Ian Furness and David Locke look big picture at the Pac-12 Conference, then go over last week’s action before delving into what might happen this week.
Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke gives you a daily conversation about the Utah Jazz and the NBA. Today he discusses Quin Snyder’s football-like approach and Derrick Favors playing in space.
The basketball world was murmuring about Rudy Gobert and his 20 rebounds this morning. Last year, Rudy came to the Jazz with an almost unfathomable 9-foot-7 standing reach. The potential was obvious. The work that was going to have to be done was equally obvious.
If you go back to what the Jazz coaches and front office said about Rudy last year, every comment was laced with how he likes the game and how he’s willing to work. The work is paying off. Utah’s strength and conditioning staff of Mark McKown and Isaiah Wright built a solid plan for Gobert, and the work is coming to fruition.
Two plays last night best exemplify the newly found strength of Rudy Gobert. The most obvious was an incredible offensive rebound amongst four Los Angeles players. Rudy’s length was able to get him the first contact on the ball. He then proceeds to tap it a few more times before pulling it out of the crowd. The key here was that he was on balance for the entire play. A year ago, he wouldn’t have been able to stay with the play while taking the contact to the lower half of his body.
The second play was a fast break where Rudy sprinted with great alacrity past the defense and got a pass from Ian Clark. Rudy, though, was running so fast with such big strides that there was no way he was going to be able to catch the pass and in one continuous motion put the ball in the basket. Instead, Rudy made the catch and remarkably was able to control his body well enough to come to a complete stop and make a move to the hoop. Again, a year ago I doubt he had the body control to be able to make the catch, and even if he made the catch he likely would have traveled.
Rudy deserves the credit on these plays. He came to the NBA with the intention of being very good, and he’s not satisfied with a lesser role. In addition, the work of McKown and Wright is key to a successful franchise. It often goes without great recognition, but it’s some of the most important work that’s done behind the scenes.
Did you miss the Jazz game? Do you want to know how the game played out? Do you just want to relive the excitement? This is Jazz Game Rewind, which gives you the key stretches of the game, the player of the game and more. It’s voiced by Matt Baiamonte.
Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke gives you a daily conversation about the Utah Jazz and the NBA. Today he dives into the stats behind Utah’s win over the Clippers.
- The effort to play the way Quin Snyder wants continues at a very high level.
- Every practice the Jazz start with transition defense, and tonight they allowed only seven fast-break points to the Clippers. The Clippers want to get out and run. The first night they allowed 10, the next night they allowed eight, and tonight it was seven.
- The ball movement from the Jazz was terrific. They had 30 assists on 41 field goals and six players had three or more—including both Favors and Kanter with three each.
- Kanter and Favors both made terrific passes during the game.
- Rudy Gobert grabbed 20 rebounds. I don’t care if it’s preseason or what, 20 rebounds is an absurd number. He only played 21:54 minutes. Everyone wants to talk wingspan, but it’s his 9-foot-7 standing reach that’s the game-changer. He’s above everyone on the rebounds, and as he gets stronger and holds ground it’s only going to get better. Scouting reports will negate this a bit, but he isn’t shrinking anytime soon.
- Trey Burke and Derrick Favors continue to have very strong preseasons.
- No one is going to talk about Gordon Hayward tonight, but he had 10 points, six rebounds, four assists and a steal in 26 minutes. So if he played his usual 35 minutes, he suddenly has 14 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
- Utah’s EFG% was 59.3%.
- Trevor Booker hit two 3-pointers—he was only 1 for 10 in his career from behind the arc entering the game.
- Danté Exum did what people didn’t think he could do tonight and knocked down shots. However, his handle is loose and Chris Paul, who has led the NBA in steals six times in his career, smelled blood in the water and once the word was out everyone was after Danté. He over-dribbles and gets himself into trouble. It makes sense at every level he has ever played because he has been able to do it, but now he can’t. It’s all part of the process.
- Both Rodney Hood and Exum had a tough time on the defensive end. J.J. Redick ran Hood all over the floor and back.
- The third quarter was a little bit of a reality check. The Clippers fired out and scored 35 points and won the quarter by 10. They got into the Jazz and forced seven turnovers. Doc Rivers was clearly upset with the first-half effort and didn’t let the guys take the whole night off. The good news is the Jazz still shot 50% in the quarter and hit four threes. That is really good that the offense still got looks against the tightened defense.
- Ian Clark has played well.
- Blake Griffin is my favorite to win the MVP and the Clippers are my favorite to win the Western Conference.
The Utah Jazz radio team of David Locke and Ron Boone recap Utah’s win over the Clippers.
I’m going to try to add another feature to my Jazz coverage at Locked on Jazz. It’s a simple gameday Q&A. I’ll accept questions at the # for the day’s game. Today is #LACatUTA. This is a great way to follow the game with other Jazz fans.
Honestly, Rick I have not been in the locker room this season after a game. Our radio seating makes that much more difficult in some arenas than it used to be.
However, I’m not sure I see this as a big issue. Every player has a stat sheet waiting for him at the end of the game on his chair when he comes into the locker room. There’s a great story from last year when Rudy Gay no longer wanted them on the chairs in Toronto—maybe so his teammates couldn’t see how many shots he was taking.
Gordon has moved his locker, along with Derrick, into the middle of the locker room in order to have a larger influence on the room.
The premise of the question, however, might not be as big of a deal as it sounds. Having your head in the stat sheet may have simply been a way to stay within himself during frustrating times. This season he’ll need to be a leader, but sometimes leadership is silent as well.