Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke talks Atlanta and James Harden in the NBA 5, then turns the focus to the Jazz, including the play of Kanter and the defense plus the overall play against Miami.
EMPTYING THE NOGGIN
- A Fabulous 48 minute performance from the Jazz in Miami. The Jazz controlled this game throughout and it was really never close. The Jazz hit 6 straight shots in the middle of the 1stquarter to take a double digit lead they held for virtually the entire game.
- The game swung in the 1stquarter when Dwayne Wade left the game and the Heat didn’t get a single field goal when Wade was on the bench. In fact thru 3 quarters the Heat had just 1 field goal, a Marion Chalmers fast break when Wade was on the bench
- The Jazz elected to hold the single coverage on Wade and not allow any of the other Heat players to play in space and get good looks. Wade was awesome. Jazz players after the game were in awe of how great he was. Wade dropped 42 the most he has scored in a game since December of 2010 but the rest of the Heat did nothing.
- Wade shot 12 of 19 and the rest of the Heat were 15 of 51.
- Gordon Hayward in his own way matched Dwyane Wade’s brilliance tonight. Hayward had 29 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists. It is remarkable how often Hayward is having big nights this year. I am not sure many people thought he was capable of being a guy who ever put 29-6-7 on the board not to mention doing it with some regularity. Hayward is beginning to get some signature moves. When he drives into the lane and stops on a dime and fades back slightly it is nearly unguardable. It takes incredible strength to make this play and hold body position to make the shot. Gordon is doing really big time stuff right now. He is averaging 19 points a game, 3 points more than a year ago. He is only taking .4 more shots a game. He is taking more threes and shooting more free throws, a great combination.
- Dante Exum is making strides. Exum played 12 consecutive in the 1sthalf and finished the night playing 24 minutes. Dante has played 20 plus minutes in back to back games and he has scored in double figures in back to back games. He has hit 9 of his last 12 from the floor. Stats don’t tell the story he looks different on the floor. He is become a bit more assertive and it is clear that he is going to get more and more leash from the coaching staff. Some nights he is going to be good and some nights it will be too much to ask.
- Rudy Gobert gave the Jazz a really strong 19 minutes and the Jazz played Favors and Gobert together when Booker got ejected late in the 2ndquarter. Made me wonder about a three big man rotation. It is going to be hard to keep Kanter and Gobert off the floor right now.
- The biggest offensive plays of the game came from Kanter. Kanter hit a corner 3 and then on the next possession drove at Williams on the right baseline and curled into the lane for a short shot. Kanter has the mid-range shooting game. He is adding the one dribble drive to the hoop from the top. He showed a little something new on the baseline drive and he has some post moves which the Jazz didn’t use tonight. He is growing impressively. Couple with further body development over the next year and you have a bonafide scorer in the league. Can he be a Zach Randolph
- This league is about making shots and the Jazz made their 3 point shots tonight with 14 three’s equaling a franchise record.
- Biggest overall thing tonight was the consistent performance. The Jazz have had too many “out for lunch plays” and tonight they had almost none or at least very few. This is a major difference from the last few nights. The Jazz have played really good basketball for 88 of their last 96 minutes. If they can learn how to play with this focus we will see more of this.
- Having Derrick Favors is helpful
Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke gives you the NBA 5 (is there a magic spell?), talks Jabari and LeBron, then looks at Utah’s play last night before rewatching the final five minutes of the game.
EMPTYING THE NOGGIN
- Jazz played with much better pace and played a really strong 40 minutes of basketball tonight. I think they felt how Quin wants them to play. Trey got a lot of good looks because of the pace and they got into the paint a great deal for the first portion of the game. The Pelicans are a terrible defensive team and the Jazz took advantage of that.
- The Jazz lived in the restricted area for most of the game. They took over 50% of their shots in the first three quarters in the restricted area and got 10 in the 4thquarter but only had 4. The Pelicans allow the most shots in the restricted area of any team in the NBA, at 38%. The Jazz took it to a higher level tonight.
- Unfortunately, the Jazz are not at a defensive level yet where they can slow down one of the best offensive teams in the NBA. We have seen this with Dallas, Golden State, Toronto and others and the Pelicans are the 6thbest offense in the NBA and the Jazz couldn’t slow them down
- Enes Kanter was very good on the offensive end. His shot is well enough respected that he was pump faking and driving to the lane and getting a lot out of the 15 foot one dribble to the baset. Enes finished with a career high 29 points on 12 of 22 shooting and took very few outside shots.
- Once Tyreke Evans got rolling and they isolated him mid block and brought Anthony Davis over on the pick and roll it becomes almost impossible to guard. The Pelicans were able to milk this play time and time again,
- Jazz lead it by 14 with 11:25 left in the 4thand by 9 at 99-90 with 8:00 left and the Pelicans went on a 13-2 run. 4 straight baskets by Tyreke Evans in transition. Then the Jazz quieted the storm and it was a 2 point game with 2:20 left after Kanter hit two free throws. Anothny Davis then scored 7 straight points, two baskets off assists from Tyreke Evans.
- Trey Burke scored 14 points in the first quarter the most he has scored in any quarter of his career.
- Alec Burks fourth quarter is one to forget. 1 for 8 shooting with 2 turnovers.
- Jazz got good production off the bench with double figures from Exum and Booker. This might be the first close game of the year where the Jazz had two double digit bench scorers. New career high for Dante Exum.
- Ryan Anderson burned the Jazz for 6 three pointers tonight. He had been struggling but he got great looks in transition and the Jazz were slow to close on him.
- Joe Ingles has not scored in 4 games.
- Anthony Davis awesome – 31 points 9rebounds 3 blocks. It was subtle for a while and then dominant at the end.
- Gordon Hayward has lost his three point stroke. He was 0 for 3 tonight and is now 4 of his last 25 from the behind the three point line.
- Dante played 20 minutes. Had another flash to the basket and hit another three.
- Time to take our talents to South Beach
Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke gives you the NBA 5 and then digs deep on the Utah Jazz.
- Strong effort from the Jazz. I’ve been saying for two years that I think the Wizards are the model for the Jazz. The Wizards drafted John Wall and were patient and let him become a star. When he was ready to be a star, they surrounding him with veterans and in the meantime drafted Bradley Beal, who’s going to be another star. The key to what they’ve done is that they are good defensively and have been the entire time Randy Whitman has been the head coach. Not clear why Whitman doesn’t get the credit he deserves for being a terrific defensive coach.
- Worth noting that if the Wizards are my model, we still have a long way to go. The key is Danté Exum, who’s our version of John Wall. However, from a timing standpoint Danté is the same as where Wall was at Kentucky, and after Wall entered the NBA the Wizards were a 20-30 win team for another three years. So if that is the model, then the Jazz have another three years after this year before they’re ready to make the jump into the playoffs and then another one or two before they make a run as an elite team in the Western Conference.
- Rudy Gobert got the start for the injured Derrick Favors. Gobert held his own, playing a career-high 31 minutes. His plus/minus was not as good as it has been and Utah’s defensive numbers with him on the floor were not as good as they have been. This is simply the difference in playing front-line guys vs. backups. Rudy played well. He had an impact. He altered shots. This is a huge jump for Rudy. He was not a 30-minute-a-night player in France. The jump he has made this year from non-rotation to rotation player has been terrific, and he has been terrific. What is being asked out of him as a starter is even larger. Understanding that, he had a strong game.
- Since we’ve done this every night, let’s do it again. With Rudy on the floor, the Jazz shot 17-for-47 (36%). With him on the bench, they shot 13-for-31 (42%). At this moment I can’t get the defensive numbers. I will update as they become available.
- Trey Burke broke the paint more than I’ve seen him in the past. He makes things happen more when he’s able to get in the paint. Tonight he only had two assists, but it felt like he created a lot of plays.
- The nightly getting beat backdoor and fatal turnovers (turnovers above the free-throw line) are killers every night.
- The Jazz held the Wizards to 15 second-quarter points (a season low )and 37 first-half points (another season low). But the Wizards notched 30 in the third quarter and 56 total in the second half.
- Jazz lost the third quarter 30-16. It was the first time in a long time the Jazz lost the third quarter.
- Gordon Hayward has lost his stroke from three—he’s 3 for his last 24.
- Love the nine free-throw attempts from Gordon and the eight from Alec, but a little bummed that Kanter and Trey never got to the line. So hard to be efficient without getting to the free-throw line.
- I feel like Alec Burks is better playing with better players. The idea that he’s the second-unit scorer that I’ve always thought was his role might not be the answer. When he plays with better players the creases are made from their action and he’s able to get to the rim. When he’s on with the second unit it feels forced and hard for him to get gaps to the basket because none of the other players are making the defense adjust.
- It’s really enjoyable to watch Rodney Hood each night trying to figure out what he can and can’t do in this league.
- The Wizards are the fourth-best defensive team in the NBA and they clamped down on the Jazz tonight. Jazz shot just 38.5% and hit only 5-for-17 from three. The first half the jazz took care of the ball pretty well and had a super defensive half, but in the second half they started turning it over with seven TOs in the third quarter that led to 11 Washington points. The Wizards got eight of their 11 fast-break points in the third quarter.
- Jambalaya is spicy. New Orleans is next.