TIPOFF – November 14 – Before Australia goes to bed and Utah wakes up

Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke gives you his daily podcast, opening with the NBA 5 and then moving into a deep dig on the Utah Jazz.

TIPOFF – November 13 – Zeros late in the game

Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke gives you his daily podcast, opening with the NBA 5 and then moving into a deep dig on the Utah Jazz.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Jazz late-game misses mean defeat in Atlanta

  • The Jazz played very well tonight. They just didn’t close as well as you would have liked. If you look at the complete effort, it was a strong night. Solid effort. Good game plan. Good tempo. Lots of areas of improvement.
  • The problem is that improvement is not losing to winning—it’s from losing last year to competing. The Jazz got 48 minutes of competition tonight and they’ll learn from the late-game plays. Frankly, some of it was just missing shots. Last year, the Jazz were getting run out of the gym. Tonight, the Jazz were in the game and should have probably won.
  • Jazz did play a different style defensively and they forced a ton of turnovers tonight—22 turnovers forced tonight against a team that didn’t turn it over much this year. This was different than the game against the Pacers, who were turning it over it a ton but the Jazz were passive.
  • The Jazz had a good plan on Korver—he didn’t get a single three out of their offense.
  • This was a game of runs. The Jazz opened 11-4 and the Hawks followed with a 14-5 run till they were tied at the end of the first quarter. The Jazz went on a 12-0 run to take their largest lead at 50-37, then the Hawks closed on an 18-2 run at the end of the first half. The Jazz then jumped out in the third and lead 88-82 after three, and took a 90-82 lead before the Hawks went on a 7-0 run. The Jazz then followed with a 7-0 run and the Hawks closed the game on an 11-0 run to win.
  • Trey Burke played a nice game tonight. His shot didn’t fall by the end of the night and his numbers weren’t that good, but he had a double-double, he conducted the game well, and he had 11 assists.
  • Paul Millsap was awesome tonight—30 points, 17 rebounds (a huge offensive board late in the game) 3 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocked shots. He has evolved in such a terrific way. It’s truly incredible. What a testament to his work and desire.
  • Enes Kanter had a nice night. He hit two threes, he played well in the block and he hit the baseline jumper. That ‘s the perfect offensive game for Enes. Utah’s offense is much better when he’s on the floor. The numbers don’t show that he is killing the team defensively or even hurting the team defensively.
  • Gordon Hayward sat the final 6:38 of the second quarter with two fouls, and the Hawks went on a 20-8 run while he was on the bench.
  • Utah scored just 9 points in the fourth quarter and went scoreless the final 4:34.  Here are the possessions down the stretch: 3:52 left (97-89)—Hayward misses an 18-footer as shot clock was going off. Utah got into the possession late and ran on the exterior for the possession. Hayward slipped coming around a curl and then got it to Trey, who got it back to Gordon and he was run off the 3-point line and stepped into an open-but-rushed 20-footer. 3:30 left (97-91)—Burke lets the clock run down to 10 before starting the play (a high pick-and-roll with Derrick Favors). Burke comes off the pick and gets tripped up and turns the ball over. 2:39 left (97-93)—Quin calls a specific play. It sets Hayward coming off a pin-down on a curl and he gets into the paint throws a cross-court pass to Kanter for a corner three and Kanter misses. 2:00 left (97-95)—Hayward lets the clock wind down to 8 and starts the offense on pick-and-roll with Favors. Atlanta doubles Gordon and he astutely retreats out and throws to the top to Alec, who has a wide-open three from the top and misses. 1:19 left (97-95)—Hayward gets a good look off a set play and misses. :46 left (97-98)—Burke drives left side of the lane and Millsap blocks it. :28 left (97-98)—Inbound play gets busted up and Favors turns at the top of the lane and goes to the basket and then throws a bullet past Trevor Booker for a turnover.
  • This was a well-played game and the Jazz are getting better. They need to make one or two defensive stops or one offensive play. That is close.

TIPOFF – November 12 – Why too many numbers way too early

Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke gives you his daily podcast. He opens with the NBA 5 and then moves into a deep dig on the Utah Jazz.

#Q4Locke – Why hasn’t the defense improved?

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This is a great question, Casey. First off, the Jazz started the year playing their first five games against teams that were ranked in the top seven offensively last year. In addition, all of those teams had an All-NBA player. All-NBA players can blow up the best of any game plan.

Now, the last two games against Detroit and Indiana the Jazz should have been able to show some defensive progress. That has come to fruition. Utah’s defensive rating the last two games has been 102.9. The EFG% defense has been 48.6. Both of these numbers come in better than league average and they should since both those teams are below league average offenses.

The preseason is not a great barometer to what is going to happen in the regular season. One game I recall in the preseason, I was talking with an opposing head coach when I realized they had not watched one moment of film to how the Jazz were playing—they were solely focussed on their team. In the season, they are looking to exploit Utah’s weaknesses.

Utah’s perimeter and high pick-and-roll coverage must improve as the season continues.

Q4Locke #1 – Will Hayward be an All-Star?

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Oh my goodness has Gordon ever been terrific. The numbers are absurd—19 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists a game. If those hold, it will be hard to keep him off the All-Star team. Moreover, the coaches vote and he plays a game coaches love. Gordon is unselfish, plays in the team concept, hustles and respects the game. That will earn coaches’ votes.

However, to answer your question, yes there is a way he doesn’t make the All-Star Team. The Jazz need to win games, and even with wins it might be too much too ask.   Traditionally, coaches decide these issues based on wins. With James Harden, Kobe Bryant and Steph Curry on the team at the wing, with Klay Thomspon, Kawhi Leonard, Rudy Gay plus a red-hot Kevin Martin all wanting a spot, it’s hard to see where Gordon makes the team. The NBA All-Star roster is just 13 players and the only spot to fill is Durant’s, but if he and Kobe are voted on the team then I can’t imagine Gordon is able to bump Curry or Harden off the team.

Remember, Deron Williams was amazing and didn’t make the All-Star team for many years.

TIPOFF – November 11 – Not that surprising

Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke gives you his daily podcast, opening with the NBA 5 and then moving into a deep dig on the Utah Jazz.