooting 36% with Rudy Gobert on the floor.

• An incredible performance to go from down 7 at the half to a runaway 20 point win. Super job. Great 2-1 road trip. Jazz might be a Trevor Booker hand slap away from being 3-0 but Detroit is good.