EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – It is comes undone in the 3rd quarter in loss to Nuggets

SUMMARY: Another almost performance for the Jazz leads to another defeat on the road. This time 99-91 to the Denver Nuggets
• In the Coaches Show when I asked Quin Snyder about the defensive struggles on the road he talked about how the team has played portions of games, 2 quarters v. Golden State, 3 quarters v. the Rockets and that they needed to find a way to play the complete game. He added that when adversity hit they had to keep it from avalanching on them. Unfortunately, tonight fits into this same category.

• The difference tonight was that the offense torpedoed the defense. The turnovers in the third quarter led to the Nuggets jumping out on the break and getting easy opportunities offensively and busting the game open.

• The Jazz lead by 3 at halftime and by the time the third quarter was over they had trailed by as much as 22.

• The Wheels completely fell off in the third quarter. It is hard to understand how it is happening. The offense got stagnant, but then the defense breaks down in monumental fashions and it is on the same plays that were guarded so well earlier in the game.

• The first half of the game was really encouraging. The offense had a little rhythm early, as Ricky Rubio hit shots. The defense was forcing the Nuggets players out of their comfort zone and Nikola Jokic was not having his usual impact.

• Jamal Murray was keeping the Nuggets in the game and he eventually was the one who helped blow it open along with Trey Lyles. Murray had 26 points on 9 of 13 shooting.

• Trey Lyles got revenge on the Jazz. He got open time and time again on the pick and pop to the top of the three point circle. He finished with a career high 26 points on 9 of 17 shooting.

• Rodney Hood had some really encouraging moments when he drove the basket and made 3 of 4 shots with 5 feet of the basket. Rodney had moved some of this rim 2s into long 2s and tonight he did the opposite. This would be a huge deal if he could make this a regular occurrence.

• Plus, minus numbers were all over the place tonight.

• Donovan Mitchell took 3 shots late but for most of the night took just 10 shots and was quiet in the 2nd half. What is interesting is Denver held him to 10 shot attempts in the last match-up as well. Donovan is trying to be a good teammate and not be classified as a pig. He threw some amazing passes tonight and was a great team player. The Nuggets do something that limits his shot attempts. He finished with 7 rebounds and 5 assists.

• Donovan threw two of the most incredible passes. One he drove to the basket and with his right hand on the right side of his back he hooked the pass backwards to Joe Johnson for an open 3 and on the other he was driving and wrapped the pass over his head to the far side corner for a 3 look.

• Joe Johnson 2 of 9, Alec Burks 3 of 10. Jazz didn’t get much off the bench.

• Jazz are 4-21 when they trail at any point by 10. This is not a come from behind team.

• One blip that the Jazz couldn’t control is the story of the night. When things started to go wrong they got out of control and the Jazz never recovered.