EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Amazingly Jazz had a chance

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN
• The Jazz missed 18 straight shots from the 1st quarter into the 2nd quarter. The Jazz shot 4 of 24 in the first quarter. At halftime Gordon Hayward was 0 for 9 and Rodney hood was 0 for 6. Amazingly, the Jazz were still in the game. They still had a chance late. That is remarkable.

• Jazz just made too many mistakes. Transition defense was porous. Turnovers early in games are a big issue that are consistent night to night in the 1st quarter.

• One of the biggest plays of the game is the Jazz cut the game to 9 but they froze and didn’t get back defensively and the Kings got a layup in the final 1.4 seconds on the other end. This is a big play in a one play loss.

• Trey Lyles notched a career high for the second straight night. He is showing an array of skills. He is hitting the corner 3. He is showing and going off the threat of this jumper. He is hitting a floater. He is taking it all the way to the rim for vicious slams. He caught at the elbow and swung through on Casspi and beat him hard to the basket plus the foul. He is 20 years old.

• Trevor Booker got swiped across the face after Cousins was called for a travel and the he got frustrated and did I am a spoiled brat run to the rim dunk after the whistle which he missed and hit Booker across the face and he was out on his feet.

• Lyles and Neto kept the Jazz in the game while the rest of the bunch were struggling miserably.

• Rudy Gobert is playing his heart out on the floor but he is not right. He does not have his usual bounce and he is not having the same impact as when he is fully healthy. It is going to take some time.

• The Jazz defense in the 2nd half took away most of the Kings fast break game and forced them to play more in the half court.

• Jazz were down 11 going into the 4th quarter and battled to get back to a possession by possession game. There is such a small margin for error at that point.

• Hayward and Ingles hit big shots that tied the game before Rudy Gay hit the game winner with .6 seconds left.

• Cousins is a beast – 36 points and 17 rebounds. He is hard to handle.

• Gordon Hayward set a new career high with 16 FTA in a game.

• Sacramento has won the season series from the Jazz. I have thought all year the Kings were a playoff team. They are built with a veteran bench to get them through injuries and with experience in close games and tough situations. They are going to be hard to hold off for the Jazz.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Blazers blow Jazz out in the 2nd half

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN
• After a defensive first half the Blazers made some cool offensive adjustment and took over the game in the 2nd half. The Jazz had defending the Blazers terrifically in the 1st half and had forced Lillard and McCollum into tough looks and make numerous other Blazers to make plays. The Blazers came out with a 3 man weave around the outside and got Lillard free for some good looks and the Blazers got rolling.

• The Jazz defense couldn’t get stops in the 3rd quarter allowing 32 points and the Blazers continued the offensive onslaught into the 4th quarter until they had the game in control and lead by 20.

• Both Lillard and McCollum ended under their season average but the Blazers got double figures from Aminu, Leonard, Henderson and Crabbe.

• Henderson hit 3 threes in the 1st half which is the 2nd time in his season he has hit more than 2 3s in a game. This was a killer.

• Trey Lyles continues to play well. 16 points tonight on 6 of 7 shooting. He hit 2 threes, had some nice drives to the basket and is becoming a solid offensive player. Trey has been working incredibly hard. He is putting in three shooting sessions a game day, before shoot around, after shoot around and pre game. He has worked extra on film with Coach Jeff Warkentein. When things were tough he didn’t get discourage he got determined and that is a great sign for the Jazz.

• Jazz hit Rudy Gobert on a bunch of rolls to the basket and he just couldn’t handle the ball tonight. He didn’t look like he had his balance. Marc Gasol told me he didn’t feel right for a month. He also said it wasn’t a straight line of improvement, one night he would feel good and the next he wouldn’t feel good. Rudy is going to go through this and it makes it tougher without Favors on the floor.

• I don’t know when Derrick is going to play. He just can’t seem to get his back good enough to play.

• Sometimes things happen this season that I feel are stark reality checks and tonight was one of them. When Gerald Henderson who has started over 250 games comes off the Blazers bench, followed by Mo Harkless who has started over 100 games and Chris Kaman is still on their bench. Contrast that to Joe Ingles, Chris Johnson and Jeff Withey and it is a reminder how thin the Jazz roster is and the impact of being the 2nd least experience team in the NBA. Same thing v. Sacramento their bench is a playoff bench with awesome experience.

• Turnovers were a problem for the Jazz in the first half with 10, which was a surprise considering the Blazers don’t usually force turnovers.

• Blazers seem to be a bad match-up for the Jazz. The two games Lillard and McCollum have played they have blown the Jazz out. Onto tomorrow.
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EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Solid win against the schedule

• Good win. Four games in five nights, in four cities, in three time zones makes tonight a tough one no matter who the opponent is. It was nice it was the Lakers—they are not good. The Jazz stayed engaged the entire game, and once they took the lead they never let the Lakers get any closer than eight. That is solid.

• The Jazz are 10-6 in games when they have a fully healthy Rudy Gobert.

• Three really key stretches in the game tonight. Trevor Booker came off the bench for the final 4:41 in the third quarter when the Jazz were dead tired, and he scored on two baskets. Both were hustle plays. Raul Neto hit a three and the next play drove to the basket for a layup that quelled a little run by the Lakers. Finally, Gordon Hayward hit huge shots down the stretch to put this game in the freezer.

• Hayward took 21 shots tonight. He has only taken 21+ shots in eight games in his career. I talked with Gordon for a while before the game about how he’s viewing his role offensively and carrying the team with the injuries. It’s hard because he has been schooled to make the right basketball play. However, if the other team is committed to taking the ball out of his hands and the right basketball play is to move the ball, then should he try to force it and take “bad” shots because no one else is around to make them? What we’ve seen the last two games is a defense that has given him shots, and he’s been more than willing to knock them down. Portland should do the same. Look for Sacramento to trap, and it will be interesting to see how he deals with that.

• Trey Lyles has 28 rebounds in three games. He has 19 defensive rebounds in the last two games.

• The fatigue level on these guys is intense. Neto told me the other day that every game he played in Europe he felt 100% and this year he doesn’t think he has played a single game feeling 100%. The players who have never done this before are having new experiences and trying to figure out how to deal with it.

• Jazz were +4 with Rudy on the floor tonight. They have only been outscored with Rudy on the floor in three games all year.

• Rodney Hood really battled to be ready tonight, and he was able to use his size late in the game to get into the lane and get his shots. He had a really solid 14 points tonight, and six rebounds and four assists added to the points makes for a strong all-around game.

• Chris Johnson’s energy is remarkable and contagious. He and the bench unit changed the game in the second quarter. They led the team on an 11-0 run that gave the Jazz the commanding lead they never relinquished. CJ is everywhere. He makes a ton of plays. He did shoot 0-for-6 from 3-point range, which has always been the item that keeps him away from sticking in the league. That and a need to improve his handle. His impact on the game has been terrific.

• Lakers scored 14 in the first, 16 in the second, 20 in the third. They missed a ton of looks, but the Jazz defense was solid.

• Lakers got 29% of all available offensive rebounds, which is a little too high.

• Jazz go to 17-20 and are getting healthier. The schedule coming up is generous. A real chance to move back to .500 and beyond.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Remarkable effort for the Jazz yields a win

• Remarkable win by the Jazz tonight. Really incredible that the Jazz have found a way to win any games with the injuries they have had recently. It was hard to beat Philly. Somehow they found ways to beat Portland and Memphis. Tonight they handled Miami despite missing 4 of their top 6 players.

• Chris Johnson who was on 5 teams last year, has signed 5 10 day contracts in his career was guarding 11 time all-star Dwayne Wade and handled it.

• Raul Neto, the 2nd round draft pick rookie from Brazil marked up against former all-star and 3rd team All-NBA player Goran Dragic.

• 20 year old Trey Lyles was guarding 10 time all-star Chris Bosh.

• Somehow the Jazz won this game, with these match-ups that seems impossible. The effort was incredible as it has been all season long. The defensive rotations were sharp. The ball flew around the floor. Early in the game guys seemed really uncomfortable as though the roll they had on the floor was more than they were comfortable with. As the game progressed the Jazz gained a momentum and each of the players got more and more comfortable and made bigger and bigger plays.

• Gordon Hayward had 34 points and 18 in the 3rd quarter. He took over the game. He lifted the Jazz up in the third quarter and gave them the momentum. Stunning to me that the Heat allowed him to take 22 shots. I am not sure how that is possible considering the players the Jazz had on the floor with him.

• The Heat defend by dropping the big protecting the paint and not allowing 3 point shots, particularly corner 3s. They are not a franchise that usually adjusts to what the opponent does and the Jazz took advantage.

• Trey Lyles played 32 minutes tonight and had 10 defensive rebounds. Early this year defensive rebounding was something the coaches asked him to focus on.

• Rudy Gobert is terrific. The Jazz have only been outscored three games all year when Rudy is on the floor. Tonight he was +10. He has an incredible impact on the game.

• Chris Johnson played with great energy. He made a ton of hustle plays. He chased down a Wade lay-up for a block. He had 2 blocks and 2 steals and that doesn’t tell the story at all. His effort was contagious.

• Neto played really well. He was aggressive. For large part of the game he dicated the match-ups. He slide his feet terrifically against Udrih and Dragic. He did it more often not without fouling and he had 3 steals. 13 points, 5 assists and 3 steals. That is a big time game for the rookie.

• Wade has not been good on back end of back to backs this year. He came in shooting 39% and went 3 for 17 tonight .

• These wins have been remarkable. It is a testament to the coaching staff, the commitment of the players and the overall character of the group.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Rudy returns, defense struggles, Lyles overcomes

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN
• How wonderful to see Rudy back on the floor? He made an immediate impact. The Rockets hit their first 6 shots and then Gobert came in and the Rockets went 1 for 6. The minute he went out the Rockets went back to scoring. The Jazz were +9 tonight with Rudy on the floor. He is just terrific.

• Rudy checked out with it a 4 point game with about 3 minutes left because of his minute restriction. Rudy wanted to keep going, but the staff said no. Hard decision but so smart of the organization to take this slowly and not putting anything at risk for the final 3 minutes of one game. Rudy is a long term part of this organization.

• Jazz defense is really struggling. To be good defensively you have to have 5 components. The Jazz have 2 of them great effort and good schemes. The other three are superior athleticism, length beyond natural for the position and experience. The Jazz have almost none of those three at any position right now.

• Harden is super. He is one of the leagues dominant offensive players. When the Jazz are forced to switch Neto onto Harden it is an incredible mismatch. Harden is dominate left handed but if you dig into his numbers he drives the same amount left and right with equal results. He has become so adapt to every shading him to his right hand he is now as equally unstoppable both directions.

• Chris Johnson got his first guarantee contract of his career today. He played on 5 different non guarantees last year. He played really well in his 19 minutes. He worked hard in the off-season to change his shot and it has accelerated his release on his shot. He made a bunch of nice heads up defensive plays as well.

• I thought Trey Lyles looked exhausted when the game started. He has played 19 games since Dec 1st and played somewhere near 40 games from November to April last year. With Gobert and Favors out he has had to play 20+ minutes on most nights. Impressively, he was able to fight through the fatigue and finish with 9 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. He made a few really sweet passes and he has a great feel on how to get the ball and to become open. I really like his game.

• Trevor Booker energy is awesome every night

• Quin is going to have an interesting balancing act when he has Favors and Gobert at full strength and then has to find a way to divide the remaining 32 minutes between Booker, Lyles and Withey

• Rodney Hood got hurt in the 3rd quarter. He turned his ankle inward after hitting Harden’s foot. He grabbed his right foot the minute he went down. It is hard to tell what the injury was from the way he grabbed onto the outside back of his right foot. Hope it is not too long.

• Jazz lead by 1 in the 3rd quarter when they had a 3 on 1 break and they executed it terribly (the 1 was Harden) and it turned into an Ariza 3 on the other side. The Rockets never relinquished the lead.

• Jazz finished the game without 5 of their top 6 players. At some point this is just getting absurd. Another night of strong effort but just not enough weapons.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Spurs are that good

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN
• Spurs tore apart the Jazz tonight with precision offense and the Jazz didn’t have the man power to match. The Spurs came at the Jazz with aggression in the fast break early in possessions and the Jazz got on their heels and never had an impact on the game defensively.

• The Spurs are so clinical in what they do that they knock you off your game defensively and it makes you tentative. The Jazz didn’t impact the Spurs at all defensively. At the same time the Spurs were awesome with their shot making. When they are in rhythm offensively they are on a different level.

• Trey Burke looked really good tonight. He played with an understanding of what the Spurs were willing to give him and what he could be successful doing. The Spurs were going to yield the mid range jumper and he got good looks and made the shots rather than forcing it into the paint and into areas where he couldn’t make shots.

• Trey added 4 assists as well.

• Our developing players looked completely overwhelmed at times tonight. The Spurs are so good they leave all your weaknesses out in the open to be seen by the world and they were visible tonight.

• Both teams got 25% of all available offensive rebounds tonight

• Jazz were soft with the ball early with at times early in the game and anytime you do something without complete aggression and assertiveness against the Spurs they are going to pounce on it.

• This game was different than the last game the Jazz played against the Spurs. In the last game the jazz tapped out. Tonight the Jazz stayed engaged and battled the night. Missing 4 of your top 6 players makes it virtually impossible to win games in the nba. The fact the Jazz have two wins in this span may be very fortunate.

• The Jazz offense was pretty good most of the night against an elite Spurs defense. They scored the 3rd most amount of points of any team against the Spurs in the 2nd quarter.

• When the Jazz lose Favors they turn to a rookie Trey Lyles. When the Spurs sit Aldridge they go to 2 time all-star David West. Two programs at very different stages.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – We got screwed and more edition

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN
• Part of me wants to type we got screwed and just leave it there. However, there is too much to the game to just leave the bitterness as the only thing on the page. We did get screwed however. On a perfectly executed play, the Jazz dropped the ball into Withey. Withey attacked the basket hard, he got fouled across the arm and body by Harrell and pushed in the back by Harden and no call was made. Incredible. Must be really embarrassing for the officials to watch this on film. Game was 91-89 Rockets when they missed the call. It forced the Jazz to foul the rest of the way.

• Rodney Hood had a chance to tie with 3 free throws. He made the first two and missed the 3rd. It is really hard to make 3 straight free throws. Even an 80% free throw shooter only makes three in a row 50% of the time.

• The Jazz played so hard again tonight. The Rockets were Western Conference Finalists. They are aren’t right but they are the same team and they were on the verge of a 5 game losing streak tonight. Their season may have been teetering the balance and they brought it in the 2nd half.

• Jazz 4th quarter offense was not good. 4 for 17 shooting and only 14 points. The game dragged to halt and it forced the Jazz to play in the halfcourt and they seemed to got bogged down. The Rockets switched every thing and stayed attached to the weakside shooters and it forced the Jazz into one on one games.

• Without Favors or Gobert it is really hard to run big small pick and roll because none of the bigs are a threat on the roll or the pop. So teams switch it and you don’t get an advantage. Then you are forced into playing a game where you force the switch and try to go 1 on 1 and this doesn’t match our personnel. If you run the flow offense or passing based offense they will still switch and it will run back into 1 on 1 basketball. This is tough task. If you have Gobert and Favors they probably can’t go as small, Favors is a threat for the 15 jumper he has been getting all year and they have to respect Gobert to the basket. Then it creates the defense to rotate and it can open up shots. However, with Trey, Hood, Hayward, Booker and Withey on the floor what can be run to gain an advantage? The 1/3 pick and roll is really the best option to create an advantage.

• Our 4 big guys tonight had 0 assists.

• Trey Lyles had a great game tonight. I loved him in the draft. He is finally showing all of his skills. He is a passer. He can play off the bounce. He has figured out which shots work and which shots are out of his realm. He has played off the bounce to get to a specific spot. He does all of this and is 6’10 235. He had 13 points and 4 rebounds in 22 minutes. He has been consistently good for a while.

• Most NBA games are decided by 4 or 5 possessions. Against Memphis it was hard to find any possessions that were mistakes. Tonight they existed. Hayward had 2 open floor turnovers that weren’t good, Trey Burke didn’t foul Ariza (he may have made both free throws) they let Terry drive down the middle for a layup, the mistakes existed more tonight.

• Harden took over the game in the 3rd quarter. After just 8 points in the first half he had 13 in the 3rd quarter and 9 in the 4th quarter.

• 23 points and 7 assists for Rodney Hood. Another super game.

• Great fight, crappy call, bummer to lose the lead. This one is going to sting a bit Big picture team doing all the same things that has allowed it to be above water with all these injuries.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – So much to say about an amazing win

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN
• Truly remarkable win by the Jazz tonight. So many levels to why this win is stunning. First being shorthanded without Exum, Burks, Gobert and Favors to beat a physically demanding Memphis. Second, the Grizzlies have won 50 games three straight years been to the playoffs 5 straight years and with all that experience the Jazz were able to hold off a close game win. Finally, the Jazz got huge performances from Jeff Withey and Tibor Pliess which no one say coming.

* This team plays so hard every night. We don’t talk about this enough. These guys bring it. I know they are getting paid blah blah blah. This is an incredible feat. This league is really hard. It is hard mentally, physically and emotionally. There is a guy on the other side every night who is trying to metaphorically or literally try to dunk on you. To battle every night is an incredible skill and should be commended every night.

• Quin and his coaching staff had a great game plan tonight on how to clog the middle, take away the go to move of Gasol and Randolph. Zach wants a rolling hook to the middle with the left hand from the right block. He got it once. Gasol wants a rolling hook to the middle with the right hand from the left block. He got it once. Incredible execution of the plan by the Jazz players

• Rodney Hood was the best player on the floor. He nailed a career high 32 points. He had 15 in the first half and then went scoreless in the 3rd quarter. He then torched the 4th quarter and the overtime with 17 points. He nailed the three ball early in the game and then late in the game he went to his controlled dribble in the paint game and drew fouls and made buckets. Hood is really inexperienced and has not had a lot of success in these moments. This is an incredible building and growing opportunity.

• The Miller family allowed the Jazz to cut Grant Jarrett and his million dollar contract and guaranteed contract to let the franchise keep Jeff Withey. The Miller family took ownership of the Idaho Stampede and are willing to lose over a million dollars a year (not official but rumor mill of what it costs) so the Jazz can develop players and that is what Tibor Pleiss did tonight.

• Quin Snyder called on Tibor Pleiss. We could tell today that Quin was going to use him. Quin had an eagle eye on everything Tibor did a shoot around. Tibor did a ton of great things. He slide out on Conley on the pick and roll and took driving lanes away, he grabbed 6 rebounds. He nailed two 16 foot baseline jumpers. Tibor worked really hard in Idaho and he deserves a good deal of credit. He told me he needed to play to understand the NBA rules, of what is illegal defense and what isn’t, what is a foul and what isn’t etc.

• Jeff Withey over the last 4 games is averaging close to a double double. He battled the Western Conference All-Star Marc Gasol for 32 minutes tonight. 12 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 4 blocks.

• Trevor Booker is the heart and soul of this team. Just talk about what he does instead of what he doesn’t it would be a shame to miss out on all the things he does well.

• The ball moved everywhere tonight. The passing was crisp. The shots were open. The Jazz are driving and passing at a level they haven’t all season. 36% of the Jazz shots were three point shots. That is how it has been without Gobert and Favors.

• Tony Allen was a huge factor in this game, Hayward scored on him in the first quarter, but they switched him on Hood in the 3rd quarter and Hood went scoreless and then in the 4th quarter and overtime he guarded Hayward and Gordon didn’t have a field goal. Allen is still able to have a huge impact on the game defensively.

• So many big plays tonight it is impossible to mention them all. Marc Gasol hit two shots including one to win the game he almost always makes. Trey Burke big drive late at Conley. Chris Johnson was super valuable tonight as a defensive sub allowing the Jazz to switch 1-4, Joe Ingles is an incredible ball mover and the Jazz were +16 in his 15 minutes.

• Jazz turnovers in the 4th quarter almost lost them the game. After a bad pass Courtney Lee had a breakaway Rodney Hood was able to foul him but he got the shot up toward the rim, the shot was going to go in and it was going to be a three point play. Gordon Hayward chased the play down and blocked the shot. Will never show up in the box score because of the foul but in a game that goes to overtime it saved a point

• I have left out a ton. Listen to POSTCAST and Jazz game Rewind for more

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Too much to ask

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN
• We are so shorthanded. Guys are being asked to do more than they are capable of handling and it show. Asking Rodney Hood to be the #2 offensive option is more than he is ready to handle. None of the guys off the Jazz bench were regular rotation players on an NBA roster at the start of last year other than Trey Burke so to ask them to really help supplement the offense is a big ask.

• Trey Burke was fantastic in the 4th quarter. He carried the team throughout the quarter and got the offense so sort of life. He went back to his Michigan days and carried the team.

• The offense finally got going in the 4th quarter and then the defense completely fell apart. Withey is a really good shot blocker but he is not fleet of foot so when he has to go out on the floor it is hard. Booker is awesome with his energy, but playing him at center is the ultimate I have no one else so what the heck.

• Trevor Booker was awesome on his way to 10 offensive rebounds – yes 10 offensive rebounds

• Here are the gory details – jazz shot 5 of 24 in the 1st quarter and 2 of 9 from 3; Hood went 0 for 5 in the quarter and Neto was 1 for 4. Hayward only got one shot attempt. In the 2nd quarter the Jazz went 6 of 17 and had only 31 points at halftime. Hood was 0 for 2 in the quarter, Burke was 0 for 2 and Chris Johnson was 0 for 4 all threes. In the third quarter the Jazz were 7 of 20 and 2 of 10 from 3. Hood missed his only attempt, Neto missed 2. Finally, Trey Burke got going in the 4th

• The Wolves hard doubled all pick and rolls in the 1st half and the Jazz didn’t do a great job of moving the ball, too often it got stuck on one side of the floor. However, when they did move the ball they got wide open looks and couldn’t make shots. Neto and Hood got looks and just couldn’t make them tonight.

• Rodney maybe hitting a rookie wall. He started his 50th game of his career tonight. He didn’t play a whole season last year and he looks worn out.

• Joe Ingles is a great shooter but his release takes a long time and when the defense stays more attached to him and he has a larger burden to shoot the looks are quite as good.

• Karl Anthony Towns is going to win an MVP in this league. The background on him is he is supposed to be a fabulous guy, very smart and deeply committed to being great. The Wolves have their guy. He is going to be one of the best in the league and carry this franchise for a long time.

• Rodney Hood has slipped under 40% for the season and 30% from three.

• Jeff Withey battled again tonight. He is really play well and being asked to carry a huge burden. Good pick up for the Jazz. When Rudy and Derrick come back he is going to be a valuable guy for this team

• So limited offensively and it was a putrid shooting display yet this team continued to play hard all night. It is really hard to play with this much commitment on defense when you can’t throw the ball in the ocean. I am really impressed the Jazz stayed in the game this long.

• I think the non call on Kevin Garnett changed the game- listen to postcast if you really want to hear what I think about it

• This team is what It is right now. So limited offensively. Asking a huge amount out of guys that aren’t ready for it. Quin Snyder said the other night the only thing left they can control is the effort and they are doing that. Going to be hard to maintain that for an extended stretch with each player being over extended.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Burks goes down, Clippers make plays

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN
• Just feel sick about Alec Burks. He went through so much last year and now to be possibly confronted with missing time again. He is such a hard worker. He wants to be great. He was making huge strides in how to play and how to make his teammates better as well. That was a brutal fall. He was out with concussion like symptoms and an ankle injury that after the game Quin said had a chance to be “more serious.” The quotes from the Jazz players about Alec shaking almost as though he was in shock are hard to hear.

• Jazz are beaten up. Dante, Rudy, Favors and now Alec. Plus, Rodney is really gimpy. This is not a team that was built to endure injuries. The bench is not veterans that can withstand larger roles. Ingles is in his 2nd year, Millsap and Chris Johnson are guys that were plucked off D-League and the back end of NBA rosters and are now going to have to play significant roles. This is a hard burden.

• The Jazz battled. I never want to lose the focus on how hard this team plays every night. It is really important and shouldn’t be forgotten. That is who this team is.

• Clippers execution down the stretch was awesome. They forced the Jazz to make a ton of decisions defensively and the Jazz made mistakes. Each time the Jazz made mistakes the Clippers took advantage.

• Chris Paul is awesome. He controlled everything. They ran the same play with a squeeze pick and roll (two picks waiting one tight on each side). The first time CP3 got an open look because the Jazz were worried about Jordan, the next time the Jazz worried about CP3 and hit Jordan on a dunk. Then they ran it again and got another option. Then they focused getting JJ Redick open and it was awesome. Redick ran off pick after pick and the Jazz were supposed to switch but at some point on each play the Jazz made a mistake and each time the Clippers found it and exploited it.

• Clippers lead the game 99-98 with 1:03 left in the game. Clippers ran the multiple screen play for JJ Redick. The Jazz switched every pick and handled it correctly and then Booker was on Redick and until he thought Gordon was coming back to Redick and Gordon thought he had Bookers man and Trevor released leaving Redick wide open for a three.

• The Jazz just make two many mistakes late against a team with this level of experience. Evrey player on the floor has been in the league for at least 10 years but DeAndre Jordan who has 8 years experience.

• Paul Pierce as a stretch 4 makes the Clippers offense really hard to guard. He hit 5 threes tonight. He didn’t have 5 threes in December

• Gordon Hayward had a strong game but struggled in the 4th quarter. He had 2 turnovers and no field goals in the 4th.

• Rodney Hood was the go to guy in the 4th quarter, which is good for him. He was just 2 for 12 in the final 5 minutes of a close game coming into the game tonight.

• The rookies were good tonight. Raul Neto has really good. He battled CP3. He is hitting shots. He was more aggressive. He had 9 points, 4 assists and 3 steals. Lyles is doing better every game. He is holding his own on defensive switches which is a really big deal. He finsiehd tonight with 6 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists.

• Trey Burke shooting is a little concerning. He is trending back to the last two years. He is 5 for his last 25 from three. His last 5 games he is shooting 39% from the field and 20% from three. He has made tremendous strides this year in his game. I hope he can regain the shot he had going earlier this year.

• Joe Ingles is the best spot up shooter in the NBA. Tonight he went 4 for 8 from three. He is deadly on the right corner three. He has hit on 19 of 36 in his career. His effective field goal % on spots up is over 80%

• Tough loss because of the injury. The effort was terrific again. Jazz have lost 24 games in the last two season by 5 or less.