TIPOFF – April 2 – NBA 5, Harden and CP3, Jazz D and Exum

Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke looks at the NBA 5, and then digs deep on the Jazz defense and looks at all 12 assists from Danté Exum.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Jazz dominant over Nuggets


  •  Jazz got revenge on the Nuggets with a blow out win at Energy Solutions Arena.  The story was defense again.  The Jazz allowed 29 points in the first quarter and then allowed 30 points in the next 30 minutes.   That is incredible.   For 60%+ of the game the Jazz allowed 1 point per minute.  Are you kidding me?


  • Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors have eliminated the rim from opponents.  In the first three quarters the Nuggets were 11 of 33 in the paint.  33% in the paint.   This is absurd.


  • Then when the Jazz know they have these two monsters in the paint they are able to get out and close on the three point shooters.  The Nuggets were bombing.  They ended up taking 33 three’s and only made 7.


  • Rudy Gobert had a nice offensive night.  This has been the big deal to me all year.  This league is underestimating the value of the dunkers.  Rudy was more than a dunker tonight but to score 20 points on 7 shots is an incredible value.   Rudy used 12 scoring opportunities to score his 20 points.   The league average is 12.84.  To be 7.2 points above average on 12 scoring opportunities makes it incredibly difficult for the other team to catch up.


  • Dante Exum was driving and dishing tonight.  He had a career high 12 assists.  If Exum can begin to make some shots and show some touch around the rim more and more of these passes are going to open up.  Tonight he showed a willingness to make mistakes and that opened the door to make some of these plays.  I believe Dante is very self aware and that much of his lack of aggression has been an understanding of what he can and can’t do.  He is not a good finisher, he is not a good mid range shooter and therefore he has not wanted to hurt the team and try those plays when it is not going to be a good end result.  He needs some more selfishness and when he adds that it will add more options to be unselfish.


  • Before the game Quin Snyder was on the floor with Dante Exum working on some of the moves and plays that were coming it in the game.   Seemed to work.


  • Derrick Favors is a force download.  He was in foul trouble all night but he played angry and he is beginning to display a lot of different offensive moves.  The games Favors had to play without Hayward forced him to be more assertive offensively and he has grown because of those.  He averaged 18 points in March a career high for a month and added 19 tonight.


  • Kenneth Faried attacked Rudy Gobert as well as any big I have seen all year.  Faried has great energy and does good stuff in the paint but has Enes Kanter passing tendencies.


  • Trey Burke was solid again tonight. He hit some really important shots when the Jazz were down early.


  • Jazz trailed this game 29-22 after 1 and then blitzed the Nuggets 59 to 30 over the next two quarters


  • Jazz go to 19-19 at home


  • Another amazing defensive night for this team.  They have a collective energy right now that is really special.

POSTCAST – Jazz blow out Nuggets

David Locke and Ron Boone recap the Jazz blow out win over the Denver Nuggets

TIPOFF – April 1 – No April Fools’ Jokes – NBA 5 and Utah’s defense

Utah Jazz Radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke talks Warriors v. Clippers and the NBA 5, then digs deep on the Jazz defense.

INSIDER – What to make of Jazz defense since All-Star Break

Since the All-Star Break the Jazz defense has been otherworldly.  In those 21 games the Jazz has allowed 86.3 points per game the next closest is New Orleans at 94.7.   That can be skewed by the Jazz arduous pace of play.  However, if you equalize for pace the Jazz are still #1 in the NBA with a remarkable 93.2 pts per 100 possessions.  The next closest in the NBA is 97.5, the Golden State Warriors.

If the Jazz were to hold a defensive rating of 93.2 pts per 100 possessions over an entire season it would be one of the greatest defensive performances in NBA history.  It is unrealistic to believe the Jazz can maintain at this level.    But how far can they slip and still be elite.

The Jazz has performed at in this rarefied air for just 25% of the season.   Yet, if the Jazz played average defense for the other 75% of the season they would still come out as the 3rd best defense in the NBA for the season.   For the Jazz to play average they would have to allow 9 pts per 100 more than they are since the all-star break.  That is a huge amount as you see below

Let’s try to make some sense of how much range exists in defensive efficiency ratings.  The best team in the NBA is Golden State at 97.4, the worst is Minnesota at 108.9.  Only three teams in the NBA are under 100 and only 4 teams in the NBA are above 106.   23 teams in the NBA exist within a 6 point range of 100 to 106.  The league median is 102.6.

For 25% of the season the Jazz have been 93.2 pts allowed per 100 possessions.  Even if the Jazz dropped 6 pts per 100 possessions (the same as #4 to #27) they would be above 100 pts allowed per 100 possessions and 2nd best in the NBA .

Let’s use two benchmarks moving forward.  If the Jazz were to slip to 96 pts allowed per 100 possessions or even 100 pts allowed per 100 possesions for the whole season how would they rank.

2013-14:  Best defense was Indiana at 96.7 and 3 teams were under 100 def rtg

2012-13:  Best defense was Indiana at 96.6 and 4 teams were under 100 def rtg

2011-12:  Lockout season offense was way down

2010-11: Best defense was Chicago 97.4 and 4 teams were under 100 def rtg

2009-10: Best defense was Charlotte at 100.2, no defenses under 100

2008-09:  Best defense was Orlando at 98.9, 3 teams were under 100 def rtg

2007-08:  Best defense was Boston at 96.2, 3 teams were under 100 def rtg

2006-07: Best defense was Chicago at 97 and 4 teams were under 100 rtg

2005-06:  Best defense was San Antonio at 96.9 and 4 teams were under 100

Over the past 10 seasons (9 full seasons) the best defensive team had a 96.2 and only three teams had a rating under 97.  Moreover, in none of the 9 seasons did more than 4 teams have a defensive rating under 100.

So if the Jazz slipped 3 pts per 100 possessions for an entire season compared to what they have done since the all-star break they would be the best defense in the last 10 years.   If they were to slip 6 pts and stay under 100 pts allowed they would almost certainly be a top 5 defense

Therefore, considering the Jazz run defensively since the all-star break it seems fair to feel the Jazz will be a top 5 defensive team in the NBA next year with a real chance at being one of the best defenses in the NBA in the near future.

TIPOFF – March 31 – NBA 5, PAAC, collectiveness and amazing defense

Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke gives you the NBA 5 and the PAAC for last 10 games, and then digs deep on the Jazz with some crazy thoughts about the team’s defense.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Blowout win and “What if?” with Rudy

  • Solid, professional win by the Jazz tonight. The defense was dominant from the start. The Wolves missed their final 8 shots of the first quarter and the game was over. The Wolves made a small run in the second quarter to get the game to 3 and the Jazz eliminated that in a hurry with a 15-6 run. Finally, the Jazz blitzed the Wolves to open the third quarter on a 14-0 run and then league rules said we had to play 48 minutes.
  • This was a highlight-filled game. Wiggins had a sick dunk on top of Gobert and then two plays later he tried it again and Gobert rejected the attempt and Wiggins crumpled like a deck chair. Finally, Gobert led a fast break and hit Booker with a behind-the-back pass for a two-handed slam.
  • Utah’s defense will finish March as the #1 defense in the NBA for March—they held the Wolves to 36.8% shooting and only six 3-pointers tonight.
  • Jazz are the #1 offensive rebounding team and the Wolves are 30th in defensive rebounding. The Jazz get 28% of all offensive rebounds. The Wolves allow 29%.  Tonight the Jazz grabbed 14 of 38 offensive rebound chances for 37%. This is what a top offensive rebounding team should do. Booker and Gobert both had five offensive rebounds.
  • The Jazz had 22 fast-break points tonight.
  • Trey Burke was really good again tonight. He drove to the basket and attacked the rim. The Jazz did a better job spacing the floor and the Wolves have Enes Kanter-type rim protection. Trey finished with 19 points and only took only five 3-pointers. He’s averaging over 20 in the last two games with only 2 three point shots.
  • Another tough break as Rodney Hood took an elbow to the head and had to leave with concussion-like symptoms. He just can’t get it rolling without something going wrong.
  • Back-to-back wins without Derrick Favors.
  • Gordon Hayward is ridiculous. He had 22 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals. Ho hum. He was just playing. He didn’t take over a stretch of the game. He was just the best player on the floor for the entire game. Nothing radical. Nothing spectacular. He has averaged 21-5-5 since Feb. 1 and for a good deal of it been struggling with his shot. He really should be considered for Most Improved Player and All-NBA. He did it on 15 shots in 33 minutes tonight.
  • Joe Ingles’ across-the-floor bounce pass to Trevor Booker was sweet. He threaded it through three defenders and it was right on the money.
  • Can we discuss Rudy for a moment? I love Rudy. He plays with so much fire and competitiveness. When Wiggins dunked on him, he was going to return the favor—it was only a matter of time. He loves to play. He wants to be great. Quin had an interesting comment before the game that Rudy has a good understanding of what needs to improve and he works on it.
  • Part 2 of this is crazy talk on what Rudy can be. Since the All-Star break, he’s averaging 11 points (he had 15 tonight), 14 rebounds (12 tonight), 2 assists (2 tonight), 1 steal (1 tonight) and 3 blocks (3 tonight). Now what happens when he gets a little stronger? What happens when he develops some basic offensive ability? What happens if he makes two or three plays a night out of an offensive game? Could he really become a 15-15 guy? That’s crazy? Guys don’t do that. What happens if his competitiveness means he actually becomes a little bit of an offensive threat and then he can pass out of advantage rather than disadvantage? Could he be 15-15-5 guy? That’s insane. It is remarkable what he is doing without experience, without a refined game and without strength. What’s next?
  • I realize Minnesota’s post players tonight were not rotational NBA players.
  • Solid win. Make sure you listen to the Hot Rod Hundley tribute podcast on iTunes or at Locked on Jazz.

POSTCAST – Jazz blowout Wolves