EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Jazz early woes too much to overcome in loss to Wolves

SUMMARY: A furious rally couldn’t cut the first half deficit as the Jazz fall to Minnesota, 109-98.
• The Jazz offense had another tough first half. They opened the night 1 of 7 and trailed 15-3. By the end of the first, they trailed 33-14 and had hit just 6 of 21 with an 0 for 6 3-point shooting start. The first quarter shooting% and EFG% was 28.6.

• The Jazz’s second quarter got a bit better as they won the frame 28-24. However, the start of the third was bad and the Jazz found themselves back where the game started. Utah hit just three of their first 10 shots to start the third and were down by 19 at the first time out of the quarter.

• Ricky Rubio’s shooting woes continued as Minnesota obviously left him unguarded. This disrupted the Jazz’s ability to get into the pick and roll game to Favors that worked versus Brooklyn, and Rubio couldn’t make them pay as he went 0 for 5 from 3 and is now 1 of his last 24.

• The hustle from the Jazz in the first half was really solid and allowed the Jazz to cut into the first quarter deficit.

• In the fourth quarter, the Jazz rallied to get to within 11 but were never able to get the game down to single digits.

• The 40 3-point shots from the Jazz are the most they have taken in a regular season, non-overtime game in franchise history.

• The Jazz shot 12 of 20 and 7 of 12 from 3 in the fourth quarter, which kept their overall numbers respectable.

• Donovan Mitchell scored 20 or more for the fifth time in nine games and more importantly, continued his increased efficiency as he shot 10 of 19 on his way to 24 points. In the opening games of the year, he really struggled to finish at the rim and has now learned how to get to the rim and finish in traffic. His growth is really impressive.

• Minnesota took advantage of Rudy Gobert’s absence and attacked the rim from the very beginning of the game; Towns and Gibson each had 9 points in the first quarter.

• Minnesota’s transition defense is as haphazard as any team I’ve seen, but the Jazz were unable to take advantage of it with any consistency.

• One thing to keep an eye on is if the Jazz continue to force turnovers. So many of the Jazz’s turnovers are forced when teams drive into Rudy and then have to throw a pass out that is not in the natural offense. There wasn’t that fear around the rim tonight without Rudy Gobert.

• Alec Burks was 5 of 8 and had another solid game.

• This was the home stand when the Jazz had hoped to get some rhythm and confidence. Unfortunately, that has not taken place.