EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Tough wins are better wins


  •  What a game.  Yes, tons of turnovers and missed shots but this might have been the two best defensive teams going head to head.  The Bucks are the #2 defense in the NBA for the season and no one has been better than the Jazz defensively for a while.  Couple that with neither team having an individual player who is going to dominate a possession and this is the game you get.  I kinda loved it.

*  The Bucks are the #1 team in the NBA at forcing turnovers.  Not that surprising that the Jazz committed 23 of them tonight.   What is stunning is the Jazz forced 23 of them tonight.

  • It is hard to play defense when you are not scoring and these two teams amped their defense up even higher every time they didn’t score.  It was sort of awesome.


  • Derrick Favors couldn’t have made more big plays late in the game.  Huge blocks defensively.  An offensive rebound put back in traffic for the biggest basket of the game.  The rebound on the following possession.   Wow he was BIG !!! 16 points, 12 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 blocked shots.


  • This was a mentally hard win on a back end of a back to back.   Quin talks a lot about moments where the team wouldn’t have been able to do that before.  This is one of those nights. The Jazz couldn’t have won this game as many as two weeks ago.


  • The 5 man defensive communication with the Jazz is incredible. The Jazz are really tight on the rotations.  They are running some very complicated switching systems and they are doing them perfectly.


  • I have no numbers on this but Derrick Favors got switched on a small numerous times and they did not beat him very often if ever.


  • Trey Burke has been very good since the all-star break.   One of the reasons Trey has been so bad defensively is teams were putting Trey in the pick and roll with Enes Kanter and it was a disaster.   His defense has been much better when he is put in a pick and roll with Favors, Gobert or Booker.   We might need to re-evaluate what Trey can do defensively.  Time will tell I it is because of something Trey has developed.


  • When Trey is good the Jazz win.   Tonight he was very good offensively – 23 points when no one else could find a window to score.   He had 6 assists and just 1 turnover.


  • Rodney Hood closed the game


  • Elijah Millsap had the best 0 for 6 game – 7 rebounds and 3 steals.  Millsap ability to cover the main pick and roll ball handler has helped alleviate the burden on Trey Burke defensively.


  • 6 offensive rebounds for Trevor Booker. The Jazz are the #1 offensive rebounding team in the NBA and they are best offensive rebounding when Trevor Booker is on the floor.


  • Gordon Hayward had a tough shooting night but there was nothing soft about his play.  He gamed it hard at the end.


  • Jazz have won 6 of 8 and 16 of the last 31.


  • I really like this win.  Maybe like this win more than San Antonio or Portland.  This is not a better team but it is a tougher team and nothing was going right for the Jazz offensively and they won the game defensively.  That is a huge statement of who this team is becoming. The pride they are playing with is impressive.   Wins when things are going wrong are the sign of a good team.   Jazz showed that tonight.

POSTCAST – Locke and Boone

Utah Jazz radio team David Locke and Ron Boone breakdown a tough Jazz win over the Bucks.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Ton of great stories out of Jazz win in Denver


  •  Solid bounce back win for the Jazz with a ton of feel good stories.


  • The Millsaps spent a good deal of their childhood in Denver.  Paul had a teacher he always saw when the Jazz came to Denver.  Elijah told the story of going to library and if they checked out enough books they could win tickets to see the Nuggets.  For Elijah tonight was the night he returned to his “hometown” and to play in the arena he dreamed of playing in.  He is really establishing himself as an NBA player and he is only going to learn more and more about how to be successful in the season.  Three D-League rosters, Shanghai, Philippines and Isreal and now he is in the NBA


  • Bryce Cotton after an incredible season at Providence where he averaged over 40 minutes a night in conference play, dropped 36 on North Carolina in the 2nd round of the NCAA and then he went undrafted and after showing his talent in Austin he made his NBA debut and scored.


  • Jack Cooley probably never dreamed he would score an NBA point.  A recruited but not that heavily player out of high school, a 4 year career at Notre Dame that averaged 2 pts and 2 rebounds his freshman year, 3 points and 3 rebounds his sophomore year and then after a solid junior and senior year went undrafted and played last year in Europe.  Where they gave him a dog to keep him company and the night before he left he had his stuff stolen (the thieves knowing when he was leaving and that he couldn’t do anything about it) so he keep the dog.    Made his NBA debut and scored.


  • Trey Burke had his 3rd strong game in 4 nights and was hitting the mid-range jumper


  • Denver has lost 18 of 20 and looks as disinterested as any NBA team I have seen in a long time.


  • Rudy had huge impact again tonight.   Denver had no plan on how to deal with him.  They tried to go at him early and then they just stopped going into the lane.  Denver shot 5 of 21 from the field in 1st quarter with Rudy playing all 12 minutes


  • Jazz are allowing 87 pts a game over the last 7 games.


  • Jazz came in over the last 10 games as the 9th  best defensive team in the NBA and the Nuggets ranked 29th offensively and the game played as you would expect with the Nuggets scoring 34 pts in the first half.


  • Really nice to see Rodney Hood playing in a rhythm and with a level of comfort.  He hit 3 more three’s and has now hit 6 in the last two games.  He has hit his open shots, he has shown a drive game and as he gets more comfortable you will see a good pick and roll game.


  • Jazz blew the game out in the 3rd quarter and the night was over early


  • Hayward had 7 turnovers tonight and has 13 in 2 games.


  • Favors 21 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks is a big time night.


  • Denver is really awful and the Jazz took advantage.  That is exactly what they should have done.  Solid performance.

POSTCAST (Audio Only) – Jazz crush Denver and Rodney Hood interview

Utah Jazz radio team reviews Jazz win over Denver and Rodney Hood joins the show

TIPOFF – February 27 – Sloan, NBA 5, lineups, Jazz

Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke gives his thoughts on analytics, LeBron in the NBA 5, and then digs deep on the Jazz and five-man lineups plus two strong questions.

TIPOFF – Feb 26 – Best drivers, teammates impact, and Utah’s loss

Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke looks at the best drivers in the NBA, the impact of teammates, and the Jazz’s dud v. the Lakers.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Winning is hard

  • Learning how to win is a process as well. The Jazz were not sharp. They lacked focus or, in the words of Quin Snyder, the Jazz were “mentally weak, weak-minded, lacked mental toughness and were looking to blame others.”
  • The Jazz controlled the game despite all the turnovers and other problems for most of the night. They led by eight at the end of the first quarter and by six at the end of the half. The Lakers tied it in the third and were tied five times, but the Lakers never got the lead and then the Jazz spurted out to a nine-point lead at the end of the third quarter before collapsing in the fourth.
  • The Jazz had one field goal in the final seven minutes and the Lakers closed on an 18-6 run.
  • The Jazz have not been good offensively in the final five minutes of close games all year. They are shooting 35% (and 18% from three) in the final five minutes of games within five points.
  • Turnovers were because the team didn’t have the focus it needed to have.  Everything was a step off. Gordon led the team with six turnovers.
  • Ron Boone talks in POSTCAST about how the Lakers guarded the pick-and-roll differently than other teams have because Rudy Gobert is not an offensive threat. It will be interesting to see if other teams do this as well. Tune into POSTCAST to hear what Ron said.
  • Joe Ingles only played 15 minutes and was out most of the second half.
  • Trey Burke started the second half for Danté Exum.
  • Elijah Millsap sparked the Jazz in the later part of the third quarter and had 10 straight points to build the Jazz lead to nine. He finished with a career-high 17 points. Plus, he added another seven rebounds. His rebounding has been incredible.
  • Rudy Gobert’s constant complaining to the officials is going to wear thin with Quin.
  • Utah’s free throw shooting has been poor for an extended stretch.
  • One play showed how much Rudy still has to gain with strength training. The Jazz missed and Gobert tried to grab the rebound, but he can’t grab it because he was being jostled and has no foundation of strength. This is harder the taller you are. But then the rebound went to Favors and he was strong enough to collect himself and thrust through the traffic to the basket for a foul. Rudy has no foundation yet.
  • Trevor Booker’s missed dunk was a huge game-changer.
  • Jordan Clarkson is good.
  • Trey Burke couldn’t get the runner and the floaters going tonight and instead fell back to his 2-for-8 night.
  • Bummer to lose this one after the wins against Portland and San Antonio, but a stark reminder that winning is hard and takes mental focus every night. Every possession matters if you want to be great, and the Jazz were very weak in valuing possessions tonight.

POSTCAST – Lakers take down the Jazz in the 4th


Utah Jazz radio team looks at the Lakers defense on the Jazz and how the Jazz fell to the Lakers.