EMPTYING THE NOGGIN — Too many turnovers kill the offense
SUMMARY: Jazz turnovers derailed the offense and cut short their defensive effort against the Suns.
• There are lots of different things you can look at in this game, but at one point in the third quarter, the Jazz had turned the ball over on 25% of their possessions. One of out of four times down the floor, the Jazz weren’t getting a shot off. The negative effects of turnovers on an offense are often overblown. However, tonight it didn’t feel like the Jazz turnovers were on plays that would have become layups or open looks, they were miscommunications or failed pitches or stepping out of bounds. I probably need to review all of these to make sure that is true, but that is my feeling without reviewing any film.
• Why are the Jazz committing so many turnovers? This is above my pay grade, but here are a few hypotheses: The shorten training camp with a lot of new faces has led to a lack of connectivity; The lack of one-on-one players means the Jazz need to have more actions and movements and passes to be able to get open looks; The lack of spacing means that the passing lanes are narrow and therefore leading to an increase in turnovers; The accelerated pace is getting the team out of rhythm. I am really not sure on which of these is the issue. There are others as well, such as Mitchell being inexperienced and playing too fast, Neto having played very little with anyone this season because of injury after Dante’s injury, Rubio learning his teammates, etc.
• The Jazz defense continues to be remarkably good. Even tonight in the midst of lots of turnovers and misses, the Jazz were holding the Suns to under a point per possession for the entire night. The fact that the Jazz cut the Suns lead to five at one point with the offensive woes they were having is an incredible testament to the defense.
• The game paced at over 100 possessions.
• One surprising element tonight was the Suns’ ability to get on the offensive glass. The Suns got 30% of their own misses which is a high rate. The league average is about 25%.
• Alex Len played really well for the Suns — the best I have seen him play.
• Rodney Hood got back in the swing of things tonight: 22 points tonight on 16 shots attempts and seven of those shot attempts were 3s. Plus, he went to the line four times. That is close to the perfect balance and shot distribution for Rodney.
• Rudy Gobert had 16 points, 14 rebounds and 5 blocks.
• The Jazz bench didn’t give its usual bounce tonight. They were 3 of 18 shooting with eight turnovers.
• Not an excuse, but the Jazz have played five games to start the year and have not been in the same city for more than a day. It isn’t brutal like some of the old four games in five nights but it hasn’t been that easy either. Coming right out of training camp, this could be a tired team. The schedule gets a bit more gentle before they head East in 10 days.
• The Jazz shot 6 of 25 from 3. This is the only area where I think they could be a bit fatigued. A bunch of guys are going to shoot better as the year goes on. Rubio is 5 of 22 on the season, Joe Johnson is 2 of 12, Donovan Mitchell is 3 of 18, Thabo Sefolosha is 3 for 12.
• This was a tough loss. The Jazz got the Suns at the wrong time coming off the coaching change and some home practices with the Jazz having travelled. However, the turnovers are a real issue that is making it hard for the offense to be good enough to support the defensive effort.