EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Get very excited

  • Wow. Quin Snyder said before the game this was a barometer test for the Jazz. If this was a barometer …
  • I can get really crazy with optimism right now. Is this team next year’s Hawks team? If they really are a top-3 defensive team, then where can they go? If Quin has turned this team into a top-15 offensive team, what can he do with a team that could actually shoot the ball? Is this a playoff team next year? Is this a team that could host a playoff game sometime soon?
  • Jazz started Exum, Hood, Hayward, Favors and Gobert started tonight.  This could be the  starting line-up for a long time.   Now you find the puzzle pieces that go with those 5.  It is not perfect but it has a lot of aspects of a great starting line-up.  It is crazy long.  Defensively all 5 players are going to be above average defensively.  Favors can switch allowing the Jazz to switch 1-4.  Favors and Gobert are athletic enough to shadow ball handlers off the pick and roll.    It has two shooters with Hood and Hayward (Exum will be a really good spot up shooter as well).  It has three pick and roll ball handlers who can drive and pass.   It has left handed and right handed pick and roll players who can come from both sides of the floor.  It has 5 willing passers.  Favors can stretch just far enough that they can create spacing.    This is a super line-up.  This is the future.
  • The Rockets offense is predicated on the drive to the basket to create the kick out for the corner 3 and Rudy and Favors eliminated the drive to the basket.   With 9 minutes left the Rockets were 17 of 31 shooting in the paint and 7 of 25 from 3.   The jazz had taken the Rockets completely out of their game.
  • Rudy was amazing.  He had 18 rebounds in the first half.  He is the 5thplayerdo that in the first half of game since 1980.   The Jazz completely dominated the offensive glass and Gobert had 12 offensive rebounds.  The jazz ended with 17 offensive rebounds.
  • Rudy had 19 points and 22 rebounds.  I am not sure what to say about him.  He is an unreal athlete.  He plays with amazing fire.  He wants to be the best who has ever played the game.  He is a franchise changing player.  He will be a dominating defensive force in this league as long as he stays healthy and the Jazz will be a top 5 defensive team for as long as they have Rudy.
  • All 5 Jazz starters scored in double figures.
  • The defensive plan on Harden was awesome.   Harden scored 2 field goals in the 1st quarter and then got his next field goal with 7:30 left in the 4th quarter.  He finished 3 of 13.  He never had a rhythm.  He couldn’t get to the rim with Favors and Gobert.
  • The Jazz held the Rockets to 22% from 3 tonight, 7 of 32.  They are holding teams since the all-star break to 29%.   Seems unlikely that this is sustainable.  This will have to come back near the norm.
  • This whole thing and not a mention of Gordon Hayward 29 points, 4 rebounds and 7 assists.   That is absurd.  Harden who?   29 !!!.  Quin said it today.  Hayward is a warrior.  His leadership is showing on nights like this as well.  He was not right and he battled.
  • Rodney Hood got the start tonight and brought 3 of 8 from three. Players who shoot a ton of threes are undervalued in this league. That is what Rodney Hood can be in this league. He can bomb and still have enough other skills to get to the rim.
  • Jazz started on a 7-0 run and led it 22-10 and never looked back. A wire-to-wire job by the Jazz.
  • Be excited. This team is good. Maybe really good.

TIPOFF – March 12 – Blastoff and smoothing

Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke gives you the NBA 5 with smoothing talk and then digs deep on Jazz v. Rockets.

TIPOFF – March 11 – NBA 5 and no G-Time

Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke gives you the NBA 5 and then digs deep on the Utah Jazz.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Jazz notch another win

  • Ugly is the new beautiful. This one was not for the faint of heart, but it’s a win and the Jazz have now won 3 straight, 6 of 7, and 10 of their last 13.
  • Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert were the two best players on the floor tonight.  Favors dominated the game early with 20 points in the first half and finished with his second-highest point total of his career with 29 points. Plus he added 12 rebounds.
  • Rudy had his impact again—10 points and 14 rebounds to go with 3 steals and 4 blocks. Gobert played 38 minutes.
  • The Jazz really struggle offensively without Gordon Hayward and tonight was no different.
  • Two 50-50 plays changed the game tonight. the Jazz were up 80-77 when a loose ball rebound was batted around, and after an extended battle, Gobert cleared the rebound. Favors scored on the next possessions and Rodney Hood followed, and the Jazz were up seven instead of the Knicks with the ball in a three-point game.
  • Then it got nervous. Hood missed with 1:00 left and the Knicks had the ball within five points, but Danté Exum stole the ball from behind and the Jazz maintained possession and control of the game.
  • Hood did a lot of the ball-handling tonight late with Hayward not playing.
  • Joe Ingles scored seven straight points in the key portion of the fourth quarter to help the Jazz to the lead they never relinquished.
  • Trey Burke was as off as I’ve seen him in a long time. This is not good. Quin rewarded Trey with a starting spot with Gordon out and he didn’t take the challenge. Instead, he was out of sorts and shot 1-for-11 and just 3-for-6 from the line.  Everything was off the front rim.
  • Trey has to stop having nights like this. Trey has had 20 games where he’s shot 30% or less (32% of his games) and 15 games where he has shot 25% or less (24% of his games). You can’t have games like this every third of fourth time out.
  • Knicks are very poor. Thursday against Houston will be great.

TIPOFF – March 10 – Cliches and shot locations

Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA insider David Locke hits on the cliche topics of the NBA and then digs deep on the Utah Jazz and shot-location data.

TIPOFF – March 9 – The Warriors might be great, and how good are the Jazz?

Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke looks at how good the Warriors are in the NBA 5, and then digs deep into how good the Jazz are right now.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Jazz finish East Coast trip at 3-1

  • A 3-1 East Coast road trip. Impressively, this team is not blinking. They’re not taking steps back. They aren’t doing anything to make you believe what we’re seeing isn’t real and going to last.
  • This is super exciting to be a part of this process. To watch Coach Snyder’s system begin to take hold. To watch the player development on so many levels and to realize that what we are seeing is real.
  • So much fun to be a part of this.
  • Gordon Hayward thinks he’s the best player on the floor right now. He’s taking over games. He’s finding the smallest gaps that are Harden gaps. Small little windows and he is making plays.
  • Derrick Favors’ move to the 4 might be as big a story as Gobert moving into the starting lineup. Derrick has become an offensive force in the post and is making plays from all over the floor. He put up another 20-10 line. He’s averaging close to 19-8 since the All-Star break. He’s so solid right now and what he’s doing defensively is big-time.
  • The Nets’ primary offensive set is a low post up for Deron or Joe Johnson that can become a low pick-and-roll with Brook Lopez. The Nets only got to the play once the entire game. The Jazz’s preparation every night is impeccable. Coach Snyder and his staff find a key part of the opponent’s offense and find a way to blow that up and disrupt the entire offense. Against Milwaukee, they took away a certain pass to start their offense. Tonight, Gordon and others did an amazing job fronting Joe Johnson and not allowing him to catch the ball in the post. This dislodged Brooklyn’s entire flow and they got very little of what they wanted tonight.
  • The game was a one- point game at 78-77 with five minutes left. This was the perfect script for things to fall apart—but the opposite happened. Hayward scored five straight and seven points in Utah’s 14-2 run. The Nets had an experienced, veteran team on the floor in what should have been a must-win (though they didn’t act like it at all). The Jazz made every play and ran away.
  • Elijah Millsap makes some of the most fearless steals.
  • Joe Ingles and Millsap do a lot of little things well, but both of them have been cut by at least four teams in the last few years and they are now starting and closing games for this team. It’s remarkable that Quin and his staff are finding ways to make these players productive parts of a winning team, and it’s a tribute to them to understand how to be successful in the NBA.
  • Danté Exum had a nice offensive game tonight. I have vowed that I’m not commenting on individual nights in connection with his development. However, his consistently remarkable play defensively has to be mentioned. He shut Deron down tonight. He handled Conley well in Memphis. He was strong on Parker v. San Antonio, and the list goes on and on. Each night he moves his feet with such alacrity and grace and makes plays that are terrific.
  • Utah’s defensive starting lineup of 6-6, 6-8, 6-8, 6-10 and 7-1 is a big part of this story as well.
  • The Jazz have won 7 of 9 since the All-Star break and 20 of their last 37. I think the second number is a bigger deal.

POSTCAST – Jazz win again this time in Brooklyn

It is the Radio post game show on the internet with David Locke and Ron Boone