Emptying the Noggin — Tough night for the Jazz

Summary: The Wolves blow out the Jazz in a game that was never close, 107-80.

  • Quin Snyder said it after the game: “We got smashed.”
  • I’m surprised by this game. I didn’t think the road trip return would lead to a dead team. The first game back from a road trip feeling like another road game is an age-old adage in the league, but I didn’t think it would happen tonight.
  • The effort to come back versus OKC must have really taken its toll. George Hill had to go 38 minutes last night because we couldn’t play without him on the floor. Tonight, he lacked any juice. The Jazz usually try to keep their guys to 33 minutes and last night he had to give up more.
  • The Timberwolves held the Jazz to 4 of 16 from three earlier this year and tonight they were 4 of 19.
  • Dante Exum had some nice moments tonight. He is showing an offensive flash and a quick first step. He is taking a lot of contact at the rim and not getting calls. When he gets stronger, you would think he will start to get calls. He was totally outclassed by Wall and Westbrook as you would expect, but tonight he showed the signs you want to see.
  • No Rodney Hood tonight.
  • This was an offensive loss — the Jazz’s offensive rating at halftime was a 75.
  • The Jazz never made any significant runs.
  • Derrick Favors had a nice bounce tonight. On a back end of a back-to-back, that is a great sign. He defended better on the floor than I have seen in a while. He got deflections. This is a big deal.

This is a tough night for the Jazz. They got blasted. There are three big games against below .500 teams coming up for the Jazz.

Emptying the Noggin —  Unprecedented shooting night puts Thunder over Jazz

Summary: The Jazz fight back after a historically hot shooting start by the Thunder to take the lead in the fourth quarter, but Russell Westbrook is simply otherworldly and carries the Thunder to a win, 109-106.

  • The Thunder opened the night hitting 12 straight threes. They are 30th in the NBA in 3-point shooting and they hit 12 straight. This has never happened to open a game in NBA history. They equaled a record set in a game between the Seattle Sonics and the Vancouver Grizzlies. It was absurd — the hottest shooting sequence you can imagine.
  • Westbrook had 18 points in the first quarter, which was the most he has had in a first quarter this season. He scored 15 straight Thunder points at one point.
  • The Jazz stayed in the game. They trailed by 12 at the half, 11 going into the fourth quarter but never got blown out of the game. The Thunder finally cooled down and the Jazz got some lineups and matchups they were able to exploit and took the lead in the fourth quarter.
  • Westbrook scored 12 straight points in the final two minutes of the game for his second straight 40-point triple double. He has 16 30-point triple doubles this year and the Thunder are 14-2 in those games.
  • With the Jazz up four points, Westbrook hit a tough three from the left wing. The Jazz got an open look for Hayward but he missed, Westbrook skied over Gobert for the rebound and went coast-to-coast with an unequalled recklessness, scored over Hill and drew the foul to give the Thunder a two-point lead.
  • The Jazz got a good look for George Hill but he missed the three for lead with :10 left. The Jazz got the rebound and Joe Johnson drove baseline on Steven Adams, but turned it over on the drive.
  • The Jazz had a very good offensive night. They got the mismatches and switches they wanted, and were able to execute at a very high level. The offensive rating for the night was 113, which is really good.
  • The Thunder finished the night 16 of 23 from three and are the worst 3-point shooting team in the league.
  • The trades for McDermott and Gibson completely change the Thunder. They are a ton better than they were previously. They have no gaps other than at backup point guard.
  • George Hill played 38 minutes tonight and in the 10 minutes he was off the floor, the Jazz played Dante Exum and Alec Burks at point guard and the Jazz were -13 in those minutes.
  • The Jazz were +5 with Joe Johnson at the 4 tonight.
  • Westbrook was 1-13 on midrange shots tonight and was still is able to dominate the game. It is incredible.
  • Alec Burks had 13 points and it was his first time in double figures in six games.
  • This is a big win for Thunder. A loss and the Jazz would have been up four games on them in the loss column and that is too much to overcome. The Jazz need to split the season series with a win in OKC next time.
  • From a Jazz standpoint, I am not sure how to feel about this one. A win would have been remarkable and it felt like they might get it at some point. However, if the Thunder are going to hit 12 straight threes and 16 of 23 overall, then it isn’t your night. To fight back and be in position to win is pretty awesome. Lastly, the best player on the floor tonight was on the other team. The last two nights, the best player on the floor was on our team.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Jazz Defensively shut down Wiz and Wall

Summary: The Jazz play a fabulous game and lead by as many as 24 before winning by 10 in Washington. Jazz defense was dominating throughout the game and completely overwhelmed the Wizards.
• The Wizards had won 18 of 22. They were 25-7 at home the most wins of anyone in the NBA and the Jazz blew them out of the gym.

• The Jazz transition defense was terrific keeping John Wall out of the open court and the presence of Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors, each with 4 blocks, keep the Wizards from penetrating. Then when the Wizards got into the half court set the Jazz were able to keep them on their heels with very little rhythm.

• John Wall was only able to get 5 shots off in the first 6 seconds of the shot clock. That is his game.

• Bradley Beal got into foul trouble and the Wizards desperately need him in the half court. He didn’t have his first field goal until early in the 3rd quarter.

• The Wizards make a run at the Jazz and got it to 6 but Gordon Hayward scored the final 7 Jazz points with an incredible offensive rebound and follow, then a straight away three and finished with a step back 20 footer. Rodney Hood after the game on radio when asked about Hayward said that “He is a bad boy”

• Hayward had 30 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists.

• The story is the same each night. The jazz star players are awesome. Rudy Gobert had 15 points and 20 rebounds. This was the 15th time Gobert has had 15 rebounds, the 22nd time he has had 15 points and the 9th time he has had a 15-15 this season. That is remarkable.

• The Jazz are throwing two lineups out on the floor right now. They play Gobert and Favors together and teams really have a hard time scoring against the Jazz. Then the Jazz play the spread floor Joe Johnson at the 4 lineup and teams have a miserable time trying to stop the Jazz offensively.

• Tonight Jazz were even when Joe Johnson was at the 4. Jazz starters who have not been great this year were +8.

• Jazz are 10-1 now with this starting line-up, 22-6 when Hayward and Hill both play and 25-9 when Hill starts

• Game was tied at 24 after 1 but the Jazz stifled the Wizards in the 2nd quarter holding them to 15 points (Wizards shot 7 of 23 with 0 for 3 from 3) and winning the quarter 25-15. Then the Jazz stretched it to 24 in the 3rd.

• Jazz allow very few three point shots.

• This was not a good night for Dante. John Wall was too much. Jazz were -12 in 10 minutes he played

• Washington front court did no damage – Morris had 7, Gortat 6 and Potter 6

• This game was really not very close. The Jazz lead by 10 or more from the first 21 minutes of the 2nd half. This was an impressive win by the Jazz.

Emptying the Noggin — Bucks get no run against dominant Jazz

Summary: The Jazz started slow but surged ahead of Bucks in a game that was never close. The Jazz had every chess move to answer the Bucks in a blowout win, 109-95.

  • The last time the Jazz and the Bucks played, the Jazz shot 19 corner threes. Tonight, the Bucks altered their defensive approach to take away the corner three. As a result, the Jazz waltzed down the middle of the lane for dunk after dunk after dunk — 11 in total thru the first three quarters. The Bucks were covering the corner three shooters and the Jazz had the answer to whatever the Bucks threw at them.
  • The Jazz changed the rotation tonight and played Joe Johnson exclusively at the 4. Joe Johnson checked in for Favors as the first sub. In the next 14 possessions, the Jazz scored 26 points. The floor spacing and the offensive versatility with Gobert at the 5 and Johnson at the 4 is incredible. Going into the game, the Jazz were averaging 125 pts per 100 possessions with this lineup.  Tonight, it wasn’t as good over the whole night, but this is a key lineup for the Jazz moving forward.
  • Rudy Gobert and Gordon Hayward continue to be unbelievably reliable, night-in and night-out stars. Gobert dominated the inside of the game defensively and offensively. He got great seal position on numerous possessions and scored at the rim. What he did to Monroe and others at the rim all night was remarkable. Hayward was unstoppable offensively, scoring of 11 of 17 shots and finishing with 29 points.
  • There were so many good performances tonight. The rotation felt very solid with nine players playing, with the 10th man providing 10 minutes or so to prevent anyone from playing too many minutes. Ingles played behind Hood, sliding between the 2 and the 3 and Burks played when Hayward was on the bench for most of the night. Favors slid to the 5 for some minutes with Joe Johnson. The rotation looked good because everyone played well and the Jazz controlled the game.
  • Over the break, I did a bunch of research on players coming off ACL injuries and they all played noticeably better post the All-Star break. Dante Exum’s first game after the All-Star break was solid: 12 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal in 16 minutes. He still has a ton to learn, but he looks much more a part of what is taking place.
  • Joe Ingles had 7 rebounds and 5 assists and was +15 in 26 minutes.
  • Derrick Favors had a great game: 26 minutes and 19 points. He was a force tonight both offensively and defensively. I have said this all year — the key for the Jazz is going to be how they play defensively with Rudy Gobert off the floor and Derrick on. Coming into the game, in 500 minutes the Jazz’s offensive rating was 107 and defensive rating was 109 with Favors on and Gobert off. If the Jazz can start defending with this lineup, there are big things ahead.
  • The Jazz won their sixth straight game against the Bucks.
  • The Jazz’s offensive rating tonight was a 120, which is their eighth best offensive performance of the season. The defensive rating was a 105, which is a notch above league average but the Bucks are the tenth best offense in the NBA.
  • Everyone should be mentioned as the entire team played terrific basketball for the final 44 minutes of the game, and the Bucks never made any run at all.

Emptying the Noggin — Jazz get a must-win against bad defensive team

Summary: The Jazz broke a three-game losing streak heading into the All-Star break with a blowout win over the Portland Trail Blazers, 111-88.

  • The Jazz’s defensive plan on Lillard and CJ was terrific. They played a bit more aggressively with the big man on the ball handler and it stymied the Blazers’ flow. Lillard went 3 for 19 and CJ went 8 for 19.
  • George Hill was incredible defensively tonight, denying passes, making Lillard and CJ work and then forcing them exactly where the Jazz wanted defensively. This was a great leadership night for Hill as this team needed a good defensive game.
  • The Jazz’s offense struggled early, scoring just 18 in the first quarter and 22 in the second quarter. The Jazz hit on only 3 of 17 shots outside of the paint in the first half of the game. In the second half, the Jazz started to make shots you would expect them to make and ran away from Portland.
  • The Jazz went 8 of 10 from three in the second half to finish 11 of 22 from three against the Blazers who are the 28th ranked team in the NBA defending the three-point shot.
  • Dante Exum had a really exciting game for himself and the fans. The burst that made him the fifth pick and the draft was there, and he was — for the most part — in control around the basket, not throwing wild shots at the rim. Dante is going through a nearly impossible task of figuring out who he is in the league and rehabbing from the ACL at the same time. He looks more and more healthy by the game and as that worry subsides, he will be able to discover how he can be a valuable NBA player. Right now, it is with his aggressiveness to the basket. He is a poor shooter (29% on all jump shots) but he has a gift with his length and his burst of speed.
  • In the first half, Gordon Hayward was 2 for 9, George Hill was 3 for 8 and the Jazz still led by three points. They got rolling in the second half: Hayward hit 6 of 9 and Hill hit on 4 of 7, and the Jazz exploded for a 71 point second half.
  • Joe Johnson has been on fire from three – 20 of his last 36.
  • Derrick Favors’ 25 minutes were really good tonight. He only scored 2 points and had 6 rebounds, but he was good defensively tonight in his roll with helping on the guard play.
  • Joe Ingles got free for three, hitting on 4 of 6. He has not been given that air space recently.
  • Gordon Hayward capped off an awesome first half of the season with 22 points 6 rebounds 7 assists.
  • This is a nice, must-needed win. Portland is awful defensively and the Jazz took advantage. The Jazz go to an impressive 26-7 against below .500 teams.

Emptying the Noggin — Clippers impose their will on Utah

Summary: The Jazz get blown out by the Clippers, 88-72, trailing by as many as 29 late in the third quarter and offensively struggling the entire game.

  • The Clippers came into this game physically imposing their will on the Jazz. Thurl Bailey mentioned early in the game that it was chippy. The Clippers came in tonight with the objective of establishing a dominance over the Jazz in case they met in the playoffs and they did exactly that to the Jazz.
  • The Jazz’s offense never got rolling. They scored 19 points in the first quarter and then went 12 of 41 shooting combined in the second and third quarters. The Jazz did the same versus Boston, hitting on 12 of 44 shots.
  • Gordon Hayward was 2 for 12 and George Hill was 2 for 11.
  • This is a great win for the Clippers. They are 2-0 in the season series versus the Jazz. They just went 3-2 on the road trip without Chris Paul, though I still don’t believe Blake Griffin and Chris Paul complement each other.
  • The Jazz have lost at home to Memphis, Oklahoma City and the Clippers this month, all of whom were behind Utah in the playoff picture at the time. Those are games you would like to win at home.
  • There is not a lot of analysis that goes into this game. The Clippers took it to the Jazz, and as the Jazz’s offense got worse and worse, their defense got a bit softer. Playing defense when you aren’t making any shots is a nearly impossible thing to do in the NBA.
  • Boris Diaw got the first run at power forward tonight instead of Trey Lyles. Lyles came in the second half when the game was virtually over and went 0 for 9 in 13 minutes.

The All-Star break can’t come soon enough for this group. They need to re-establish who they are, get a clear picture of everyone’s roles and get ready for a final push for playoff position.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Celtics are a miserable match-up for the Jazz

Summary: The Boston Celtics continue to be a terrible match up for the Jazz and blew the Jazz out from the start.

  • This is the first paragraph I wrote after the first game with the Celtics in Boston: “The Jazz found no answer for Boston’s offensive system all night. Boston plays a 5-out offense where all 5 players are playing outside the paint. A player will cut through the lane but then never stop in the paint and the offense continues with 5 out and the lane wide open. This sent the Jazz for loops we haven’t seen all year. Boston was able to get dribble penetration into the paint and the when the Jazz’s defense shifted into the lane to help they ended up in a complete scramble. The Jazz are the second best team at not allowing three-point shots to be taken by the opponents allowing just 26.8% of opponents’ shots to be threes. Tonight, Boston took over 40% of their shots as threes. The Jazz couldn’t control the ball and once that happened it was over and Boston was bombing away and making shots.”
  • This is the same story tonight. The Jazz’s defensive system is built on working as a collective unit and driving the ball handler off the three-point laie and into the defensive presence in the middle (Rudy Gobert). The Celtics big can all shoot so they set the pick and pop out to the three-point line and then Gobert or our other big has to go with the shooter and the Jazz’s defensive system doesn’t work to the same effectiveness. The Celtics are so set to playing 5-out that they even ran a double stagger pick, where the ball handler runs off two picks and both of them popped. The traditional way everyone runs that is one big rolls to the basket and the other pops to the three-point line, but the Celtics popped both bigs.
  • Isaiah Thomas killed the Jazz in transition tonight. He went 4 for 5 in transition with three 3-pointers. These were just poor defensive plays by the Jazz. The Jazz’s big was supposed to come up on the first two and prevent him from taking the three. The big did a great job of getting back in transition, but they didn’t come all the way out to prevent the shot. That is a tough assignment but that is what great players make you do. The third three was a case of a guard simply not picking him up above the three-point line which is totally inexplicable.
  • The Jazz didn’t have the ball movement on offense they have had the last few games and the Celtics eliminated Rudy Gobert on the roll. I am not sure if this was entirely the Celtics doing or if the Jazz lost their collectiveness on the offensive end.
  • The Jazz missed a ton of open looks and the Celtics hit everything. It is hard to say if this was the Jazz showing no resistance defensively and so the Celtics were in rhythm and the Jazz were being speed up by the Celtics and therefore what looked like open looks actually didn’t feel as good to the players as they looked to us.
  • Gordon Hayward had a really strong night for the Jazz on both ends of the floor.
  • The Jazz never led tonight.
  • The Celtics were without Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder but got unreal performance from Gerald Green who was 7 of 8 from the field and James Young who was 4 of 7. These guys are not regular rotation players and they played with great freedom.
  • Missing good looks tonight can’t be underestimated. Dante Exum got a wide open three and he missed it and he is now 8 of 41 on corner threes and Alec Burks had a wide open three from the top and he missed, and he is now 4 of 17 from the above the break three. These were huge shots in the Celtics’ second quarter run. 
  • The Jazz missed Rodney Hood tonight because the Celtics can hide Isaiah Thomas on Joe Ingles defensive and the Jazz couldn’t take advantage.
  • Dante Exum’s four shots in five minutes and Lyles 11 shots in 22 minutes. Let’s keep an eye on their usage rates.
  • The next two games before the break are big for the Jazz.

Emptying the Noggin —  Perfect offense, and then…

Summary: The Jazz played beyond perfection offensively to take a 21-point lead in the second half, but blew it and fell to the Mavericks in overtime.

  • This is a tough one to swallow — up by 21 with 6:00 minutes left in the third quarter. Up by four points with :20 left. Up two with :17 seconds left and the ball. These are scenarios where you are supposed to win the game. Tonight, the Jazz didn’t. Give Dallas a lot of credit for staying engaged in the game despite the Jazz’s performance early and the Mavs were able to pull out their 10th win in 15 games.
  • So many things went wrong late. Rudy Gobert committed his sixth foul with :20 left up four points when trying to deny Dirk the inbounds pass. Why Gobert was playing that aggressively at that moment with five fouls is unclear. The foul on Rudy was called before the inbounds pass, so the Mavericks got a tech free throw and the ball. Dirk missed the free throw, but the Mavericks scored on the inbound in less than a second on a Barnes dunk. Then, the Mavericks doubled Hayward so he couldn’t get the inbound. The Jazz didn’t have a point guard on the floor since George Hill didn’t play and it went to Burks who lost the ball when Harris knocked it off of Alec and out of bounds.
  • The Jazz were up just two points and Gobert had fouled out of the game. The Maverick’s missed their next attempt but without the rebounding of Gobert, the ball fell out to Dirk who was at the left elbow and he nailed the shot to tie the game. Hayward missed his chance to win the game and off to overtime the Jazz went.
  • Overtime without Hill, Hood and Gobert on the back end of a back-to-back having lost a 21-point lead went pretty much exactly as you would anticipate.
  • The Mavericks got rolling against the Jazz by forcing the Jazz into switches and bringing their little guards out on the floor against a Jazz big and with a stretched floor driving to the basket and scoring. Curry had two huge baskets late when he was guarded by Gobert on the switch and got by him for layups.
  • The Mavericks went on a 30-12 run to get back in the game.
  • The Mavericks led the game by five points — 30-25 — in the second quarter and the Jazz went to Joe Johnson with Rudy Gobert. Amazingly, the Jazz scored 27 points on the next 12 possessions. That is truly incredible.
  • The Jazz continued that incredible offense into the third quarter to take the 21-point lead. At one point, the Jazz threw three straight lobs to the rim. They were having a blast and rolling. Then they lost momentum and could never got it back
  • Quin tried lineup after lineup tonight. Without Hill, the Jazz tried playing Alec and then went with Ingles and Hayward with Joe Johnson. Dante Exum didn’t fare well in his start and had a brutal sequence where he allowed Justin Anderson through the lane on a free throw for a dunk follow and then wasn’t paying attention on the inbound and Yogi Farrell stole it from him on his first bounce as Dante looked away. Shelvin never got in a rhythm either, going 1 for 4 but he did have seven assists.
  • Hayward had 36 points — his season high.

When the Jazz got hot, Joe Ingles was a large part of it with four made 3s.

Emptying the Noggin — Jazz overpower Pels

Summary: On the second night of the road trip, the Jazz were equally as dominant as they were in the first game of the trip, completely overpowering the New Orleans Pelicans en route to a 33-point road win, 127-94.

  • Wow! The Jazz have been crazy good the last two games. The offense is just insane right now. The Jazz have scored 247 points in eight quarters against the 4th and 8th ranked defensive teams in the NBA. The Jazz are passing, moving, executing and getting good look after good look.
  • These performances have to make you begin to wonder how good the Jazz are or can be. They are 19-4 when George and Gordon play. They have won almost half of those games by 10 or more points. They are putting out lineups in every moment that are solid and are throwing 48 minutes of high caliber basketball at opponents.
  • The Jazz are scoring in every way imaginable: They are scoring out of sets; They are scoring out of reads; They are scoring in the opening floor off the push; They are scoring when a player breaks the offense and beats his man.
  • Gordon Hayward and George Hill are breaking the offense at times and beating their man for shots at the rim. These are really important plays because teams are guarding our sets tightly, and when George or Gordon can just beat their man, the lane is open because all other defenders are attached to the man they are guarding.
  • Dante Exum and Alec Burks combined for a bench backcourt that added a spice and tempo to the Jazz’s offense. They both pushed and ran off misses and got the Jazz early opportunities.
  • Dante Exum had a really solid game tonight. He had seven first quarter points and then added another four points to finish with 11 points, three rebounds and a team-high five assists.
  • All-Star Anthony Davis was a non-factor, as was the entire Pelicans roster. Davis finished 4 of 12 from the field and had 12 points and 10 rebounds. The Jazz started Derrick Favors on him and then Rudy Gobert switched over to him for a lot of the night. Davis was never engaged and never a factor.
  • The Pelicans’ last lead was 4-3. The Jazz led by seven points after the first quarter and nine points at the half. In the first half, the Pelicans shot an unreal 17 of 21 in paint. This was not sustainable as the Jazz are the number one defensive team in the paint this season and the Pelicans are the 26th at scoring in the paint. In the second half, they were 6 of 14.
  • Joe Johnson was brilliant tonight. He has been really great in three of the last four games. When he is playing the 4, he is an offensive force that people don’t have an answer for. Before this two-game stretch, the Jazz’s offense was scoring 121 points per 100 possessions with Joe and Rudy on the floor together and Joe Johnson at the 4. The Warriors are scoring 114 and they are the best in the NBA.
  • Joe Johnson had 27 points off the bench on 10 of 14 shooting and made six threes.
  • When George Hill, Joe Ingles, Gordon Hayward and Joe Johnson are on the floor together, all of them are shooting over 39% from three. How does someone guard that?
  • It was really interesting how the Pelicans reacted to the game. They were all praising the Jazz. Anthony Davis called the Jazz a great team and Motiejunas called the Jazz an example of how the Pelicans should play. Alvin Gentry called the Jazz a surgeon in the second half. Teams don’t usually do this to other teams, but the Jazz are showing how good they can be.

The Jazz might be really, really good.

Emptying the Noggin — Jazz’s win makes them 4th in the West

Summary: A furious fourth quarter comeback led by Gordon Hayward gave the Jazz a stunning 105-98 win over the Charlotte Hornets and moved them into fourth place in the West Conference standings.

  • The Jazz were dead, having been down nine points heading into the fourth quarter after a brutal stretch of basketball to close the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, the Jazz played George Hill, Gordon Hayward and Rudy Gobert — they all played the entire 12 minutes and led the Jazz to a 32-16 fourth and win.
  • The Jazz were down nine points when the last quarter started and trailed by 10 points — 92-82 — in the fourth. Then they dug in. The Hornets had just two field goals in the final eight minutes of the game (not counting Walker’s uncontested FG late). The Hornets had been the number one late game offensive team in the NBA.
  • Rudy Gobert’s defense was amazing in the paint late in the game. He patrolled inside and took away the Kemba driving lanes.
  • The Jazz forced Kemba left on the pick and roll as much as they could. He was not as effective going to his left than he was to his right.
  • Gordon Hayward was incredible tonight: 33 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists. He hit on 13 of 20 shots and the game looked so easy for him tonight. He has put it on the Hornets a few times in his career and this was tied for the fifth highest point total of his career. His fourth quarter was awesome — 11 points on 4 of 5 shooting and 3 of 4 from the line.  Ron Boone talked on Postcast about the calmness and confidence he played with tonight.
  • There was an interesting matchup to open the night when Frank Kaminsky was on Rudy Gobert and the Jazz couldn’t take advantage on the offensive end and Kaminsky scored 10 points in the opening 3:20 of the game.
  • Walker didn’t seem right tonight as he has been battling an illness.
  • George Hill looked like he had his legs in this game and he hit on 8 of 11 shots and 5 of 8 from three for 25 points. The Jazz are 11-0 when Hill scores 20.
  • Joe Johnson was great again tonight. A rested Joe Johnson is a really good Joe Johnson. He had 18 points, hit 4 of 7 from three, added 6 rebounds and 4 assists and hit numerous mammoth shots.
  • AB was 1 of 9.
  • Joe Ingles tied his career high with 9 rebounds. It was the ultimate Joe night. He was +5 despite being 1 for 6 shooting.
  • Dante Exum had an awesome first half tonight. He was aggressive, hit a three, picked up the tempo and executed the game plan defensively. In the third quarter, he had something close to the opposite, though he did make a nice shot in the lane. He is not at the point where it is fair to expect him to be a consistent player. He doesn’t have the experience and time to achieve that. That is what makes this so difficult; On a really good team, those mistakes are more painful than on a bad team. This was a good night for Dante and a step in the right direction. It is not a linear road, however.

The Jazz are 4th in the West.