EMPTYING THE NOGGIN and POSTCAST – Jazz never solve Hawks defensive riddle

SUMMARY: A close game turned into a blowout quickly as the Hawks defensive scheme flustered the Jazz all evening.
• The game was 61-60 in the 3rd quarter with 3:05 left when everything fell apart. The next thing you knew the Jazz were down 26, 95-69 to the Atlanta Hawks. The run was 34 to 9 in a span of 9:47 and that was the night.

• The run started with Dennis Schroeder attacking the rim the moment Rudy Gobert left the game and then it never stopped. This has been a problem throughout the season the inability to make the plays to slow down the opponents runs. In addition, the Jazz don’t have the offensive fire power to come back from these deficits so it just compounds itself when things start to go wrong.

• The Jazz didn’t start well tonight. They didn’t make a field goal until the 6:48 mark of the 1st quarter when Joe Ingles hit a three. Ricky Rubio was 0 for 5 with a turnover in the first 7 possessions of the game.

• The Hawks did some interesting thigs defensively and it had a huge impact. When a team runs a pick and roll the defensive big has a few choices. He can trap the ball handler (blitz) he can play at screen level (up) or he can drop usually stay the level of the offensive teams big and retreating with the ball handler. The Hawks took it a step further and had their big retreat into the paint immediately. This forced the Jazz into mid range shots and kept them off the rim. This eliminated Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favor’s rim rolls. The Jazz ball handlers were unable to engage the big enough to have them release and create space for either of the bigs.

• The wild part of the night is the Hawks defense also denied the Jazz getting any three point shots. The Jazz only took 15 threes in the game. Previously, the season low was 21 and 23 after that. This is a tremendous difference.

• The Hawks trailed the ball handler off the pick and roil so they couldn’t stop for the off the bounce three point shot. Then they came off the other shooters or non shooters and clogged the lane eliminating most of the passing lanes.

• Donovan Mitchell really struggled tonight. He had 6 turnovers and 0 assists. In addition, he missed his rim finishes tonight. The sagging defense of the Hawks got him into trouble in the paint. The wing defenders of Kent Bazemore and Taurean Prince were a tough athletic match for Donovan tonight. They are both long and strong.

• Atlanta does two things well offensively. They shoot the corner three the best of anyone in the NBA at 44% and they play well off turnovers. They continually got corner 3 attempts and made 9 of 14 on the night and missed their last two. The Hawks also are 23rd in offense after an opponent make, 23rd after an opponent miss but 7th off an opponent turnover. The Jazz turned it over 17 times leading to 22 points by the Hawks.

• The Jazz have struggled to be resilient inside game this year. They have trailed by 10 the 5th most of any team in the league and 4-23 in games they trail by 10 or more, only Philadelphia and the Lakers have fewer wins when trailing by 10.