Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke gives you a daily conversation about the Utah Jazz and the NBA. Today he goes over Utah’s win over the Thunder and talks about the team’s rotation.
Another solid preseason outing for the Utah Jazz. The Thunder are without Durant and three other rotation players, but the Jazz were still terrific. Again, the story of the night was Utah’s transition defense. The Thunder got six fast-break points. Two of those came in the final minute and the other two baskets came in the first quarter when the Jazz committed two fatal turnovers (turnovers committed above the free-throw line) that led to easy layups. The Thunder didn’t get a single fast-break point off a Jazz miss the entire game. This is an incredible change by the Jazz. They have not allowed more than 10 fast-break points in any game this preseason. Last year they were the fourth-worst transition defense in the NBA, allowing 16 points per game. They started training camp with transition defense drills for an hour. The first thing they do in every practice is transition defense. If this holds in the regular season, they have a chance to make huge strides defensively. The Bobcats went from 30th defensively to fifth last year largely by becoming the top transition defense in the NBA.
Enes Kanter was strong tonight. He had a wide array of moves. He hit two threes. He drove to the basket. He was creative around the rim and hit some mid-range shots. He finished with 27 points.
Trey Burke had another strong game. The knowledge of what to expect in an NBA season is showing. He made moves around the rim. He has added some shots from five feet out and he finished a few times at the basket. More importantly, tonight was one of the best defensive games I’ve seen him play.
Giants win 7-1. World Series wins are really great.
The outlet passes from Derrick Favors were offensive game-changers tonight. He’s throwing passes that get all the way out to half court and it allows the Jazz to start the offense really early. He had 15 rebounds.
It was clear before the game that Scott Brooks the Thunder coach had not watched the Jazz film at all. Teams don’t prepare for preseason games the same way they do for regular season games, and the Jazz are taking advantage of that. The Jazz, on the other hand, are treating each of these games like a regular season game, with detailed shootarounds in order to install the culture Quin Snyder wants before games. Can’t give a ton of details, but it’s an impressive level of detail.
Not sure what the Thunder are going to be like without Durant. He just pulls so much of the defense to him and opens up so much for his teammates with his presence, even when he doesn’t have the ball. There’s a chance the Thunder could be mediocre without KD.
Utah’s bench was 4-for-24 shooting tonight. The rookies combined to go 0-for-11. This is going to be a real issue in the regular season. Coach Snyder is going to have to find a way to work the rotation to complement these players without bringing the whole level of play down.
Gordon Hayward had another four steals tonight. He has 20 steals in the preseason.
Trey Burke has gone 16-for-30 from three in the preseason.
Rudy Gobert is 15-for-23 from the free-throw line for 65%. That is enough. He looks comfortable on the floor and has a huge impact on the game.
We saw what felt like a regular season rotation. The first sub at 5:44 was Hood for Burks, and then Burks came back for Hayward at the end of the quarter. The first big was Booker for Kanter at 5:25, and then Gobert came in for Favors at 2:24. Exum replaced Trey, and then when Danté struggled, Clark came in as the next point guard and played with Trey some in the second quarter. Hayward returned for Burks, and finally, Burks took Clark out near the end of the quarter. Favors and Gobert played together for about two minutes in the second quarter and the Jazz were +5. The third quarter was the same concept as the first, but Ian Clark came in instead of Burks.
Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke gives you his daily podcast. Today he opens with the NBA 5 and then moves into a deep dig on the Utah Jazz. He also takes a look at who can shoot the three and the best drivers in the NBA.
Each night before the game, Utah Jazz radio voice David Locke sits down with new Jazz head coach Quin Snyder. This is a collection of the most interesting parts of their conversations over the last six Coach’s Shows.
The Jazz led this game by 22 points late in the second quarter and ended up losing it to the Lakers. The Jazz rested Trey Burke; Trevor Booker was out with an ankle injury; and Gordon Hayward or Derrick Favors didn’t play after the first quarter. The Jazz did play their primary bench players much of the second half, and they were overwhelmed without being on the floor with the primary guys. The jazz committed 19 turnovers in the second half.
Until the plethora of turnovers, Utah’s transition defense was terrific again. They didn’t allow a fast-break point in the first half of the game. This is the single biggest change Quin Snyder has made to this team. They get back defensively and they build a wall that is preventing teams from getting the fast-break points the Jazz allowed last season. The Lakers still only had 10 fast-break points for the entire game. Last year the Jazz allowed an average of 15.5.
Gordon Hayward had another strong effort. His first quarter was eight points, two rebounds, three assists and three steals while holding Kobe to 2 -for-7 shooting with three turnovers. Hayward did have four turnovers in the first quarter.
Rudy Gobert was brilliant in the second quarter. He blocked three shots in a four-play sequence, including a block of Kobe’s fadeaway. The Lakers shot 6-for-26 in the second quarter, and Rudy played 9:40 of that quarter. He had four blocks. Most importantly, Rudy went 4-for-6 from the line and is now 14-for-21 (66.6%) from the free-throw line in the preseason for. Hitting his free throws is a must if he is going to stay on the floor.
Alec Burks was 6-for-8 in the first half with 12 points and four rebounds. He was one of the only regulars on the floor in the second half and tried to carry the load, going only 1-for-6 in the second half.
Ian Clark was the backup point guard tonight with Trey Burke out for the night. He made some nice runners in the lane. Ian does a nice job turning the corner off the pick-and-roll. He also had some moments where he didn’t look comfortable at the 1.
Lakers picked it up in the second half and Exum had four turnovers in the second half. Exum had some nice moments. He exploded to the rim and got blasted by Randle. His shot didn’t fall tonight. He is now 7-for-17 from three and 41% overall.
Utah’s performance without Trey was a reminder of what the Lakers are going through without Jeremy Lin and Steve Nash; what Portland was like without Damian Lillard earlier in preseason; and what the Jazz were like last year without Trey.
Not a great night for Jeremy Evans or Carrick Felix. It’s hard to be able to performa at their highest level with the limited time they have, but both had some tough moments. Evans got a bad matchup and was overpowered, and Felix looks to be rushing.
With three games in four nights, the Jazz are probably getting a bit worn out.
Jack Cooley, Brock Motum and Toure’ Murry didn’t play.