EMPTYING THE NOGGIN — Gassed Jazz get blown out in last game of long road trip
Summary: The Jazz got torched early and had nothing in the reserve to fight back against Oklahoma City.
• If the Jazz were going to win tonight, they were going to have to come with a burst early and then gain momentum as the night went on to be able to outlast the fatigue. The opposite happened. The Jazz came out stale, the Thunder hit them early and before you knew it, the Jazz were down 9-0 and then 17-2 and the game was over.
• Two moments exemplified how the Jazz started the game. Defensively, they wanted to build a wall to prevent Westbrook from getting to the rim in transition. The Jazz built the wall but they didn’t put up any resistance, so Westbrook waltzed into easy pull up jumpers and started the night 4 for 4.
• There was an offensive possession where the Jazz player who was supposed to go down to the corner to set the pick strolled down with no vigor and when he set the pick, the player who was supposed to sprint off the pick did nothing of the sort. The play went nowhere.
• Two other plays that jumped out were in transition when the Jazz first had a chance to commit a foul to stop a fast break and the Jazz player who was closest was a step slow and didn’t really make the effort to commit the foul. The next play, Russell Westbrook was going coast to coast and one of our players easily could have fouled him or grabbed him. It would have taken effort as Russell is strong, but instead he just side stepped him and let him go. The Jazz player had no fouls.
• This was a tough game. The Jazz just didn’t make it any easier on the themselves.
• Thabo Sefolosha had a very strong game. He was good cutting off the ball and getting free. He made some shots and seemed very engaged in the game.
• The Jazz seem to have nights where they are a step slow or seem out of gas. This could be in part due to the injuries. It puts a burden on everyone to have a larger role and this tires them out. In addition, if you match up the Jazz player to the other teams’ starter each night, how often is the Jazz player the superior athlete? It takes a lot of effort to play when the guy who is guarding you and who you are guarding is physically superior to you. This could be part of the reason the Jazz have these nights.
• The Jazz play the Thunder Saturday and can even the season series at 2-2 with a win.