EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Lots of things more important than missed call

• The last non-call was terrible. That is a foul. JT Orr pointed at his foot to say Hood kicked out. Hood only kicked out because PJ Tucker nailed the right side of his body and that moved his left foot forward. It was a brutal mistake and I am certain the league will announce it tomorrow.

• A bunch of things more important than the final play happened tonight. Most importantly, Gordon Hayward took over the game late and brought the Jazz back. Hayward went 4 of 5 in the final part of the 4th quarter and had 12 4th quarter points. The Jazz are going to have to find a go to guy who can score late in games and it has to be someone with the ball in their hands. It is too hard in the NBA to get the ball into the post and it is too easy for the team to force the ball out of the post. If the Jazz are going to beat really good teams someone is going to have to step up and make those plays and tonight Gordon showed huge progress in that area

• Dante Exum was more aggressive again tonight in a tough match-up against a bulldog defender in Eric Bledsoe. He went to the basket early. He hit a pull up jumper from 9 feet out that was sweet. Another time he fooled me with a little flip shot in the lane that I thought was going to be a pass to Gobert.

• Rodney Hood again showed an NBA game. There is a huge difference between NBA skill and a NBA game. One of the signs that a player belongs is when he plays a controlled game. At times it looks slow to Rodney. Even better is when you as the ball handler can dictate the speed of the game. Hood seems to have everyone around him off balance and therefore he is controlling the speed of the play. This is big. He has already figured out how he is going to score in this league. He has the three point game. He has an in between game and he has the hercky jerky in the lane game. He is not going to the line at all. So the next step is figuring how to draw contact and get free throw attempts. He also needs to foul less and more intelligently.

• Joe Ingles is on fire from 3. 2 for 3 tonight He is 8 of his last 12 from 3.

• The real lesson on tonight is how much more the Jazz need to improve to be really good. Little plays that cost you close games were all over the place. Exum not controlling a rebound. Pick through the 18 turnovers, Rudy and Derrick with 9 of them. Not very good execution on the final play. Numerous other possessions that could have swung the game the other way. Those are the plays that will change the franchise in the next few years.

• Jazz bench tonight was Trevor Booker, Joe Ingles, a 27 year old rookie who had been released by numerous camps prior to coming to the Jazz, and 3 D-League players.

• PJ Tucker is tough. Favors was posting him a lot on the night and couldn’t take advantage of him. Favors finished 4 of 15 from the field.

• Each half mirrored each other. Jazz went on runs in the 1st and 3rd and completely shut down the Suns offense. Then in the 2nd and the 4th the Jazz had a hard time getting stops and fell behind.

• Trey Burke was missed tonight

• Little victories tonight are more important than the blown call and the mysterious late game replays. That is still what this season is about and there were lots of good things tonight.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Jazz dominant over Nuggets


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


  • Jazz go to 19-19 at home


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

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

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

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – It’s all about the Enes no treble


  • “He got his numbers and he got the L, like always”- Trevor Booker post game about Enes Kanter


  • “He really pissed us off with those comments”  – Gordon Hayward post game about Enes Kanter


  • “I didn’t like the way Enes handled the interviews this afternoon” – Scott Brooks about Enes Kanter


  • “It was very personal. We try to stay away from those things but we all felt disrespected” – Trey Burke about Enes Kanter


  • Hayward went Urban Meyer he wouldn’t refer to Enes by name instead of calling him former Jazz player


  • Enes Kanter is an immature momentum player.  This could turn the tide on his run in OKC.  This game became solely about Enes.  The intensity was high.  Elbows were flying, pushes were being administered.   This was very physical and it all happened because of Enes comments at shoot around today.


  • Kanter said “I don’t care if they boo me”  I know Enes.  Let me tell you nothing could be further from the truth.  Enes more than any athlete I have ever covered is desperate to be loved.


  • Enes Kanter “they are not a good basketball team”  in post game.  This actually was true when Enes played for the Jazz but is not as true since he was traded.


  • Jazz won despite shooting 38% and shot 6 of 29 from the three point line and still won.  Plus, they didn’t have Derrick Favors and Hayward went 4 for 16 and 0 for 6 from three.


  • Trey Burke was really aggressive.  He drove to the basket hard and created opportunities.  The Jazz went after Kanter in the pick and roll as often as they could and Trey killed him he went 1 for 8 from 3 and scored 22 points.  This is not something he wouldn’t have done in the past.  He shot 7 free throws and that is the 2nd most of his career.


  • This was about a collective effort and they fought hard to get the win.  At the opening tip circle the Jazz starting 5 players went to all 4 of the Thunder starters not named Enes to do the pre-game greeting.  Not one Jazz player went to Enes.
  • Westbrook was great in the 1st and 4th quarter scoring and making plays.  In the 1st quarter he was hitting the roller early and often.  The Jazz took this away after the 1st quarter and Westbrook didn’t adjust.  He went quiet in the 2nd and 3rd quarter and was turnover laden.  Then in the 4th quarter he became the only Thunder player with the ball going 1 on 1 and scoring but not assisting.   He didn’t have an assist in the 4th but he was the only Thunder player to score in the final 8 minutes.  This was the ultimate example of why Westbrook is so debated.


  • This is a collective effort win.  It is an important win for the growth of this team that they bonded over the immature and “most pathetic comments I have ever heard from a player” (Phil Johnson)  and got the win.


  • On a personal note, I have been an Enes fan.  I have known all of his warts and excused them and hoped for the better.  He left himself so exposed to night that he is on his own, we have all protected him and cocooned him for the last years and were going to keep doing it but he is on his own now.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Hots and a poor performance

  •  I am pretty blank tonight crew.   Sorry.  Tough night for everyone in the Jazz family and I am sure for you as well as a Jazz fan.  We lost one of our pillars.  This foundation has come a long way.  So far I don’t think many of us realize where it once stood.  Hot Rod brought legitimacy to this franchise.  He educated a city about the NBA and then he took us on a joyous ride through the ups and downs of a developing franchise until we peaked in the incredible run to the Finals.  Then he kept us on the journey.  Each night was filled with passion for the game and a love for the franchise.


  • Hots started as my hero when I was a kid.  Then he was my mentor over the 7 years that I was the studio host for the radio and finally he I am proud to say he was my friend.


  • There has never been a day when I have the radio voice of the Jazz where I didn’t feel like I was doing hot rod’s job.  Tonight it was overwhelming.


  • Very nice touch by the Denver Nuggets to do a moment of silence before the game tonight.


  • On the floor the Jazz were not good tonight.   For a long time I have been saying at some point the hard word and constant demand on these guys will lead to a dead night and here it was.  Other than Gordon no one could hit a shot early in the game.  Somehow at the end of 1 quarter they were still in the game.   The 2nd quarter was a game of runs with the Nugs going 13-0 the Jazz following with 11-0 and then Nugs got the extra one and the Jazz never recovered


  • The ball is beginning to stick on offense more than it did earlier in the year


  • Rudy has to roll to hoop and put pressure on the rim to flatten out the defense.  They were better at this in the 2nd half.


  • The Jazz allowed Ty Lawson to get in the lane and create and the defense collapsed.


  • The whole team was poor tonight.  But G put up another 20 point night finishing with 24 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists.


  • Favors left the game with back spasms.


  • This team is really limited.  There are pieces in place but this roster is not complete.  For these guys to go on the run they did for over a month has to have taken a toll.  Most nights the other team is more talented so the collective energy and focus by the Jazz has to be at an incredibly high level to have success.   This may have worn these team down and there are not a lot of spots the rest of the way to catch your breath.


  • Dante Exum had the flu and that is why he didn’t play the 2nd half.


  • Trey Burke had another 25% or below night.  He has to find a way to not be under 25% 1 out of every 4 nights.


  • Denver hit a season high 13 three pointers.  They came in 29th in the NBA in 3 point shooting.



EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Great battle but All-Stars took over


  •  Really solid effort from the Jazz tonight.   Without Hayward, Hood and Burks it is almost impossible for Quin to build an offense and use his playmakers and these guys battled all night.  This performance shows all the same signs of the Jazz being a very good team with some adjustments.


  • The Blazers two all stars were terrific late in the game.  Namely Dame Lillard.  Lillard carried the Blazers late and willed them to the win.  Lilliard had 13 points in the 4th and 21 in the 2nd half.  He took over and he was the best player on the floor.   Aldridge had 9 in the 4thquarter and a huge offensive rebound.  The Blazers had to win tonight.  They had lost 5 in a row and had to win.  Simply couldn’t afford to lose to an undermanned team like the Jazz.   They didn’t.


  • Trey Burke was really solid tonight.  He stayed is lane.  He didn’t over play the game.  He made some runners, he hit a few mid range shots and only took 1 three pointers.  I would like him to take more than 1 three pointer a night but in this slump it is smart to take the other looks.


  • The Blazers on average shoot 28 three’s and only allow opponents to shoot 18.  Tonight the Blazers took 27 and the jazz took 16.


  • This was not a well officiated game.


  • Favors had 19 in the first half and finished with 26 points and 13 rebounds.  22nd time he has gone over 20 and 13th time he has gone 20-10.  His array of moves in the first half was awesome.  He hit a hook coming from each side.  He hit a fade away jumper on the left baseline.  He hit the free throw line jumper.  He had a vicious follow jam.  Very impressive outing against a high level defensive team.


  • Joe Ingles did not try to miss the free throw late in the game.


  • Favors was the release valve on the final play.  It was designed for Trey or Joe and neither could get open so Derrick is designed to come to the ball as the final option.  He almost banked it in.


  • Elijah Millsap did a lot of aggressive things tonight.  He really struggles to finish at the rim, he missed 4 free throws and he had 4 turnovers.  He also had 3 steals, 2 assists and 8 rebounds.  A real mix bag that showed that he has some NBA talents and that he need to make progress in other areas this summer. This is a great learning tool for him to understand the NBA game.  He has played in so many places but to finally have the NBA experience will help him grow a ton.


  • The jazz played 4 rookies, 3 2nd year players of the 9 players they played tonight.   The short minutes in the 2nd and the 4th quarter where Quin had to play Clark, Cooley and others were costly.  Jazz were -7 in Cooley’s 5 minutes but Quin didn’t have a choice he was trying to stretch the game and not bury Gobert and Favors.


  • Jazz held the Blazers to a season low 12 points in a quarter in the first and stymied them again in the third allowing just 18 points.


  • This was a lot to ask a lot of guys.   Asking Trey to carry this team, for Joe and Elijah to be offensive initiators and for Clark and Cooley to battle in important minutes is tough and they all gave everything they had in the effort. The all-stars were really good late.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – 1 play somewhere


  • Disappointing loss tonight.   Even without Hayward and Hood for most of the night the Jazz at home should beat a short handed Wolves team.   The jazz had control of the game with a nice 4th quarter surge but allowed the Wolves to score 11 points in their final 4 possessions of the 4thquarter and that sent the game to overtime.


  • In close games this year the Jazz have relied on Gordon Hayward to handle the ball in late game situations and when Gordon couldn’t play v. New York they turned it over to Rodney Hood.  Neither were available tonight and it was really evident.


  • If the Jazz make 1 of the 4 defensive stops they needed late in the game, if the Jazz made some of the free throws they missed early in the game, if the Jazz didn’t allow 36 4thquarter points, if the Jazz didn’t turn it over 18 times tonight we are not talking about Trey Burke.


  • However, they didn’t and Trey Burke went 4 for 22 on a night when the Jazz desperately needed Trey to deliver.   I said on the broadcast I don’t care if Trey shots 20 shots tonight no one else is willing to shoot it and he is going to have to fire.  Had he made 5 the Jazz win.


  • Trey does need to find a way to avoid these brutal shooting nights.   I discussed this earlier this year.  Too often he has terrible shooting nights.  26 out of 70 games this year (37% of games) he has shot 33% or less.  In 18 of 70 games this year he has been at 25% of less (26% of games)


  • Without Hayward, Joe Ingles and Trey Burke were the primary ball handlers and they combined for 11 turnovers.


  • The Wolves double teamed Favors in the post and forced the ball out of his hand.  The Wolves were guarding him with Budinger for a large part of the night and he is much smaller but with a double coming all the time the Jazz were unable to take advantage of mismatch.   With the lack of shooting from many of the Jazz players they were unable to victimize the doubles.  Ingles did a nice job early in making them pay.


  •  Rodney Hood left with Gastointestinal distress.  I don’t know if this is related but last year at Duke he had issue with getting sick before games and in the Clemson game got sick and then came back to hit the game winning shot.  I believe this is not the first time this year for him to experience this but it is the first time he missed time.


  • Trey did a nice job defensively the time he was switched onto Wiggins battling him in the post and denying the ball


  • Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine have sick skills and were both terrific.  The athleticism is amazing and as they learn the game they will be really good.  If Kevin Love leaves Cleveland after 1 season it may go down as the worst trade in NBA history.  Cleveland will have traded one year of Love for a 14 time all-star


  • Elijah was more aggressive driving to the basket tonight.  He made some nice plays and drew some fouls.  He is struggling to finish at the rim.


  • Gobert had 18 points, 17 rebounds (11 on the offensive) and 6 blocks.


  • The Sean Kilpatrick story is pretty special.  Painful when he is not on your side but the idea that he got an NBA contract because he was close enough to an arena in an emergency and then in that contract gets a chance to play because Kevin Martin decided he was uninterested in playing and then he hits 3 three pointers and scores the first 13 points of his NBA career.  Pretty cool.


Gordon Hayward is really important.  Sure glad the Jazz matched that contract.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Every bit as good in person


  •  The Warriors are fabulous.  They are statistically one of the great teams the NBA has seen.  They are one of 7 teams with a differential over 10.  They are #1 in FG% and DFG%.  They are #1 in defensive efficiency and #2 in offensive efficiency (a good game away from #1).  They look every bit the part when you see them in person.


  • The Jazz fought hard.  They stayed in the game for most of the night but the Warriors are on a totally different level.  The Warriors hit you with their explosion and the game is over.  Tonight they hit the Jazz and the Jazz fought back to get into the game but it never felt as though the Warriors weren’t in control or were in any trouble.


  • The Warriors defensive game plan was great.  Bogut would be in the restricted area while Gobert had the ball outside the three point line and they wouldn’t worry about it at all.  Steph Curry didn’t guard Dante Exum.  Curry leaked over into every play never fearing Dante would do anything.   This is exactly how someone should guard the Jazz right now.  The impact is no room for Gordon and every offensive possession becomes a sludge.


  • Rodney Hood was very good.  He is doing some nice things offensively.  He is figuring out how to get where wants to on the floor.  How to hold his ground and when to go and catch.   Hood went 9 for 14 without making a three pointer he finished with 19 points.


  • Trey Burke was an offensive savior from the three point line.  Burke hit 5 of his 11 three point attempts.


  • The Warriors exposed the Jazz weaknesses.  The speed made some of the players look slow.  Their physical presence made some of them look weak and moveable.   This is what great teams do. They play with such force and pace that they expose where your weaknesses are and that is what happened to a few of the Jazz players.


  • Favors was nice in around the rim and hit his first three pointer of his career. Favors really battled inside and worked insanely hard on defense getting switched out on Curry on numerous possessions.   The role of playing the power forward is causing Favors to move a great deal more than as the center and the fatigue factor has to be higher.


  • Gordon Hayward was clearly affected by the fall in LA.  He was not himself.  He was not quick and didn’t have any explosion.


  • Rudy Gobert had a limited impact on the game


  • In the first quarter the Jazz only allowed 3 field goals in the half court and allowed 4 in the fast break.  But as the game went on the Warriors started scoring in the half court as well.  The Warriors are a lot like the Oregon Ducks football team relentlessly coming at you.  They come fast and with lots of weapons and it has to wear you out as the game goes on.  Defensively they rotate perfectly and are always in the correct area.


  • The Warriors top 7 minutes players from last year are back this year and that allows them to have terrific continuity to everything they do even with a new coaching staff.


  • Warriors average 110 points, they got 106.  They average 25 fast break points at home, they got 25.  The Jazz defense was not able to have an impact on the Warriors.


  • This was a great test and reminder of where the Jazz want to go and how far away it is.  The Warriors are the elite team in the NBA.  No one else is close.   They are 33-2 at home.  The Jazz battled played with the Warriors but never for a moment had a chance to win.   This was a great reminder of how long the road still is going to be for the Jazz to the elite of the NBA

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Impressively Stifling Defense for a Tired Team


  •  Tired, worn out, emotionally and physically spent and the Jazz put out an awesome defensive effort.   I get it the Lakers aren’t good.  But they aren’t 73 points not good.  The Jazz defensive rating tonight was around 82 pts allowed per 100 possessions.  The Lakers average 101.  That is a crazy big difference.   To do that when you don’t have an offensive game going, when you are tired and it is hard to play defense is really impressive.  Jazz went over 10 minutes without a field goal and won the game.  That is amazing.


  • I was talking with someone with the Lakers on my way out and he said, dang every shot was contested.   It is a good point.  The Lakers were just 3 of 11 from 3.  They shot 8 of 35 outside of the paint.    Gobert is awesome.  Favors is formidable.  But the defensive growth is more than any one player.  Gordon Hayward told me after the game that the guys are really holding each other accountable and when guys screw up the guys are yelling at each other to get it right.


  • A huge part of the Jazz game is offensive rebounding.  They are #1 in the NBA in offensive rebounds.  The Jazz got 2 offensive rebounds and 0 2nd chance points tonight.  Never thought I would see that with this team.  The Offensive rebound is such a vital part of the offense to lose those points is really hard to overcome.


  • The Jazz were dead early in the game and in the third quarter Hayward did what really good players are supposed to do.  He willed his teammates along the way.   He brought an increased energy level and command on the game and forced his teammates to join along with him.


  • Huge night for Trey Burke.   Dante is 0 for his last 11 and the Jazz needed Trey tonight and he delivered.  Trey kept the in the game in the early 2nd quarter and then made two mammoth plays late in the game.  The split of the pick and roll defense on the low dribble was one of the better plays I have seen from him.


  • Gordon Hayward is averaging 21 points a game since Feb 1st.  when you consider the Jazz are playing only 92 possessions a game and the league is averaging 96  Hayward’s 21 points is probably closer to 22 on an average pace team and 23 or 24 on Golden State or Houston.


  • Tonight Hayward scored 27% of the teams points and had 5 assists.  He accounted for 10 of the 25 field goals and 11 free throws.   He is being a complete stud.  Did I mention his 4 steals?


  • Joe Ingles 3 three pointers were very big tonight.


  • Trevor Booker put up 10 points, 5 rebounds (the only 2 offensive rebounds) and 4 assists.


  • Jazz starting back court was 0 for 11.  Lots of wins have blurred the picture a little bit but this team still has a long way to go and the last two nights from Exum and Hood are a good reminder of how long they still have to go before they have a solid footing every night.


  • Rudy’s streak of 10 consecutive game with 10 rebounds ended tonight.


  • Ron Boone had the TV stats guy chart the Jazz in the last 4 seconds of the shot clock and the Jazz were 4 of 9.  The Jazz for the season are using 11% of their possessions in the final 4 seconds of the shot clock but recently that number is up to 14%.  For the season the next closest is 9%.


  • Winning games when the starting line-up shoots 11 of 36 is really hard.   Harded when that is 1 for 11 from three.


  • Jazz have won 4 of their last 6 they trailed at halftime


  • Solid defensive win.  The defense was crazy good again.  The Lakers never scored over 20 points in a quarter.  They shot 40% and below 30% from 3.    Continuation of lots of really good things taking place.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – 48 minutes of fight falls short


  •  Nothing about this game changes anything about how you feel about the Jazz and what is going on with this team.  The Wizards are really good and the Jazz struggled the whole night and still had a chance to win the game or at least take the lead in the final seconds.


  • This was a tough night and the Jazz fought the whole night.  Things were never easy. Washington matched up well against the Jazz. The offense wasn’t flowing.  The shots weren’t dropping.  With all of that the Jazz stayed in the game for the full 48 minutes against a very good team.


  • The Wizards starting 5 is one of the best 5 man line-ups in the NBA.  It has everything, veterans, floor spacers and big bigs down low.   The front court of Nene and Gorat is the first big time dual front court the Jazz have faced since the all-star break and it was a hard match-up for Favors and Gobert.


  • Nene is a terrific player.  He is always in the right place.  He impacts plays with fundamental defense and Gortat is a beast.  He is one of the most physical players in the game.  They didn’t allow Gobert and Favors to have easy rebounds on the offensive end or free plays to the basket.  Yet, both had 5 offensive rebounds.  The Wizards are the #3 defensive rebounding team in the NBA and the Jazz still got 14 of 49 misses.   The Jazz were able to grabbed boards against both the Hornets, #1 in the NBA and the Wizards, #3 in the NBA.


  • The jazz offense couldn’t get a flow tonight.  The Wizards jammed the wing passes and overplayed the offense and the Jazz had a hard time countering.  Instead, the Jazz got stuck on one side of the floor for most of the night.


  • The Jazz rookie guards, Exum and Hood, had a hard time with Wall and Beal and their defensive impact.  Wall got into Exum and knocked him off his game.  Exum is much more comfortable with his right hand then his left and Wall used that to cause Exum some real problems.  As the night went on Hood got more comfortable.


  • Rodney Hood had a great play where he got into the lane maintained his dribble, held his ground, basically came to a stop for a few bounces and then held the defender on his hip and took the shot.  It is a Harden play.  It takes great skill and strength and Hood pulled it off.  Hayward did it later in the game as well.


  • Joe Ingles in bound pass to Gordon Hayward for a dunk was a busted play.  They top blocked Hayward who was supposed to come to the ball and Ingles and Hayward reacted perfectly and pulled off an incredible play at the rim.  The pass was great.


  • Hayward continues to drive into spaces that don’t seem to exist.  Tonight the Wizards collapsed on him with regularity showing him three bodies at a time and he was still relentless to the basket.  He finished with 26 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists.  This is becoming commonplace since Feb 1st.


  • John Wall is big time.  He is the 2nd best player in the Eastern Conference.   He is on top of his game right now.  He is hitting the mid-range jumper at a rate he never has in his career and it makes him virtually unstoppable.  This is what great nba players do, they develop.   Wall hit 31% from mid range his first year, 33% his 2nd year and now has it up to 41% and recently has been over 50%.  When he can hit his mid range jumper it is over.  His fast break game is so unreal and then if he can hit the J he becomes a playoff game winning star.


  • Great to see Trey get his stroke back.  14 points and 6 assists.  Strong night under tough circumstances.


  • Washington could be the 3rd seed in the East.  This is a good basketball team.  The Jazz were not sharp on the offensive end and the Wizards came in on fire offensively and were able to shoot 52.4%.   At the same time the Jazz were not shooting well, they missed 12 free throws in 24 attempts and at the end of the night still had a chance to make a play to win it.   This is an impressive performance.   Washington is very good and tests the Jazz in every way.   Test was passed in most areas.