EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Insane defense does it again

• Jazz win their 5th in a row and end the homestand at 5-1. When the homestand started the Jazz were not healthy yet and I said no matter the health of the team they had to go 4-2 or 5-1 to stay in the playoff race. The team is far healthier and now they are in the 8th spot of the playoffs

• The jazz defense in the 2nd half of the win streak has been incredible. The Jazz have been allowing 38.5 points in the 2nd half and tonight allowed 37 points.

• The Favors and Gobert combination is something amazing. Tonight they combined for 8 blocks and 7 steals. Those are remarkable numbers

• When the Jazz were losing close games they weren’t making the plays on the defensive end. Missing Favors and/or Gobert late in games was killing the defense. With both of them on the floor the Jazz have been able to make the defensive stops. The offense has been making plays late in games the whole time. Now they are getting the support of the defense as well.

• Three huge plays late in the game offensively. Neto had a gorgeous pass to Gobert for a dunk with 4:42 left to put the Jazz up 1. Bucks answered. Then Neto hit a three off a nice pass from Gobert with 4:02 left to give the Jazz a 2 point lead. Then Hayward hit a cold blooded ruthless three with 3:16 left to put the Jazz up 5. Hayward just walked into the three and the minute Jabari Parker went under on the pick he nailed it.

• Quin Snyder looks for match-ups late. The Bucks were switching everything so he ran picks to get Parker onto Hayward and then would run a pick and roll that made Parker and Monroe the primary defenders.

• The Bucks length and quickness was giving the Jazz fits all game. The passing lanes were closing faster than the Jazz realized and they were throwing the ball away a ton. The switching defense stagnated the Jazz offensive flow.

• Antetokoumpo is one of the best open court players in the NBA and the Jazz did a decent job cutting off his routes and making him play through a wall.

• Jabari Parker was really disappointing. His only field goal was on a jam follow on a miss. His dribble pull up game was not impressive. He didn’t impact the game. At best he is going to be Glenn Robinson

• Rodney Hood and Jerryd Bayless exchanged blows in the 2nd quarter. Hood scored 13 points in the quarter on 6 of 10 shooting. Bayless went 3 of 3 from three and had already hit 2 in the first quarter. Hood lead the Jazz with 23 points.

• Jazz trailed after the 1st quarter again. They have not lead after 1 since the Knicks game

• Gobert is scoring 14 points a game over the last 10 games. This might be the single most important thing with the team right now. If he is a threat at the rim it opens up spacing and shots on the outside. Moreover, he was 6 of 7 shooting. If he is scoring 15 points on 9 scoring opportunites that is a really big deal and makes the Jazz hard to beat.

• Favors 10 defensive rebounds are mammoth.

• Jazz played 8 minutes without a point guard

• Jazz bench wasn’t scoring tonight. They shot 2 for 15.

• Solid win. Ugly is the new beautiful. 5 in a row.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Ugly is the new Beautiful returns

• Jazz win their 4th in a row. Last year the slogan on radio was Ugly is the new Beautiful. That was tonight. The Jazz won this game with a slow down grind it out defensive battle. I had the game near 90 possessions and the Jazz only allowed 81 points. Incredible

• This was a perseverance win. The Jazz didn’t have a flow to the game and trailed heading into the 4th quarter. They took control of the game mid way through the 4th and then closed it out to the end. The Jazz have won 2 straight games they trailed going into the 4th quarter and they had only won 2 of those games all season prior to the last two games.

• The Jazz defense was unreal. The Jazz held the Nuggets to 10 of 35 shooting in the 2nd half of the game and just 4 of 17 in the 4th quarter.

• Gallinari is their half court offense and he only had 4 4th quarter points

• The Nuggets like to score in 2 manners, transition and 2nd chance points. The Nuggets got 15 fast break points but they didn’t seem impactful and they got just 9 2nd chance points.

• The Nuggets had scored 100 points in 9 straight games and the Jazz completed negated any sense of offensive flow.

• 10 block shots for the Jazz including one amazing sequence where they blocked three straight shots in a row. Favors had 6 blocked shots

• Having Derrick back makes all the difference in the world. He had 16 points, 11 rebounds and 6 blocks. He is a beast on the defensive glass. He couldn’t find his jump shot at all tonight. Wow was he off and then when he had to nail the shot he did late in the 4th quarter.

• Mike Malone played the Hack a Gobert perfectly late in the game and Rudy made 1 of 2 free throws.

• Hayward defense on Gallinari was terrific and that is a tough matchup since Gallo is 6’10

• Booker added a huge energy boost to the game for the Jazz in the 2nd quarter.

• At halftime Gordon was 1 for 5, Hood was 2 for 7 and Burke was 0 for 2 and the Jazz trailed by just 6.

• Denver was just 4 of 18 from the three point line

• Neto was solid again tonight with 10 points and 4 assists. He is becoming a bonafide NBA point guard

• Winning begets winning in this league. Getting on a little streak is important and the Jazz have done that.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – So much so much to empty after huge win

• This is a super win. Come from behind. First win streak of the season, now at 3 and a mammoth performance from Gordon Hayward

• I can’t wait to go back and watch this game there was so much to it. This was be incomplete in that it is only what I can remember from calling the game.

• The biggest play of the night is the Jazz down 2 with less than 10 seconds left Hayward misses a free throw and Chris Johnson runs it down for the Jazz. Then Hayward scored on a hard tough drive to the basket overcoming a reach from Butler and bounce from Gasol to tie the game.

• Then on what may have been the most beautiful possession of the season the Jazz got a slam dunk for Hayward on a magnificent back cut on a dime from Ingles. Neto kept the play alive with an extended search dribble. It gave the Jazz a 7 point lead with a minute to play and the night was theres.

• Hayward was terrific. He started poorly and he carried the team through the key moments of the game and then he made all the plays that had to be made. Hayward finished with 27 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists. The other players this year with that line are LeBron, Harden, Draymond, Durant, Westbrook and Blake. Special company

• What is so exciting about Hayward’s play is nothing unusual is going on. He is not shooting the ball in fact. He was 33% from three in January and scored 22 points a game. He was 1 of 6 tonight and finished with 27 points. This is an enormous step. He no longer has to have a great shooting night to alter the outcome of a game.

• I was talking with a Jazz person who thought his game against Detroit was one of the best he has played all year. He started the night 0 for 6 in the first quarter, but stayed engaged and then when the team had to have him he willed them back into the game ala a Durant or LeBron type who just stays in the game and then finally makes his impact. Tonight fits into that category as well.

• Quin Snyder was all over Raul Neto at practice today. Quin is remarkable of understanding what players he will need on a given night and he knew he needed Neto. Raul had the best night of his career. He is unflappable. He made plays in tough circumstances when seemingly things were going wrong and he kept the play alive. Jazz were +18 with Neto on the floor.

• Joe Ingles is a plus minus machine right now. He was +15 in 19 minutes. He is now +55 in last 80 minutes on the floor

• So much strategy. The Bulls were switching the pick and roll and Taj Gibson was so good guarding the Jazz players that it took Favors out of the pick and roll and made the Jazz play through Rudy Gobert. Gobert is able to facilitate and make plays. He was a threat rolling to the basket. This is enormous if the Jazz can run the pick and roll through both Favors and Gobert.

• Jazz switched a ton. The Bulls were running a ½ pick and roll with Rose and Butler and it was causing the Jazz issues because it left Neto on Butler. Quin went to Chris Johnson and he had a impact on the Jazz ability to defend. So then the Bulls went to a 1/5 pick and roll or a 2/5 pick and roll and got Gobert switching onto the ball handler. Rudy held himself really well in these circumstances. This is something I will keep an eye when I rewatch the game.

• Jazz held the Bulls to 17 3rd quarter points. Quin says the defense is much better than before Rudy got hurt.

• Hood a very solid 19 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists.

• Derrick Rose 3 with :18 seconds left was incredible. He has not made a 3 since Jan 22nd, he was 2 for 11 on 3s on back end of back to backs, he had not made a shot in the final 24 seconds of a game all year. And he nailed a three. Felt like we never get a break and then we got the offensive rebound off the Hayward miss free throw and the world changed.

• Rudy Gobert’s free throws in the final 2 minutes of the game were his first of the season.

• 3 wins in a row. Denver and Milwaukee next. This home stand is huge. 4-2 or 5-1 puts you in position to make a playoff run. Fun night at the Vivint tonight.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Jazz blow out the Hornets

• Jazz played a dead team and took full advantage tonight. Hornets had played overtime in 3 of their last 5 games and looked sluggish. The Jazz were sharp. They defended at the highest level and once they took control they never relented.

• Jazz went on a 20-2 run in the 2nd quarter that decided the game. Rodney Hood was in control for most of that run. He played in complete control and with a calmness where he was the one controlling all the action. He had a nearly perfect game. Hood hit Gobert at the rim, he made a play to Favors, he hit is mid range jumper and he nailed 4 threes.

• Hood over the month is averaging 18 points a game shooting 46 from the field and 46 from 3. It has only been a month but if this is real the Jazz have something very special. From the beginning he reminded me of Brandon Roy. In Roy’s rookie year, after 4 years of college he averaged 17-4-4 and in his 2nd year he averaged 19-5-6. Then he took off. 22-5-5 until his body failed. I don’t know if this is really possible but it feels like somewhere in this ball park has to be at least dreamed of.

• Derrick Favors makes the all the difference in the world. When the Jazz were playing Booker and Withey the Jazz couldn’t include them in a pick and roll with any threat at all. With Favors he can roll, he can pop. He is a threat. If the pick and roll is run with Trey and Hood and Hayward are lifted it becomes an incredible pick your poison for the opponent. When the Jazz won the Indiana game they ran the Trey Burke/Derrick Favors pick and roll to get the looks to win the game. They haven’t had that option for a while and it really matters.

• The Jazz defense was strong tonight. Held the Hornets to 18 points in the 1st, 13 in the 2nd, 20 in the 3rd and just 22 in the 4th. The Hornets bomb the three and the Jazz defense plan was to force them off the line tonight and they did exactly that only allowing 6 of 25.

• Trevor Booker looks so much better when he is next to Favors or Gobert

• Erick Green hit two nice shots. The kid could score in the D-League

• Kemba gave the Jazz fits again in the 1st half but they took him away in the 2nd half and the Jazz ended this game early in the 2nd half

• Solid win for the Jazz. 1-1 on the homestand and much healthier then they have been in a while

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Jazz fall to Pistons to start homestand

• First game of a six game homestand that very well may determine the Jazz playoff chances and they fall by 3 to the Pistons. Jazz are losing a lot of close games but it almost none of them did the Jazz have a chance to win. Their battle back from deficits with awesome energy and effort, but they really never had a chance to win tonight. The Jazz never lead. They never had the ball with a chance to take the lead.

• Rodney Hood caught fire tonight and scored 11 points in a 4 possession span and carried the Jazz back into the game. Rodney is learning a lot about how good a player he can be in this league

• Derrick Favors returned tonight and was really good. He scored 14 points and had 5 rebounds in 19 minutes. He got bumped around and look fine. He will help this team a ton.

• Raul Neto got knocked out of the game by friendly fire (Rudy Gobert elbow) with 6 minutes left in the game and it derailed a lot of what the Jazz try to do offensively. For the rest of the game the Jazz played point guard with Trey Burke, Chris Johnson, Joe Ingles and Gordon Hayward.

• Trey Burke will finish the season scoreless v. the Pistons. He struggled in game 1 v. Detroit and again tonight Detroit knocked him out of his game. Burke was 0 for 8 from the field and had 6 assists.

• The Jazz fell behind in the first quarter and never recovered. The Jazz couldn’t make shots early. Hayward was 0 for 6 in the first quarter and the Jazz were 5 of 22 in the 1st quarter. The Jazz tied a season low 13 points in the 1st quarter. The Hornets were really physical with the Jazz, grabbing and holding and preventing the Jazz from getting any rhythm to their offense. Gordon couldn;t buy a call tonight and it seemed to unnerve him a bit.

• The game had a non-nba official and the crew never seemed to have a rhythm. I thought this was a poorly officiated game.

• The NBA official report will have a foul not called on Marcus Morris before the inbound on the final play – AGAIN

• 9 rebounds tonight for Joe Ingles. He played 27 solid minutes playing a lot of point guard. He finished with 5 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists. He such an important part of the Jazz roster.

• Reggie Jackson was more than the Jazz could handle. He hit on 12 of 19 from the field and had 29 including a huge three late in the game that clinched it for the Pistons.

• The Jazz are not defending the three point line well. They are preventing a lot of 3s but they are allowing teams to make a really high percentage. The Pistons hit 11 of 22 tonight and the Jazz came in 26th in the league defending the 3.

• Not sure what the Jazz do if Neto is out for an extended period of time

• Need wins on this homestand and didn’t get this one tonight. It is a tough task with all the adversity but if the playoff are the goal for the players they need to start getting some wins.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – The race to get out of town

• Sorry no postcast tonight. We exited the building as quickly as possible and as I type this are hoping to get out of here before the snow cripples another Northeastern city. It is snowing hard outside right now. We are about to roll out, get de-iced and hopefully be airborn for a 4 hour plus journey home. This is the most exciting part of the night. It is certainly closer that the game.

• The Jazz torched the Nets defense. The Nets were hedging the pick and roll. This means taking their big out to the ball handler and almost doubling the ball. The Jazz big was slipping the pick and the Jazz guard was quickly get the ball to the rolling big and it was killing the Nets. The Nets were slow brining the next guy over and then the big was able to pass to the corner if they wished or finish at the rim. The Jazz took full advantage of the Nets defensive deficiencies

• Ton of Jazz players had good games.

• Even early in the game when the Jazz were turning the ball over and not making shots the Jazz it was clear if the Jazz stuck with the plan they would be able to get what they wanted on almost every position

• Defensively the Jazz had a problem early in the game and then they changed their coverage a little and played it a bit softer and it derailed the nets offense.

• The Nets were disinterested in the game.

• Trey Lyles is 19 of 40 from 3 this year – 1 short of 50%. I am surprised when it doesn’t go in

• Rodney Hood has hit 27 straight free throws.

• I don’t know if I think Brook Lopez is a helpful player

• Jazz did a much better on the defensive glass tonight. Over the last 10 games they were worst defensive rebounding team in the NBA.

• Gordon Hayward equaled his season high with 9 assists. 8 for 12 shooting, 22 points, 4 rebounds and 9 assists. He is doing this every night.

• Love Rodney Hood taking 7 free throws.

• That is about it. Hopefully we get home.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Jazz fall in OT to the Knicks, but second-half D is issue

• Yes, these sting. Another overtime. Another close lose. Another game where the Jazz lead for a a good deal of the game and couldn’t close it. These sting.

• Jazz are making an incredible amount of shots late in games. How these last two games have gotten to overtime or the Sacramento game got to the final Rudy Gay shot is almost impossible. Today it was Trey Burke and Rodney Hood with 3s, Gordon with all three free throws. It really defies all logic that the Jazz have stayed in these games.

• Focus on this game should be on the 62 point Knick 2nd half. Nothing late in the game cost the Jazz the game. The 62 point 2nd half cost the Jazz the game.

• In the first half the Jazz were brilliant not allowing the Knicks to the free throw line, not allowing offensive rebounds and not allowing fast break points. At the half the Knicks had 1 FTA, 2 2nd chance points and 1 fast break basket for a 3.

• In the second half Robin Lopez lead the charge and the Jazz weren’t able to control the same items. Remember Rudy is coming off the MCL he played 44 minutes the other night in Charlotte and tonight he very well may have been playing on dead legs and worn out as the night went on. If he was on dead legs tonight then his effort was through the roof. Really quite awesome actually.

• Rodney Hood was marvelous. Rodney is 1 of 4 players in his draft class playing 30 minutes a night and he is a bonafide scorer. He knocked down the 3 tonight, he took advantage of mismatches. He plays with such patience and control. It is amazing that he is just a 2nd year player. He came into the league a little older with 3 years of college but he is still going to improve and understand the game.

• The Jazz struggled defending the point guard again tonight. Langston Galloway late in the game got way too many open looks.

• The Jazz were shading to Carmelo side to cut off his drive and Carmelo unselfishly passed over the top to open shooters and the Knicks knocked down shots. Carmelo has really struggled late in game this year and tonight he was willing to make the pass

• On Postcast I described Gordon’s play like going out to an amazing restaurant and then getting a bad dessert. The appetizer is amazing, the main course is through the roof. It would be nearly impossible to ask for anything more but then you get to the desert and it is not what you had hoped for it is and it leaves a poor taste in your mouth as the last memory. The rest of the meal was out of this world but you leave thinking about the desert that wasn’t as you hoped.

• Gordon has really been incredible the last few games.

• Quin altered things and tried to avoid ever having only one of Trey Burke, Rodney Hood and Gordon Hayward on the floor together at a time. Those are the only three scorers we have right now and if only one of them is on the floor it has been really hard for this team to score.

• Some big shots by Trey Lyles late in the game. He is going to be a really important piece.

• Carmelo 2nd half was really good.

• Jazz killed Carmelo on the pick and roll all 1st half. Melo says he watched film at halftime to figure it out. Not sure if that is why but the Jazz didn’t get the same actions in the 2nd half.

• Tough way to start this trip. An extra 15 minutes of basketball and nothing in the win column to speak for it.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Walker waltzes to win over hard fighting Jazz

• Uggh a double overtime loss. They are killers because of the energy and wear and tear put on the players bodies without any dividend. This one will linger a bit and impact the next few games. When you put out this much effort you want to leave with something and the Jazz didn’t.

• The Jazz made a ton of plays to get this game to double overtime. The Hornets had absolutely insane breakdowns and the Jazz took advantage. Trey Burke got free for a three off Walker free throws with :11 left to tie the game. With :15 left in Overtime #1 down 5 the Jazz got Joe Ingles wide open for a three and he hit it. Charlotte should allow anything but a 3. Then with it a 2 point game and :07 seconds in Overtime 1 they doubled Hayward and never rotated over to Gobert so worried about the three they left Gobert for a wide open dunk. The defense was so bad it made me think they meant to allow and if you heard my call I got confused what the score was because I thought they had meant to let him score. Crazy. Jazz credit when given these chances they made the plays.

• Jazz were down 13 with 11:11 left. Battled back got it tied with 4:42 and took the lead. They never had a chance to take more than a one possession lead in the 4th quarter. In fact, the only time they had a chance to knock the game out was a Trevor Booker 3 from the left corner up 4 with 3:52 left in the 1st overtime. Had they hit that all the momentum was with them. However, when he missed, the Hornets made a bunch of plays and regained control of the game.

• Gordon Hayward carried the Jazz in first half of the game. It was his 12th 20 point half of his career and only the 2nd in the first half of a game. Hayward was marvelous with Batum on him for a lot of the night. 36 points, 5 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals and 1 block. With all the injuries the burden on Gordon has been incomprehensible and he has been terrific. 48 minutes tonight. There is a reason they don’t ask players to play 48 minutes it is too much.

• Hayward had 4 points and 3 assists accounting for 11 points in the 2 overtimes. Hayward didn’t have a field goal in the final 15 minutes of the game. He did go 6 for 6 from the line and 5 assists. All season long if teams restricted Gordon’s ability to get shots he has created opportunities for his teammates and when he has been given air space he has almost always knock them down.

• Trey Burke took 10 shots in the final 15 minutes and didn’t have an assist. So the Jazz inverted roles late in the game. This is the part of the game where they miss Alec both for his ability offensively and defensively to be able to switch and do things differently.

• Trey Lyles play has made it a hard call on who should be on the floor between Trevor Booker and Trey Lyles. Booker probably played his best game of the year today.

• Rodney Hood and Trey Burke started slow. The Jazz couldn’t make a basket to open the 2nd quarter. They went till the 7:14 mark of the 2nd quarter before getting a field goal. Trey Burke got it rolling with big buckets in the 4th quarter and overtime. Rodney never got it rolling he finished

• Marvin Williams made a ton of big plays late in this game. Such the ultimate pro.

• Rodney Hood is now 0 for 11 from three in the final 5 minutes of a game within 5 points this season and 0 for 16 in his career

• All of this and no mention of Kemba Walker. Kemba is where this should start and end and it is where it will end. He was awesome. It is one of the great performances you will see. 52 points, 9 rebound and 8 assists. Maybe the most awesome play of the night was when he missed got his own rebound and put it back in. He was unstoppable. He got rolling early when the Jazz played him soft off the pick and roll and then he was in a rhythm the whole game. The Jazz wanted to run the Hornets off the line to make them play on the dribble and he was terrific. In final 15 minutes he went just 5 of 15 but hit all 10 of his free throws and finished with 21 points. He had a special night. That is why his team won. Anything less and the Jazz could have stolen a win in Charlotte.

• Take some time and read MLK’s work or watch Eye on the Prize. Remember Martin Luther King Jr.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Amazingly Jazz had a chance

• 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

• 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.