EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Nothing left in the tank


  •  The effort was there.  The idea was there.  The bodies didn’t show up.  Every step was a bit off.  All the timing was screwed up.  Tonight shows how much they left on the floor in Chicago and Oklahoma City.  Really those outings were pretty remarkable without 3 of the 8 regular rotation players and what it took for the Jazz to fight and compete for those 96 minutes was obvious with how off they were tonight.


  • Early on the turnovers looked like they were because of the active arms of the Rockets.  The rockets are #2 in the NBA in steals.  Seemed like they were getting a pieces of passes we thought we could make but couldn’t.  Then it just came unglued.  The turnovers came from everywhere and a ton of them came above the free throw line.   Saving balls back to mid court, not clean passes after rebounds, forced passes, poor fast breaks all types, kinds, whatever you could imagine it happened on the way to 31 turnovers.


  • The defense in the first half was remarkable.  To stay in the game and be tied or within one possession for all but the final two minutes of the first half when committing 18 turnovers is a tough task.  The defense only allowed 19 shots in the restricted area all night.  The Rockets took 31% of their shots in the non-smart areas (midrange and paint non restricted) that is a little more than usual.  The Rockets did take an amazing 17 corner 3′s


  • The Jazz wanted to force Harden right for most of the night and they were able to and play good team defense corralling him  and his drives. The turnovers just gave too many open floor chances and quick 3’s to keep Harden down.  Furthermore, he is just great.   Really great.


  • Jazz played big moments of the 2nd half with 2 d-leaguers, 2 2nd year guys and rarely used Jeremy Evans.


  • Enes Kanter returned tonight and scored 16 points, grabbing 4 offensive rebounds


  • For all the nights we have talked about +/- positively Rudy Gobert +- the last two nights is pretty tough, -30


  • Rockets took 34 of their 77 shots behind the 3 point line.  44% of their shots.  Remarkable.


  • I am not sure the Rockets took 10 shots tonight in the non paint mid range.


  • Favors had a solid night with 15 points, 7 rebounds in 17 minutes


  • Dante Exum was benched for the 2nd half after a completely out of synch first half including throwing a one handed loose pass into the backcourt from the right wing back to the top uncontested and it went into the backcourt.   He also airballed a free throw and airballed a 3 by a mile.   He looked spent.   Plus, the Rockets pressure was a real issue.


  • The two players from the D-League on 10 day contracts combined to shoot 4 for 17.


  • Strong trip.  Exhausted team.   Things are heading in the right direction

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Jazz add to the excitement in OKC


  •  The improvement of this team is remarkable.   They walked into a hornet’s nest tonight and fought every step of the way.  The Thunder had lost two in a row.  They had been blown out in the 2 previous games in the opening moments and the local newspaper was killing the coach for using Durant and Westbrook too much.   The Jazz handled it and almost won if it weren’t for two of the best players in the world dominating the final moments.


  • The flight and self belief is what is most obvious to me about this team.  They are playing so hard and they believe in what they are trying to execute.


  • This game was loaded with great sequences and highlights.  The Trevor Booker volleyball shot over his back on the inbound with .2 seconds left is the best of them all.  Maybe the best ever.


  • Gordon Hayward faking out Kevin Durant then Durant answering with a 3 and Hayward beating Durant on a back door only to have Durant answer again.  Wow.   Hayward was the best player on the floor in the third quarter.


  • Derrick Favors went 20-10 for the third straight game.  Another accomplishment.  His jumper is so good right now from straight away and from the baseline.  He is beginning to have spots on the floor where he knows how to knock down a shot.  That is what the great players do.  Then he is terrific rolling down the middle of the lane on the pick and roll.  I talked about this early in the season but I love Favors playing between the 45’s straight to the basket rather than in the post.   It is where he is at his best.  The next step is going to be some quick seals in the post where he uses his strength early in a possession


  • The Jazz did a better job at times tonight playing with some pace.   OKC was incredibly physical in the front court.  They grab and they hold and they manhandle you when you try to go somewhere both with the ball and without.  The Jazz haven’t master how to deal with that yet but they are considerably better then they were.


  • The Jazz lead it by 7 when Durant, Westbrook and Ibaka came in with 8:13 left.  What a challenge what most people thought was the best team in the Western Conference at years start desperate for a win at home in the final 8:13.   The Thunder answered.


  • Westbrook and Durant took 15 of the final 19 shots for the Thunder in the final 8:13.   I get people what something elegant out of the Thunder offense but dang it getting the ball in the hand of your best players and giving them looks is all the game is about.   That is good basketball.  Might not be ascetically pleasing but it wins.


  • Jazz had a sequence of 4 possessions offensively late that were 4 of the worst consecutive possessions they have had all year.   New guys playing together.  Jazz haven’t finished a close game with Gobert yet and Millsap closed as well.


  • Millsap looks like an NBA player.  Any chance he is Tony Allen?


  • Trey Burke was terrific.  This is by far his best game of the year.   Tonight he was a legitimate force on the game.  He made open looks, he penetrated aggressively.  He hit a floater in the lane.  He defended hard.  This was a really exciting performance from Trey Burke.   Plenty of nights this year you had to wonder what his future was in a bad way tonight makes you wonder if he has turned a corner in the correct way.


  • Rudy Gobert played 38 minutes.   He scored 4 points, had 7 rebounds, passed out 3 assists, took 3 steals and blocked a career high 7 shots.   Scott Brooks said after the game, this guy isn’t blocking jump shots he is blocking layups that is 14 points.   The Thunder actually shot very well with Gobert on the floor tonight.   The defensive rebounding tonight was not as good as it needed to be.  Guys got shoved around a little.  5 defensive rebounds in 38 minutes for Rudy is below where he has been.   This may have been a strength issue. Thunder had 19 second chance points tonight.


  • Thunder got out on the break off Jazz turnovers and also on insane Westbrook coast to coast drives.   Thunder had 25 fast break points.  Couple that with 19 second chance points and that is 44 of the Thunder’s 99 points and 19 of the Thunder 42 field goals.


  • Jazz missed all of their three pointers in the 2nd half.


  • Nothing is tougher to guard than the Westbrook/Durant pick and roll.


  • Overall another exciting night of Jazz basketball and another night that builds more excitement to the future.  Think about it this way.  If the Jazz were contending for the West and went into OKC and battled down to the wire and lost you would be a bit bummed since you had the lead but understand they are the best there and wins in their building would be tough.  Instead, tonight is a young inexperience team with more points coming from players 23 and under than any team in the NBA without 3 of its 8 rotation players battling to the end.   Impressive.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – All around fabulous


  • WOW


  • That was a big time performance by the Jazz tonight.  The Bulls are bonafide terrific and the Jazz held them to a season low points, a season low FG% and more than anything else took the game to the Bulls and the Bulls didn’t have a response.


  • The Jazz were ahead by 12 going into the 4th quarter.  The Bulls are the #1 2ndhalf team in the NBA.  You could feel the Bulls clamping down and the Jazz putting out a 5 for 23 quarter with 5 turnovers and the game getting away and the exact opposite happened. The Jazz went on a 14-3 run to end the game.  Just terrific.


  • A lot of the excitement is going to be about Rudy and rightfully so.  This was an entire team effort.  So many players I could single out in tonight’s game for terrific play.


  • Everything went wrong to start and the Jazz absorbed it.  Ingles got 2 fouls almost immediately meaning Exum had to play the 2.   Favors got a ticky tack foul for his 2nd and the Jazz were without Favors for over 6 minutes of the first quarter.  With Hayward on the bench in the 2ndquarter the Jazz went 1 for 8.  In the third quarter, the Bulls went on a 8-1 run and the Jazz didn’t freak out they answered.   That is the biggest sign of growth to me is how much this team endured to get through the game and stay in control. That might be the biggest change of all.


  • Yes as crazy as it all seems Rudy Gobert, at 22 years old.  A year after playing just 434 last year he has become a legitimate game changer.   His defense is franchise changing defense.  His multiple effort plays defensively are what separate him from a good defender and could make him a great defender.  The growth is remarkable.  He still needs to get a lot stronger.  He still needs to mature, but the change in the last year or even the last 18 months since he was drafted is out of this world.


  • Tonight Gobert simply took Pau Gasol who was crazy hot out of the game.  By the third quarter Gasol was playing like a stretch 4 in order to take Gobert out of the paint.  The Bulls couldn’t handle Gobertland.   Gasol knows Gobert from this summer and he couldn’t do anything against him.   Every drive in the 1sthalf was altered by Gober.  In the first quarter the Bulls shot 6 of 23 from the field with Gobert on the floor.  By halftime they were 8 of 33 with Gobert on the floor.  With him on the bench the Bulls were 5 of 13.   By the end of 3 quarter the Bulls were 17 of 55 shooting with Gobert on the floor.  (30.1%)  The impact is incredible.


  • The Bulls shot 16 of 39 (41%) in the restricted area.  That is incredible.


  • Trey Burke played really well tonight. He battled on the defensive end against Derrick Rose.  He went at Aaron Brooks.   He finished the night  with an impressive 6 of 13 with 17 points and 4 assists.  He outplayed Derrick Rose.


  • Derrick Favors was a beast tonight.  We talk a lot about Hawyard’s strength increase but Favors is considerably stronger than he has been.  Jazz strength staff is elite.   Favors dropped 20 again tonight.  10thtime this season, equally the same amount he had all of last year.  Favors had 20 points and 11 rebounds going against the defensive player of the year Joakim Noah.  Favors was 7 of 11 in the paint.  He was the stronger man.


  • Gobert’s offense is not refined but going 5 for 8 with 11 points is a good offensive game. There is a real value to having a dunker.   Tyson Chandler and Brandon Wright are good offensive players.  We get lost needed moves and range when the point of the game is to score points and 8 shots for 11 points is scoring at a nice level.


  • Millsap played very hard tonight.


  • Gordon Hayward played Jimmy Butler to at least a draw.  With 5 assists and 4 rebounds Hayward may have out played him.


  • Joe Ingles is a wonderful complimentary player – 7 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists.  You rarely see him get in defensive problems.  Trevor Booker is playing nicely off the bench in the last few games and was very strong tonight.


  • A wonderful night.  Jazz have won 7 of 11.  The Favors pass to Gobert for the dunk on the high low was the play of the night or was it the Favors dunk or was it the Booker’s shot, or was it Trey’s corner 3 or was it ………

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Shorthanded but high on effort

  • Great fight by the Jazz tonight. They were shell shocked early as the jitters got to the young kids making their first starts and first NBA appearances. 31-16 after one quarter. From the point on, the Jazz played really hard and for the second and third quarters they just couldn’t get a run of plays linked together. They made plenty of really good plays but they couldn’t get them to create a run.
  • The run finally came in the fourth quarter but impressively right after the Jazz got it to four points the Pacers went on an 8-0 run. Lavoy Allen made two great defensive plays on Derrick Favors and Solomon Hill picked off a poor Gordon Hayward pass for a layup (and one) on the other side and the Pacers were back in control. Yet, the Jazz battled it to the final plays of the game losing by four.
  • One of my biggest pet peeves is coaches not shooing the three when they are supposed to late in games. Too many coaches take the easy two because it feels good but it has no positive impact on your win probability. Quin Snyder does it correctly. It’s so refreshing. There are going to be games when we shoot a three with 40 seconds left and the game is over because we missed, but it is a better play than shooting the two and still being out two possessions. The chances of winning these games is almost nil, but Quin is increasing them by playing the final seconds correctly.
  • Danté Exum looked a bit overwhelmed to start. He was 1-for-6 in the first quarter and 0-for-4 on threes. He got it going a bit in the third but neither he or nor Ian Clark had an assist tonight. The Jazz missed Trey Burke just as much in this one as they did when he was hurt last year.
  • Impressed by the 5 rebounds and 4 assists by Elijah Millsap. If you’re a five-year D-League player you are not going to come into the NBA and score 20. You have to find a niche where you can contribute and he did that tonight.
  • Joe Ingles became the playmaker with Clark and Exum not being able to create. He finished with 8 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists. Super all-around game in 37 minutes.
  • Huge burden on Favors (43 minutes) and Hayward (41 minutes) tonight. Both answered the bell. Would like Hayward to have more of an impact earlier in the game. Again, what are we asking? He had 24-7-3 but it feels like he was too absent early on. However, what I’m asking is for him to put up 30-10. That’s just stupid so maybe it is unfair to request that. Maybe the other side of the story is that defenses are built entirely to stop him with our current roster situation and Gordon is working his way through the game and figuring out how to put up numbers and he is finding a way every night. If it’s the latter then this is an incredible accomplishment and a huge growth step.
  • Favors had 27-11-1-2 tonight. HUGE!!! And he nailed two clutch free throws. I’m such a big Derrick Favors fan.
  • Don’t care about Exum’s poor shooting tonight but the zeroes in assists, steals and rebounds shouldn’t exist.
  • Gobert effect tonight courtesy of Tyson Ewing: With Gobert on the floor, the Pacers shot 20-for-44 (45%) and with him on the bench they shot 15-for-30 (50%). It’s established that he is a great defensive impact player. The future is the Jazz learning how to score with him. With Gobert on the floor tonight the Jazz were 21-for-46 (46%), and with him off the floor they were 14-for-35 (40%).
  • Two plays that showed the difference in age in these two teams. Indiana in major trouble with Stuckey trapped in the backcourt and veteran David West calls a timeout. On the inbound with only seven seconds left on the shot clock, Stuckey takes the inbound and dribbles into a trailing Danté Exum to draw a foul that Jazz didn’t need to commit. Huge swing. Veteran v. rookie.
  • Overall great effort and lots of interesting experiences. Trey Burke and Enes Kanter are traveling on the upcoming trip. Hopefully they can get healthy. Playing without three of your starters (and four of your top seven rotation players) on an already thin roster, this was a strong performance.


  •  Jazz have won 6 of 9.
  • Hard to decide where to start. Do you start with Trey Burke’s incredible bounce back or the pure domination of Rudy Gobert? I’m going to start with Trey. What Trey did tonight is really special. He has always had a special moxie to him. To come out after the game he had the night before and be firing and playing without fear is awesome. He didn’t miss tough shots the other night. He was wide open. Tonight he may have been less open on his opening looks. This amazes me. I asked Ron Boone about it and he says that is what you have to do—if you’re a quarterback and you throw five picks you still have to make the next throw. Ok, I got that but it’s still remarkable and it’s what separates professional athletes. Interestingly, the rest of Trey’s game was super as well: 6 rebounds and 6 assists.
  • The defensive impact of Rudy Gobert is undeniable. Tonight was as impactful as he has ever been. His third quarter was just awesome. Pure domination. 11 points, 5 rebounds and 5 blocks. Are you kidding? The Wolves shot 3-for-14 in the paint in the quarter. For the night, Gobert changed the game every time he stepped on the floor. When he was on the floor, the Wolves shot 20-for-58 (34%). When he was on the bench, they shot 14-for-28 (50%). There has been a difference all season long but this extreme. Some of this has to do with the opponent. As the Jazz have played better teams recently they have dealt with Rudy and understood how to attack a rim defender, but Minnesota is not at that point.
  • Trevor Booker had a career-high 6 assists tonight. He was terrific with his energy, and his passing was obviously vital. Booker also snagged a season-high 15 rebounds. This was much-needed without Enes Kanter, and playing on the second unit with Jeremy Evans. Evans had the first game-changing impact stretch. The Jazz went on a run early in the second quarter when Jeremy hit his first career 3-pointer and made a few other plays to spark the Jazz to a lead they would never relinquish.
  • Minnesota is really bad right now. They simply don’t have the talent or the experience to win games and barely have enough to compete. Without Martin, Pekovic and Rubio they don’t have the talent to win. Every one of our players was better than the guy they matched up on and therefore had very good nights.  Sometimes it’s that simple.
  • Ian Clark busted out three 3-pointers tonight. Really excited for Ian.
  • Minnesota had six fast-break points the entire night and none in the second half.
  • Overall, the story of tonight is effort and belief. This team has believed it’s making progress all season. Even during the losing streak it never felt hopeless and it never felt like a losing streak. Instead, there was a feeling it would turn around. It has. It’s still going to be tough. The thin roster with the injuries to Alec and Rodney is going to show up when the Jazz play.
  • Sorry this was late being posted. I was showing Ron Boone all of my shot locations excel spreadsheets. He will never admit, but I think he might have been interested. It has some very exciting information about what the Jazz are doing defensively. I will share them on TIPOFF on Monday.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – An injury scares the night


  •  The Patrick Christopher injury is all I can think about.  What a sad story.  Patrick come out of Compton, California to go to California Berkley.  You know already he is a special kid.  Then he gets cut by 5 different NBA teams and after 3 seasons in Europe decides to play D-League so he can finally accomplish his dream of playing in the NBA.   He scores his first ever NBA point in Los Angeles with 50 friends and family in the arena.  Then he get his first NBA start.  The storybook is awesome.  At 26 he deserves all of this.  He has battled persevered accomplished a ton and is a pleasure to be around.  He is well rounded intelligent and understands completely how significant what he is accomplishing.   And one strong close and his knee buckles, his ankle turns, his leg bends back and his knee cap is dislocated.    The players on the bench squirmed away the minute it happened.  The doctors quickly put a towel over the knee and Patrick laid on his back as they attended to him.  What he must have been thinking?   I stopped by the locker-room after the game to wish him his best and he seemed in good spirits.   I hope we see him again.  His journey has been tough and this is just a hurdle for a guy who has soared over most of them in his life.   The rest of the game paled in comparison.


  • Not sure if it was the injury to Patrick or the tenacity that the hottest team in the NBA is playing with but the Jazz seemed shell shocked to start the game.  The Jazz fell behind 28-9 before battling back and got within 3.


  • What was different about this game is the bench lead the comebacks and got the Jazz in the game.  Double figures from 3 guys off the bench tonight.  Booker, Gobert and Exum all notched double figures.  Booker’s energy off the bench was terrific.


  • At times tonight the defense was stifling.  Exum got into Schroder and made him a complete non-factor.   Gobert patrolled the middle and had his usual impact and Favors grabbed some big boy rebounds.  Dante Exum had a career high 3 steals.  At 6’6 he needs to be getting steals.  Before tonight he only had 14 steals.  That is way too few.


  • It is going to be tough sledding for Gordon Hayward with these injuries.   Hayward got no room tonight at all.  He still finished with 18 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists but shot just 6 of 14.  This felt a bit like last year with no room to maneuver.


  • Down 4 in the final 80 seconds Jazz got a good look from Favors and Hayward that would have made it a single possession game and both missed.

*  One big picture thought on the Hawks.  I really like what they are doing.  They are good.  They space the floor great on offense and they wreck havoc on defense. Amazing to me they are the #1 defensive team in the NBA since December 1st.   This is a testament to perimeter defense, length on the wings and playing together.  They seem to have their hands in on every play.   This should all be very encouraging to Jazz fans.  This is year 2 in a very similar system to what the Jazz are running and they are making huge strides under Coach Bud and the system.

  • Jazz held the Hawks to 41% shooting and just 8 for 23 from 3.  That is good stuff.  They did allow 30 free throws.   But you are better off defending the shot, forcing turnovers and committing fouls in the early stages of your defensive improvement and then as you progress decrease the fouling.    Jazz only allowed 24 shots in the restricted area and 4 corner 3’s in 81 shot attempts.


  • The jazz have been dominating on the offensive glass recently and again tonight had 17 offensive rebounds in 53 chances for over 30% of available.  This lead to 23 second chance points.  The offensive rebounding is becoming a huge part of the offense and at the same time the Jazz are not allowing a lot of fast break points.  It is a really good balance.   Tonight the Hawks were able to get out and get fast break points with 21 fast break points but most of those were off the 14 turnovers which lead to 20 points.   The Jazz are 25th in nba in points off turnovers and one of the best in transition defense.  This must mean the Jazz are elite at getting back off misses.  This has been a huge focus this year.


  • The Jazz game plan was largely about dealing with Kyle Korver and he only got 5 shot attempts tonight.  Jazz are getting better and better at executing the morning game plan at night.


  • Trey Burke had one of the worst shooting nights in nba history.  He went 0 for 11 from 3 which I believe is the worst 3 point shooting night without a make equaling Antoine Walker who also went 0 for 11.  Trey was 2 for 19 overall.   I will be curious to go back and look at the three pointers.  What I saw was a Hawks defense that tilted the floor to Hayward and Trey wide open for most of those looks.  You have to take them.  You have to make some too.  Frankily, I am more concerned on the inability to get a shot off when going one on one in the open floor on Kyle Korver or his inability to run the fast break on 2 on 1’s or 3 on 2’s.  Those are things that if done better tonight would have overcome the absurd night from 3 point land.  That is an anomaly.  Trey has not shown to be a good three point shooter this year but he is not 0 for 11 bad.   It happens.  It builds on itself inside a night.   His second to last one was deep in the cup and rattled out.  I am not a shooting doctor but it looks to me like he is kicking his legs every which way in a fashion I have not seen before and there is not way he can be on balance in that circumstance.
  • Going to be tough to get wins.  Without Burks and Hood for at least the next 5 games the Jazz are going to be crazy thin.  Now add Christopher and you are likely starting Joe Ingles with Hayward at the 2 and Ian Clark coming off the bench.   Then add the Enes Kanter injury and the Jazz are down to Favors, Gobert, Booker and Evans or Novak as your bigs.   Jazz probably will have to start Favors and Booker with Gobert off the bench with either Evans or Novak.  Lots of opportunity and watching the little things will be more important than ever.







EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Jazz break the 3 googles in roaring comeback


  • The Jazz took advantage of a younger team and closed the game like the team that had been there before.  Closing the final 9 minutes on a 28-12 run.   The young jazz have been on the wrong side of this numerous times but tonight it was the Wolves with their injuries and inexperience that made the mistakes that let the Jazz back into the game .


  • Your resume is not good enough to make 3 googles at another bench.   Sorry those 3 googles are now broken and in pieces.


  • Jazz took the lead on a terrific play by Enes Kanter. The Jazz doubled the post and Kanter read the passing lane made the interception and then took it coast to coast for a Eurostep layup over Wiggins and the Jazz got a lead they never relinquished.


  • A night after being shut out in the 4th quarter Gordon Hayward had 11 4thpoints.


  • The Wolves were awful down the stretch.  They committed 4 turnovers, 3 of them lead to Jazz run outs.  Mo Williams was brought into the game to settle things down and just kept the Jazz fire burning.


  • The Jazz looked like a team playing on the brutal back end of a back to back and weren’t sharp in the early going but when they went down 10 in the 4thquarter they found a way to turn it on and win the game.   Any win is a good win.   Wins are going to be hard to come by.


  • Alec Burks is out for the season.  This is going to be a gaping hole for the Jazz. Rodney Hood is a nice player but you don’t see 23rdpicks of an NBA draft get inserted into starting line-ups and have a lot of success very often.   Hood is shooting 31% and less from 3.  To expect much out of him in the starting lineup for a 50 game stretch is a mammoth ask.   In fact it is a unrealistic and therefore this is going to be hard for the Jazz to be able to keep this level of play without Alec Burks


  • Going into the game seemed as though the Jazz should have a huge inside advantage. The Jazz are the best team in the NBA since Dec 1st in 2nd chance points, the Wolves allow the highest FG% in the restricted area, the Jazz get the 4th most amount of points in the restricted area and the Wolves are 28th in defensive rebounds.   However, the Jazz ended with just 12 2ndchance point.   The jazz did get 11 offensive rebounds in 37 chances nearly 30% which is high but they couldn’t convert.


  • Good post offense first takes players who get post position and then it takes guards who can throw the entry pass.  Those are hard things to do and the Jazz aren’t very good at either right now.


  • Trey Burke was very good tonight.  He is breaking the paint much more than he has been in the past.  He is scoring 39% of his points in the paint over the last 5 games and for the season it has been 29% of his scoring.   This is a significant change for Trey and step in the correct direction.


  • Enes Kanter has lost his mid range shot he is 25% over the last 12 games on mid range shots.


  • Andrew Wiggins is the whole package it is just going to take sometime to put it together.


  • Trevor Booker got 23 minutes tonight after 7 the night before.  Match-ups.


  • Jazz have won 4 of 6



EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Big steps by the Jazz in LA


  •  Jazz have played two elite Western Conference teams on the road and played both of them down to the wire.  Winning in Memphis and falling short in LA tonight. That is big time progress.


  • This was the first time the Jazz have d’d up an elite offensive team.  Usually when the Jazz have played the best offensive teams they have been able to get to the 3rd and 4th options and the Jazz defense breaks down but that was not the case tonight.  The Clippers shot below their season average


  • The Jazz made a defensive switch 11 games ago to better fit the personnel on the roster and they have been an above average defensive team since that switch.


  • The Clippers only scored 18 points in the paint.  This is where the defense has really changed pts in the paint have been shut down greatly.  Weak side shifts have improved and the paint has been closed off.  The Clippers are the  3rd best team in the NBA shooting in the restricted area and tonight they were 9 of 23 in the paint.


  • Rodney Hood got his 4th start and it was a tough one trying to guard JJ Redick.   Hood had a nice impact on the game.   He had 9 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and a block.  He also had a 3 turnovers and shot just 2 of 6 but overall it was a very good night.


  • Jazz made a rotational change tonight.  They brought Gobert and Exum in together as the first sub playing Exum and Gobert with Favors and Hayward.   This is new.   It really limited Trevor Booker’s minutes down to 7 for the night.


  • Favors and Gobert played together for 12:42 and the Clippers outscored the Jazz 34-33.


  • The Clippers starters are one of the best +/- units in the NBA – Tonight the Jazz starters were +4 in 16 minutes outscoring the Clippers 34-30.  Most exciting, the Clippers who are a juggernaut offensively only scored 30 points in 16 minutes.   This is a big deal.  If the starting 5 is holding there own on a night in and night out basis then if the bench gets built up in the off-season this team makes a jumper faster than anticipated.


  • Cool to see Patrick Christopher score his first NBA points in his hometown.  He grabbed a rebound and went coast to coast for his first NBA points with 50 friends and family in the crowd watching.   Well deserved for a guy who has had a long journey to get to this day.


  • Jazz went to Hayward 1 on 1 late in the game and it didn’t work tonight.   Hayward had 0 points in the 4th quarter.  He had a strong game prior to the 4th quarter – 22 points, 4 rebounds and 7 assists on a defense that was zeroed in to shut him down.   Quin Snyder is still learning how to use these guys and Gordon has been great 1 on 1 in most circumstances but tonight the Clippers shut him down.


  • Rudy Gobert with another double double.  Crazy to have 11 points and 13 rebounds in 25 minutes of play.   He is having an enormous impact on every game.   More and more he is forcing his way on the floor and the better he plays the more time he is getting.  His improvement over the course of the season is beyond reason and his improvement since he first arrived is a tribute to Rudy and his commitment as well as the all the members of the staff who have been a part of it.


  • With Alec Burks out Dante Exum played with Trey Burke and played 27 minutes tonight.   He finished with 7 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists.


  • The Clips are a Western Conference contender.  They are playing with multiple time all-stars and 10 years veterans against our guys all in the infancy as NBA players.  To battle them to the wire possession for possession is a great step.