EXTENDED TIPOFF—April 9—Dirk, East, player influence and contested vs. uncontested

Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider gives you the Daily Devar, takes a look around the NBA, and then digs deep today on player tracking, passing bigs and more.

 

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN—Dirk and more

  • It was an honor to watch Dirk Nowitzki become the 10th all-time leading scorer in NBA history. He is so dedicated to his craft. He plays every night, and he has become one of the most unguardable players in NBA history. His work ethic and dedication are carrying the torch of Karl Malone into the next generation of NBA players.
  • The Mavericks’ first quarter was out of this world. They shot 16-for-17 in the first quarter and hit four 3-pointers for an effective field goal percentage of 106%. In other words, if the Jazz gave them 17 uncontested layups it they would have scored fewer points.
  • Often, the Jazz are playing defense to execute the plan, but they do it without any intent to stop or without any vigor. They are so set on making sure they are in the right spots that they don’t impact the play. The defense of this team since March 1 has been dreadful.
  • With that said, the Jazz put together one of their best halves of defense in the second half. They started playing harder and getting into the Mavericks. They held the Mavericks to a season-low 34 points in the second half. This after allowing a Dallas season-high 39 points in the first quarter.
  • Enes Kanter played the best game I’ve seen out of him this season. He was a beast on the boards and made numerous plays. His energy level was fabulous. This is the strength of his game, and Enes was playing at his best. He has a long way to go to be a winning basketball player, but the first thing for him is to have impact on games in the areas where he can be terrific—and that is what he did tonight.
  • Richard Jefferson wasn’t bashful tonight.
  • Tyrone Corbin has talked a lot about lineup changes and playing the five young guys together as a starting lineup. It has never happened, but tonight in the second half he started Alec Burks in place of Richard Jefferson and Jeremy Evans in place of an injured Marvin Williams to guard Dirk.
  • Jazz hit just 4-for-24 from three. Trey was 0-for-5 and is 4 for his last 29.
  • Trey  Burke has to figure out how to play defense in the NBA. The Mavericks bread and butter is the Monta/Dirk pick-and-roll, and they moved away from it and went to a Calderon/Dirk pick-and-pop game simply to isolate Trey, and then when Devin Harris came in the game they let Devin go 1-on-1 at Trey. Rick Carlisle knows what he is doing. This was not by accident. He went right at Trey defensively and exploited it. Rick is not the first to do this.
  • The Mavericks are better offensively and defensively when Monta Ellis is on the bench.
  • Have to wonder if we see Marvin again this season.
  • See you Friday.

POSTCAST—Locke and Boone on Dirk, Enes and the Jazz

PODCAST—Locke goes 1-on-1 with Trey Burke

Utah Jazz radio voice David Locke has been sitting down for extensive 1-on-1 interviews with members of the Utah Jazz. Here’s the fifth in the series: rookie Trey Burke.

Others in the series of interviews:

RICHARD JEFFERSON

DERRICK FAVORS

GORDON HAYWARD

ALEC BURKS 

TIPOFF—April 8—Do these numbers have validity?

Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke gives his Daily Devar, looks around the NBA, and then digs deep on the Utah Jazz.

TIPOFF—April 7—Breakdowns

Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke gives you the Daily Devar, takes a look around the NBA, and digs deep on the Jazz.

Note: This podcast might be as good as our defense last night. You might want to consider other ways to waste 15 minutes.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN—”Splash Kicking”

  • Steph Curry is really special. He got rolling and it was awesome. We let him get really comfortable, and when he gets comfortable it’s hard to stop him. On the first two possessions we went under on the pick and roll—and that makes sense if the big hedges hard, but there weren’t hard hedges so someone did something wrong.  No way the game plan was to go under and recover. Curry is such a great shooter.
  • The first two plays of the game were side pick-and-rolls with the weak side overloaded with three players. The ball-handler came to the middle of the floor and the roll man was the only one left on that side of the floor, and he got a wide-open dunk or layup. Once on each side of the floor.
  • The TV crew had the best headline—rather than “Splash Brothers” this was a “Splash Kicking.”
  • In the opening eight or nine possessions, the Jazz seemingly had a breakdown in some place on every possession. Wonder if having just a morning meeting instead of a shootaround made it so this team wasn’t able to translate what adjustments they needed to make.  Seems that games without the shootaround have featured worse defensive execution. No facts on that—just what I perceive.
  • Curry and Thompson were just terrific. Curry had awesome gravity tonight (meaning he pulled guys to him, which created openings everywhere else).
  • Trey Burke had a career-high 15 assists.
  • Warriors make the ball-handler shoot, and you saw early that Burke, Hayward and Burks got all the action.
  • Alec Burks is going to the rim at an awesome rate.
  • Draymond Green is not Carmelo Anthony.
  • Jimmer Fredette was drafted in front of Klay Thompson.
  • When Rudy Gobert sprinted the floor in the fourth quarter, it was evident.  A player sprinting the floor should not stand out.
  • Warriors EFG% was 67%.
  • Marvin is just not the player he was before March 1.
  • Five more to go.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN—Jazz beat the Pelicans

  • Seriously undermanned Pelicans team and the Jazz got the win. I thought it was going to get interesting as the game got close late (coupled with Utah’s recent inability to close out game) and this one was close. However, the Jazz were able to pull away and win it over the Pelicans.
  • Anthony Davis didn’t play in the third quarter and the Jazz took advantage, scoring 30 points in the quarter and dominating the game in the paint. Favors had 14 points in the third quarter. Tyrone Corbin decided to separate Kanter and Favors again, and it seemed to open the floor for Favors tonight.
  •  I know we are all interested in seeing Kanter and Favors together, but it is possible that those minutes are hurting Favors. This year with Marvin on the floor, Favors has an EFT% of 53%, but with Kanter on and Marvin off he shoots 45.6%. The floor has spacing and the ball moves better, and Derrick doesn’t have to be the passer.
  • The Pelicans were doubling the post not because they were scared of Kanter and Favors’ scoring, but because they knew they couldn’t handle the ball as well.   Favors and Kanter had a combined seven turnovers and two assists at halftime.
  • Late in the game Corbin went away from Kanter and Favors together again. The lack of ball movement and floor spacing makes it hard for guys to score. This has been a bit better as of late when both are on the floor—since Jan. 1 Favors has an EFG% of 51%, Kanter 47.7%, Hayward 47% and Burke 45%. The league average is 50%, so this is not very good.
  • Alec was terrific at attacking the basket and getting to the line tonight. He nailed a few outside jumpers, and he got to the line 13 times. He understood the lack of rim protection without Anthony Davis on the floor. My favorite play was a really nice pick-and-roll with Favors where he dropped the ball over the top of the defense to where Favors would have been rolling. Favors was grabbed and fouled, but it was nice anticipation.
  • Hayward followed his trend of the last month. Fewer shots, usually early, and a solid all-around game. Tonight he went to the line 13 times, making it 54 in the last five games. He finished with 21 points, four rebounds, six assists and three steals tonight.
  • Ian Clark got 13 minutes tonight and Jeremy Evans got 16 as Tyrone made a conscience effort to get them time.
  • Richard Jefferson and Gordon Hayward did a nice job on Tyreke Evans, who had seven turnovers. The last time we played, he had a career-high 15 assists.
  • The Jazz are off to Oakland.