EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Strong win in Milwaukee for Jazz

• Big win. Have been saying the Jazz need to win 2 or 3 games they aren’t favored to win to make the playoffs. This is one. Solid road win on the back end of a back to back.

• Found this to be an interesting game. The Jazz had a specific game plan on both offense and defense. Offensively move the ball, break the paint and you will get good looks from 3. The Bucks collapse into the paint and are particularly susceptible to the corner 3. On defense make sure you go under the picks and force Giannis and Jabari into outside shots. In the first half the Jazz executed the plan but it wasn’t really working. They were missing shots and the Bucks were making shots they don’t usually make. The Jazz stuck with the plan and in the second half it worked.

• Jazz went on 20-3 run to blow the game open in the 3rd quarter. Hayward had 12 in the run. The Jazz got the running going by hitting shots they missed in the first half and defensively taking away any transition from the Bucks.

• Giannis is incredible. He is comfortable playing the point at 7 foot tall. The Jazz made the lane hard for him and the first few times he drove to the basket he ran into a ton of help defense. He seemed less willing to drive as the night progressed. The Jazz did a great job getting in the lane in help defense off the Bucks non shooters.

• Trey Lyles played with Mack, Hayward, Hood and Favors to close the 2nd quarter and then with Gobert in the 4th quarter and those line-ups were terrific. Lyles seemed engaged defensively shifting and helping. This is key. His offensive skill set is awesome. The ability to pass off the bounce at that size is not normal.

• The Bucks were blitzing the pick and roll, which is close to doubling it. Mack ran the pick and roll with Lyles and would bring the two defenders back with him and then give it to Lyles in the middle of the floor. Now it is a 4 on 3. Lyles has to be a playmaker. This is what the Warriors do with Draymond Green when everyone doubles Steph. Lyles made the perfect read and hit Joe Ingles for the right corner 3 on 3 straight plays.

• Joe Ingles shot 50% last year on right corner 3 and this year is 20 of 33 from the right corner

• The Jazz bigs defending the paint undid the Bucks usual offensive approach.

• Shelvin Mack has changed the Jazz. He breaks the paint. He has increased the catch and shoot chances for Hayward and Hood. The pick and roll game of Mack and Favors in the middle of the floor should force defenses into choices that will open up the floor for different things on different nights. The 3 attempts have increased and with Mack on the floor they are falling at a very high rate.

• Lot of really big high effort plays tonight from Rudy’s reverse layin, to Favors grabbind second chances to Neto with a big three.

• Jazz tightened the rotation in the 2nd half playing just Neto, Ingles and Lyles off the bench. When you go through our lineup data and take out Booker, Burke, Johnson and Withey every lineup you put on the floor that has played 30 or more minutes this year is considerably positive.

• Jazz offensive rating with Shelvin Mack over the last 17 games is 107.2

• Strong win by the Jazz tonight. This battling for the playoff is awesome.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Slow start ends night early

• For the first time in a long time the Jazz came out a step slow and the Bulls put it on the Jazz hitting their first 7 shots and taking a 15-6 lead. The ballgame was never close after that.

• To the best of my recollection the Jazz only had one possession all night where they had the ball and were within 6 and that was in the final minute. The Jazz got the game to 5 or 6 a few times but every time the Bulls stretched it back out to 10 or 12 almost immediately.

• The box score will show a big night for Derrick Rose and he was fabulous. However, Taj Gibson made all the winning plays. He does everything on the floor. It feels like he gets every 50/50 ball. He holds his post position terrifically for a smaller player. His position defense is perfect. He is a fabulous winning basketball player. Plus, he made the big shot of the night on a mid-range shot.

• This is a make or miss league and Derrick Rose doesn’t have a lot of night where he goes 10 of 15 from the field. On the flip side the Jazz couldn’t make a 3 in the 4th quarter as they went 0 for 6 in the 4th from behind the arch.

• The jazz exploited the Bulls defense with the point guard and the big on the pick and roll because the Bulls weren’t giving anything to Hayward and Hood on the wings and this opened up a bunch of action in the middle of the floor for Mack and Favors. Those two are building a nice relationship with each other. Mack made a bunch of nice plays in the lane looking off defenders and getting opportunities for Favors.

• Favors finshed with 24 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists. Mack had a solid 15 points, 5 rebounds and 8 assists.

• Hayward and Hood couldn’t get free tonight and when they did they had their rhythm off and missed good looks.

• Ingles who had two really good games the last two nights but tonight he couldn’t find the range and went 1 for 7 and 1 for 5 from three.

• Gordon Hayward didn’t look like he trusted his body for most of the night

• Taj Gibson mobility made the night tough on Rudy Gobert

• Jazz aren’t going to win a lot of game when Hood and Hayward combine to go 9 of 30 from the field.

• Jazz didn’t make a 4th quarter three pointer. Jazz went 0 for 6 in the 4th quarter

• Jazz 4th quarter defense was strong holding the Bulls to 4 of 15 but weren’t able to knock down shots and went 8 of 25 themselves.

• This one was over early.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Mack and Lyles love affair

• Largest win of the year for the Jazz. Largest lead of the year for the Jazz. Lowest points scored this year by an opponent. Lowest point total this year by the Suns.

• I really thought this could be a tough match-up tonight for the Gordon Hayward less Jazz. The Suns can play in multiple manners big or 5 out and the Jazz are so short on bodies on the wings that I was concerned if they went small the Jazz would struggle. Turns out when the teams both played two bigs the Jazz were so dominant that it didn’t matter.

• Jazz got one of those buckets that seems to matter more than one basket at the end of the half. The Suns missed played a 2 for 1 and then got a terrible look and the Jazz answered with a 3 pointer from Lyles. Suns had the ball down 5 with a chance for 2 for 1 and instead it ended with the Jazz up 8. Jazz went on a 10-0 run to open the 3rd quarter and the game was over.

• Shelvin Mack walked toward a triple double tonight. He is coming off picks toward the middle with great aggressiveness and it is flatten the floor and opening up three point shots for everyone. The team is beginning to understand what Mack is going and getting open for him more and more. He could have had 12 to 15 assists tonight. The tempo of the team has increased also. Unlike Burke and at times Neto who would go to the rebounder to get the ball Mack pushes up the floor and gets the outlet pass much further up the floor. This is allowing the Jazz to get into the offense much quicker than they were earlier this year and allowing the offense to have an impact. The offense is based on getting an advantage and building on it. Mack is the first player who is doing exactly that. Mack’s pressence has to change the feeling in the locker room. This team supported Neto and Burke but knew they were at a significant disadvantage every night. Mack is not an all-star but he is solid and gives the Jazz a chance and that makes a big difference on how this team feels about itself. On trade night many of the articles about trade deadline didn’t even mention the Mack deal. It will have the largest impact in the NBA of any deal made at the deadline

• The Mack and Neto combination is giving the Jazz good defensive pressure at the point guard and the Jazz defensive performance is back to where it needs to be. Jazz are a top 10 defensive team going into the game and going to be better after this game.

• Mack is playing with great confidence.

• Before the Jazz got Mack they could have lost this game. Without Hayward if Hood has an off night and Burks is hurt how were they going to generate any offense. Plus, they were not going to be as good defensively on Brandon Knight who had an awful night.

• Trey Lyles was incredible offensively. His offensive skill set is out of this world and the top floor of his talent might limitless. He came to the Jazz not able to shoot the 3. Then he stepped in and started making mid range shots. Eventually, he added the corner 3 but couldn’t hit the above the break 3. Now the above the break 3 has arrived. When Lyles came to the league his best move from college was a pump fake and go. He killed people at Kentucky with it. Now he has added the outside shot his pump fake and go is even better. The pump fake and go was a stop and pop jumper but now he has figured out how to drive. Tonight he took a left hand dribble drive and finished at the rim and then took a right hand dribble drive and finished at the rim. Then just to send me into Trey Lyles man crush hysteria he took the ball on the left wing pumped faked drove and threw a one hand pass to Trey Burke at the top of the key for a three. His offensive ceiling is at the top floor of this league. He is 20. He played one year of college ball at the wrong position. His skill progression this season has taken many players in this league 3 or 4 years to develop. It is incredible. Now he needs to be a more engaged defensive player, he needs to execute game plans and he needs to become a stronger defensive rebounder. He will never be a rim protector and that is fine. If he decides he wants to impact games defensively as well as offensively he is going to be GREAT. I mean GREAT. He is the next version of Draymond Green skill 4 but with more offensive skills.

• Lyles is only 6 of 24 on above the break 3 this year but he is 5 of his last 12 after being 1 of his first 12.

• Joe Ingles was terrific tonight with a career high steals and a season high points. Sometimes it feels as though Joe is better the more he plays. If he can feel the game he seems to be a better player.

• Rudy Gobert was going to make sure that Alex Len who went #5 in draft when Rudy went #27 knew who he was

• Solid win. Let’s go steal some on the road and make the playoffs

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Best 48 minute effort of the season

• Maybe the best 48 minute effort of the season. Incredible tenacious effort from the Jazz. Beat the Cavaliers is one thing, beating them without Gordon is something completely different. This could big a huge momentum win for the Utah Jazz.

• The game was tied at end of 3 quarters and they outscored the Cavs 28-19 in the 4th quarter. Trey Lyles was a huge part of the surge to start the quarter scoring 10 points in the quarter before getting ejected.

• Shelvin Mack has been marvelous the last 3 games. The players are beginning to understand how he plays. On numerous times tonight Derrick Favors got himself into the position for passes by anticipating Mack would throw it and moved defenders out of the way before the pass was thrown. Mack is beginning to build a trust with Favors that he will do exactly that and it is building a connection.

• Think about Mack’s progression. He came out like a ball of fire. He had played only 179 minutes all year in Atlanta. His body had to revolt to some level. He has said as much that it has been tough. Add in that he is playing with players he has never been with and a team that is not having much time to practice. Now that he plays more, his body is coming around into NBA shape and he is beginning to understand his teammates.

• Rodney Hood had a huge burden tonight and has not been playing as well. His back is bothering him. He is exhausted in his first year as a starter and tonight he found something deep inside to carry him. Rodney cares about winning very deeply and that showed. He made huge shots. He took the burden. He carried this team in key moments of the game.

• The Jazz wanted to force LeBron to play outside of the paint. This is incredibly difficult. The Jazz went with bigger guys on LeBron with Joe Ingles and Trevor Booker rather than Rodney Hood so that he could just lower his shoulder into the paint. LeBron is great but he didn’t have the usual impact on the game.
lebron shot chart v. jazz

• The Jazz forced the Cavs into 42 three point attempts during the game. 42 of the 88 shots. The Cavs only hit on 10 of the 42. The Jazz kept the Cavs out of the open court and made them play in the half court. They showed major weakness dealing with the Jazz switching defenses.

• At one point the Jazz got the Cavs to play half court and try so hard to find mismatches that they just became a post up team to players that weren’t there main guys.

• Kyrie Irving stayed on the floor for 30 minutes after the game shooting after going 7 of 23.

• Derrick was a beast inside. He had 5 field goals inside the restricted area tonight. Plus, he had 7 free throw attempts.

• Rudy was +18 in 32 minutes

• Jazz lead after the 1st quarter again tonight. Jazz are the best first quarter team in the NBA since the All-Star Break.

• An enormous win. One of the most fun nights of the year at the arena. Hope this starts this team on a run.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Jazz cruise over dysfunction

• Solid win over a dysfunctional team. Every time you are frustrated just thank goodness you are not a Kings fan. Wow, what a dumpster fire. It my 20+ years in the NBA I have never been around anything like the Kings right now.

• Jazz did exactly what they needed to do which was hit them early and it ended the night. The end wasn’t pretty and we can nit pick about all the ways the Jazz could have closed the game better but the game was never really in jeopardy.

• Derrick Favors was a beast. Every time he plays a guy that is on USA Basketball he annihilates them. His biggest nights have been against Drummond, Davis and now Cousins. He had 28 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and a block. That is unreal. He did the other night in New Orleans as well. Derrick can be a beast he just needs to demand that every night he is the best player on the floor.

• The Kings went under on Gordon Hayward on the pick and roll tonight. The first time he was so stunned he didn’t react correctly but after that he buried 4 of his next 8 three point attempts. I can’t image that was really the game plan but with the Kings who knows. Hayward had 27 easy points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists.

• The Jazz starters with Shelvin Mack on the floor have been terrific. They came in as +12 per 100 possessions and then tonight they did it again. Tonight they were +11 in 8 minutes on the floor. This group is working well together.

• Mack was really good tonight. When he got matched up in the 3rd quarter against Seth Curry he was superior. When Mack has struggled it has been guys that are better than he is. Lowry in Toronto, Teague in Atlanta. The Jazz are pushing Mack beyond his comfort zone as a starter. He has never been a starter and therefore, some of the nights are going to be tough for him. But, he adds a maturity, a confidence and offensive level to the position we haven’t had this season.

• Rudy got in foul trouble all night and never got engaged in the game.

• Excited Chris Johnson that he hit two threes. When he makes shots he is really valuable. Consider that Bruce Bowen didn’t stick in the NBA until he was 30. CJ’s impact in this league is the Bruce Bowen mold. His career path so far is the exact same. The question is can he knock down the 3 point shots and particularly from the corner at a high rate. If he can then his other weaknesses are acceptable and his strengths become an assets. If he can’t then ……

• Rudy Gay is completely disengaged with the Kings. Last year he used 24% of his possession in the pick and roll and averaged 20 points a game and a career high assists rate. This year he uses 6% of his possessions in the pick and roll and has a career low assist rate. He is an elite talent. Someone might get a really interesting player when he leaves Sacramento.

• Solid win. A win you had to have. If the Jazz could pull off a surprise of Cleveland and then grab the Phoenix game maybe they can gain the confidence that has propelled Portland and Charlotte to great runs.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Shelvin returns the Favors

• Strong performance from the Jazz tonight. For the last few weeks the Jazz starters have been very good but after they build the lead it all falls apart. Tonight the Jazz starters built the lead and the bench held it together and then at the end of the 3rd quarter they built on it and ran away from the Wizards.

• The key to the entire game was the Wizards had 0 fast break points thru 3 quarters of basketball and didn’t get their first till the 9:30 mark of the 4th quarter.

• Shelvin Mack had his career high tonight. How cool is that. He has been cut by the Wizards twice in his career and tonight he killed them. That has to be so sweet. He finished with 27. Mack hit open threes when the Wizards went under, he hit floaters, he lowered his shoulder into Wall and drove him to the basket. He was really terrific. What a neat story to do this against the team that cut you.

• Randy Whitman echoed the thoughts of Mike Budenholzer before the game that Shelvin Mack is an amazing guy, a great teammate and has elite level basketball IQ

• Jazz focused on two plays at shootaround and they were good defensively on both. They denied Wall the drive from the left wing to the center of the floor all night by keeping him in the mid range and shooting mid range. I don’t believe he ever turned the corner into the lane. Nene killed the Jazz last game on the left block rolling to the middle on the right hand dribble. The Jazz didn’t allow it to happen tonight.

• Trey Lyles scored one of the biggest field goals of the night when the Jazz offense was struggling and then made a move that will make me dreamy for weeks. He caught at the top of the three point line. With two dribbles he got to the rim and finished with a left hand at the rim. This is an incredible move for a guy 6’10 240. Add the three point shot from above the break and he will be unguardable. I am so excited for Trey Lyles.

• The Jazz line-ups with the starters and Lyles at the 4 with Gobert or Favors have both been very successful

• Good win, Jazz had lost 3 in a row at home. They need to feel wins. This group if it gets bench play can get some momenteum and with the schedule Dallas has make a run. They need to string a few together.

• Trey Burke played back up shooting guard it didn’t work well defensively.

• Gotta go get one in Sacramento.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Brilliance of the Warriors

• The Warriors are simply terrific. They move the ball so fast. The ball is electric. They have a six sense. It is incredible. They turn the defense into coyote in the road runner cartoon, spinning around with no idea what just happened.

• The Warriors had 34 assists tonight. That is 10th highest assist total of the season. It was the 33rd time they had 30 assists in a game. The Hawks are next in the NBA with 13.

• Steph Curry only scored 12 points it is the lowest point total he has had in a full game all season

• The Warriors switching defense made the Jazz offense stagnant. I am not sure if this was the plan but it was strange. It is not something the Jazz usually do. One of the signatures of a Quin Snyder offense is the back side action coming to the ball or creating another action and the opposite of that was happening tonight as the Jazz were stagnant

• The Jazz stayed in the game early and were only down 2 at the end of 1. The game was usually between 3 to 6 for most of the 2nd quarter and the Jazz got it down to 2-0 when all of a sudden the Warriors went on a 9-0 run to close the first half including an incredible half court buzzer beater by Curry. Then the Warriors held the game at 11 for most of the 3rd quarter until they finally wore the Jazz down enough to get them to wilt and boom the game was at 20. Lights out Warriors have done it again .

• Mo Speights hit everything for the Warriors. One thing that is so great about the Warriors is they let every player be who they are and don’t try to wedge them into a role or a team need. They let the player play as they are comfortable. Speights is a gunner who is usually not a defender and they have embraced it. Livingston is a big point guard who doesn’t shoot the 3 and plays in the mid-range and they have embraced it. Barbosa is a dual guard without a natural point guard approach who plays a million miles an hour and they have embraced it. Ian Clark is a shooter who never was able to get comfortable as a point guard and they have embraced it. This is the real beauty of the Warriors.

• Without Rodney Hood, Trey Burke played the back up shooting guard and hit some shots. This might be what his role in this league is going to be a off the bench scorer who is not in charge iof creating for his teammates.

• Chris Johnson started for Rodney Hood and was overly juiced early. This is a tough game to start

• Warriors switch and it felt like the Jazz ended up trying to go one on one on Draymond Green an awful lot and that is never a very good match-up.

• Not a lot to this one. The Warriors are on another level completely. Quin Snyder said he wanted his team to play well and they really did for most of the first half and good deal of the third quarter but the Warriors are too good.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Speed, Quickness and Defense

• Hawks came into the game as the #1 defense in the NBA over the last 20 games and they showed it tonight. They are crazy fast. They have extreme quickness. They play as a unit. They adhere to their system and they completely flummoxed the Jazz.

• The Jazz started the night well with a solid 1st quarter. Jazz scored 27 points. Then the Hawks clamped down. The jazz shot 5 of 20 in the 2nd and 5 of 23 in the 3rd. 10 of 43 for 24 minutes. The Hawks have held 4 of their last 5 opponents under 40% and that includes the Warriors. The Hawks are #1 team in the NBA over last 20 games in opponents FG% and 3pt%.

• Shelvin Mack may have been too juiced up. He had been the third string point guard for the Hawks the last two years and wanted to prove that he should have played. Instead he got knocked off his game and keep pushing to make an impact and it went the other way. Mack finished 2 for 13. He hit a corner 3 and a layup at the buzzer, the floater in the lane just wouldn’t fall for him.

• Jazz had a 13 point lead in the 2ndquarter

• Hood hit back to back threes, Hayward scored or assisted on the next 7 and the Jazz were within 5 with 5:08 left. However, the Jazz didn’t get stops. This has been the issue all season long. In the final 5 minutes the Hawks scored on 7 of 11 possessions.

• Game was 77-72 Jazz had the ball and Joe Ingles threw an ill-advised pass that was intercepted and then the Jazz committed a break away foul and the Jazz trailed 78-72.

• Jazz committed 20 turnovers

• Jazz shot 7 of 26 from three with Neto going 0 for 3 and Joe Ingles going 1 for 5. Since Neto started coming off the bench he is shooting 20% from three and Joe Ingles since he hurt his knuckle in Charlotte is shooting 11 for 43 (25.5%)

• I have the game with 98 possessions which means the Jazz defense was terrific. Holding the Hawks to 91 points on 98 possessions is solid work.

• Hawks went small for a good deal of the night with Millsap at the 5 and Humphries at the 4 to combat some of the things the Jazz do.

• Quin went back to the starters at the 10 minute mark. At the 6 minute mark he decided to play without a point guard for the rest of the game closing with Ingles, Hood and Hayward

• Hawks defense has been elite and it was too good for the Jazz tonight. Shelvin Mack had a really poor night but maybe that makes sense since he was there third point guard all season and now has played 50 more minutes in Utah than he did in Atlanta.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Jazz break losing streak v. NOP

• Strong performance by the Jazz tonight. Great to get a win ending the five game losing streak and super to never let the game get close.

• Game got to 70-70 and the Jazz went on a 14-0 run to close the 3rd quarter and that ended the game. Key play was a flagrant foul on Hawyard the Jazz took a 4 point game and made it 8 and then kept running away with the game

• Derrick Favors has been a beast all year against the Pelicans. He came in averaging 25.5 in the first two games. Tonight he was dominant again. He hit on 11 of 19 and attacked the basket with aggressiveness off the pick and roll. Favors finished with 28 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists and 6 blocks

• Gobert’s defense on Anthony Davis in the first half changed the game. Davis was 3 for 17 in the first half. Gobert’s length forced Davis to alter his shots and got him off the spots he wanted to use. Gobert’s defense forced the Pelicans to play a center so they could keep Anthony Davis at the power forward. It worked to get Davis going in the 3rd quarter but it also meant that Asik and Perkins played and Ryan Anderson didn’t

• Jrue Holliday who killed the Jazz in the last game didn’t have as much room tonight and wasn’t nearly as efficient as he was in the last game.

• Quin used a tighter rotation tonight. No Trey Burke. Trey Lyles didn’t play the 2nd half. Chris Johnson roll was a bit limited. Joe Ingles played more tonight and had an impact. He was more aggressive and made a few great passes. He played with the ball in his hand a big more.

• Gordon Hayward has become amazingly consistent. 22 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists tonight on 8 of 16 shooting. He is playing really hard and leading the team through these games.

• Jazz continue to be very good with the starters on the floor. Tonight they held their own better with the second units on the floor. Quin went back to the starters to close the 2nd quarter so they played more time on the floor together.

• Each Jazz starter had 2 assists. With everyone but Rudy with 3.

• Joe ingles was +24

• Peicans defense is stunningly bad at the rim for their personnel.

• Rockets going to lose tonight on the first night of a five game road trip

• Going 1-3 on this road trip keeps the alive in the playoff race. If they had gone 2-2 they could have taken a lead position in the race and 0-4 would have probably meant too much too overcome. Still right in it. Need to win 3 of the next 4.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Makes sense just not easy to handle

• Similar story tonight to many of the other games in this 5 game losing streak. The Jazz were unable to close out a game. The Jazz lost a close game. The Jazz were unable to make the plays needed to swing the game in their favor. The Jazz lack of depth put them behind the eight ball.

• When the Jazz have their 4 man guys on the floor they are terrific. They were +11 with Hayward, Hood, Favors and Gobert on the floor. Then when they have just 3 of them on the floor they were -4 and when they only have 2 of them on the floor they are -13. This is the exact same as the Boston game.

• The Grizzlies were better in the 2nd and 4th quarter than the Jazz were in the 1st and 3rd. The Jazz jumped to a 24-10 lead. Then the lead by 9 at the end of 1. The Grizzlies shut down the Jazz bench units in the 2nd quarter and lead by 10 at the half. Sure enough the Jazz main guys lead them back and by the time we started the 4th the Jazz were up by 5. Same thing again. Jazz offense goes completely south and the Jazz go 3 of 20 shooting in the 4th quarter and don’t make enough plays to win the game. 22nd time this year Jazz have been in a game within 5 points in the final 5 minutes and lost the game. Only Minnesota with more.

• The Alec Burks injury in addition to being without Dante has really showed itself since the all-star break. Not sure why it has become so prevalent. Joe Inlges and Chris Johnson are both struggling on the offefnsive end. Joe has not been shooting it well since he busted up his knuckle in Charlotte. Chris Johnson has missed 10 straight threes. So Quin tried Trey Burke at shooting guard in the Alec Burks roll. It worked in Toronto and didn’t work tonight. Trey simply can’t defend the 2s of the Grizzlies he is too small. Then he didn’t make his shots so it was really a tough deal. I don’t know what Quin’s answer is. CJ gives defense and hustle. Ingles gives stability and ball handling. Trey has the possibility of hitting some shots.

• 15 year veteran Zach Randolph made a ton of plays tonight. He was ballin. He nailed the back breaking three with :03 on a shot clock and then grabbed back to back offensive rebounds so the Jazz never got a chance to tie the game. The Jazz were switching and the bigs were out contesting shooters so Shelvin Mack was forced to screen out Zach Randolph. Zach reached over Mack for the rebound

• I will have to rewatch it but I don’t think Gordon Hayward touched the ball for the final few minutes of the game. This was not Gordon not being assertive this was the offensive going on without Gordon.

• Shelvin Mack has changed the balance a bit with his ball handling. It seems to have less ball handling for Gordon and Rodney. The shot selection seems to be moving in different directions. Teams are taking away the wings and making Derrick Favors and Trey Lyles make shots. Teams are willing to concede Favors mid range jumper

• Trey Lyles is going to be really good. I think I might just write this every time. Defensively he needs to get stronger and that will happen but his natural offensive feel is terrific.

• Rodney Hood’s world has changed. Last time he played Memphis he had a career high 32. Now teams are clamping down on him and he is not getting the shots he used to get. He has gone 10 games without scoring 20 points. He is averaging about 12 points a game since the All-Star Break. He is on the front page of the scouting report and it changes everything. He also maybe wearing down. He has never been through a season like this with this role before.

• Rudy Gobert had a career high 18 rebounds

• These are hard to swallow for everyone involved. They make sense but it doesn’t make them any easier to handle. Jazz need to find a way to win some of these games this year if they are going to make the playoffs. Pretty obvious.