Emptying the Noggin after the Jazz lost to the Wolves

Can I go on All-Streak Break early and not write this on. Ouch

This one is really painful. It is a culmination of a week worth’s of bad finishes. Not sure I have a lot to tell you that is going to make you feel a whole lot better. Reality is the Jazz played a really really good game tonight. They controlled the game for almost the entire game and then they just could finish on either end of the floor against a .500 team.

The closing meltdown was extraordinary. The Jazz lead by 16 with 9 to play, By 12 with 7 to play, by 7 with 5 to play and by 4 with 3 to play. And then it was gone.

The Wolves lead 2-0 and not again until :42 seconds left when they hit two free throws to take a 95-93 lead.

The Jazz were active all night. They had a season high in steals, they were in passing lanes, digging at the ball, they were all over the place. They had strong offensive moments. They looked a lot like the Memphis game.

Corbin was going for it. He knew the guys could rest for the rest of the weekend and he rode his horses and they weren’t good enough to hold onto the win.

The Timberwolves scored on 16 of their final 20 trips down the court. If you don’t get the rebound it is not a stop. The Jazz only got 4 stops in the final 9 minutes of the game. The Jazz forced one turnover and then got three defensive rebounds (Jefferson, Howard and Harris).

Paul Millsap had 0 defensive rebounds in the final 9 mintues, Al Jefferson had 1 in 7 chances.

Millsap and Jefferson couldn’t defend or rebound together last year and nothing has changed.

Offensively in the meltdown, the Jazz shot 4 for 14. Jefferson was 2 for 6 with a turnover. Millsap was 1 for 3 with 3 free throws.

The lineup that closed for the Wolves was Barea, Ridnour. Webster, Williams and Love. That is not a lineup that should out rebound you or prevent you from being able to put points on the board.

Josh Howard played very well tonight and has looked better the last two nights. Tyrone Corbin said after the game they would consider starting him. Since Raja has been the most consistent player and is the best defender I would assume that means for Gordon.

Starting matters by the way. When you come off the bench and the starters play the first 8 minutes of the 1st and 3rd quarter there is no scenario where you can ever play more than 32 minutes a night and that assumes you never get subbed out.

Alec Burks is getting better every time he plays and he plays more under control the more he plays. Tonight he got 15 minutes and was really good. He is getting better.

Favors and Kanter have struggled badly on the road this year. Tonight Favors got 12 minutes and Kanter got 8 hard to evaluate that.

Ricky Rubio was not good this evening and the game changed when he went out.

Pekovic is a beast. What a great find by Kevin McHale when he was the GM of the Wolves

The Jazz defensive rebounding is abysmal. 19 offensive rebounds for Minnesota. 17 of those offensive rebounds came when Jefferson and Millsap were on the floor, 1 came with Jefferson and Favors and the other came with Kanter and Favors.

In the last set of close games. Millsap and Jefferson played the final 8:29 tonight and were -15, they played the final 8:10 v. SA, they played 5:36 together and were -7 v. Houston, against New Orleans they were benched, in Memphis they only played the final 4:22 and took a 4 point lead to 10 for a +6, against Indiana they played the final 5:00 minutes and were -4 entering the game down 1 and losing by 5.

Since Feb 1st the Jazz have been by far the worst defensive team in the NBA in the 4th quarter. They are allowing 48% shooting earlier this year it was 39% and the next closest to the Jazz 48% is Charlotte at 46%.

The 4 quarter collapses are also happening on offense.

v. San Antonio the Jazz shot 9/20 and hit 0 three’ s and hit 4/5 from the line

v. Houston the Jazz were 5/18 and ¼ from three and 10 of 12 from the line

v. New Orleans we scored 29 points but were down so much it seems false

v. Memphis we were 12 of 19 – 2 of 4 from three and 3 of 3 from the line, Jefferson and Millsap played just 4:22 of the quarter.

v. Indiana we were 8/17 and 0 for 1 from three and 6 for 6 from the line, Jefferson and Millsap played 5:00

PODCAST – PKI – David Locke and Patrick Kinahan

Utah Jazz Play by Play Announcer David Locke and 1320, K-Fan’s Patrick Kinahan touch the topics of the day — Jazz 1st half of the season and looking forward, Carmelo, Kobe, Tiger, BYU tourny hopes and Damien Lillard.

INSIDER – Youngsters playing without the ball

The biggest adjustment in the NBA for young players is learning how to play with teammates and off teammates. Every college player that heads to the NBA is used to have an offense predicated around them and creating for them. Now they enter the NBA and they aren’t in the same role and they don’t touch the ball on every possession.

In the San Antonio game the final 5 minutes Gordon Hayward didn’t get a touch. Alec Burks goes down the floor and doesn’t touch for consecutive possessions something that never happened at Colorado.

I asked Tyrone Corbin today about this adjustment for young players. “It is learning process, when to cut, when to space the floor, when to come to the ball. It is a huge adjustment for guys who are used to having the ball and making the plays to have other guys set them up it takes them a while to understand when to cut and when to move. It is difficult to get a rhythm, you can’t get it from just having the ball in your hand. It takes a while to figure out how to get a feel for it”

Jeff Hornacek had similar thoughts – “It is an adjustment, guys have to put themselves back to when they first played ever when they got fewer opportunities. You have to be ready to make a play. It is a mental thing to not take yourself out of the game.”

This is why we see such inconsistency out of these players. The rookies who have the ball in their hand every play, Knight, Irving and Walker are having an easier adjustment.