EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Third quarter barrage burys Jazz confidence

SUMMARY: The Warriors followed a familiar script to dispose of the Jazz with a 3rd quarter barrage that felt unfair.
• For the fifth time this season the Warriors outscored a team by 20 points or more in the 3rd quarter. That is incredible.

• The Warriors hit the Jazz with a 10-2 run to start, but the Jazz showed more resolve than they did in Denver and battled back to take the lead after 1 quarter. The Jazz lead for most of the 2nd quarter until Draymond Green hit a three as the half closed. The Warriors lead by one going to the break.

• The Jazz have not won a game they trailed at the half on the road all season

• The Warriors came into third quarter with the #1 third quarter offense and the #1 third quarter defense and the Jazz came in ranked #30 in defense in the third quarters. The Warriors hit and they hit with an urgency and a fire that was devastating. The Jazz went from in the game to out of it in a blink of the eye.

• Thompson hit a three, then Durant followed with a three, then it was Thompson. 9 points in 3 possessions. Again the Jazz re-grouped and battled. They got the game down to 1 point again with 7:25 left in the 3rd. It was the exact same thing the Jazz did in the 1st quarter, they got hit with an initial run and then they answered and stayed in the game.

• This time however, the Warriors hit again. Thompson with a three, Durant with a three and they started running. The Warriors got out in transition and just ran by the Jazz. It was a 21 point game by the end of the 3rd quarter.

• Thru 3 quarters Donovan Mitchell was 2 for 10 and Rodney Hood was 4 for 13. The Warriors defense didn’t give the Jazz primary scored much room. The Jazz were 4 of 17 from three thru three quarters.

• When the schedule came out we all looked at this stretch and knew what was coming. I said the whole time if the Jazz could find a way to go 5-10 in December they would be ahead of the game. They are 4-10.

• However, I don’t think anyone realized what the impact of playing this many teams that are superior to you in consecutive games would do to the moral and the mentality of the group. The group looks like they have lost their collective basketball soul. They fought really well tonight for portions and they battled to stay engaged with the Warriors which was much better than in Denver. When it got stretched out a bit then you could see the impact of the past games. The impact of the lost confidence. We knew these were likely to be losses, but you forget that elite competitors are impacted by losing.

• Couple the Rudy Gobert injury into this and the Jazz aren’t sure who they are right now. They are 30th in defense over the last 10 games. They have played well at times and even pulled off two surprising wins. Yet, the losing has made you feel as though they don’t look right. The blowouts are because of the past games and the lack of collective confidence or knowledge of who they are as a team. When things start to spiral they spiral quickly, because there is nothing in the reservoir of memory right now that they can grab onto to that let’s them get settled. It isn’t clear what their identity is because of the injuries and the losing they aren’t sure where to grab the confidence. A win over Cleveland could change it all very quickly.

• The question to me is not what has happened, that is pretty clear. The question is can they find an identity and a confidence in enough time to be ready for the easing of the schedule