EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – WOW, WOW, WOW

  • Wow.  Wow Again.  The Spurs last lead was 8-7. The Spurs never went on a run of 5-0 or more. The Spurs never scored more than two baskets without a Jazz bucket.  This is incredible. The Spurs had to have tonight. They had lost two in a row and 3 of 5. They had two days off. They had to have this. After they got hit hard in the first quarter, the Spurs threw everything at the Jazz and even when it felt like the Spurs were making inroads, you would look up and the Jazz were back up by double digits.
  • The Jazz have started seven games with Favors and Gobert as the front line—in three of those the Jazz have held the Bulls, Blazers and Spurs to season lows in points.
  • Danté Exum was brilliant on the pick-and-roll defensively tonight. Utah’s game plan was to drop the big early, forcing Duncan to pop and Parker to make the pass back to Duncan either to play dribble hand-off or rotate to the other wing. They wanted Parker out of the middle. Exum did this so well the Spurs simply stopped running the play. They tried to move Parker to the top and make him play from the top. Parker was a non-factor
  • Gordon Hayward took 10 free throws in the first half—the most he has ever taken in a half in his career.
  • The Jazz dealt with some adversity tonight. The calls didn’t feel like they were going their way and the Spurs were getting into the Jazz—but the Jazz were able to fight through all of those moments.
  • Quin matched Millsap to Manu tonight and Manu went 3-for-9. Millsap is a game-changing defensive player.
  • The defense is the work of everyone. Gobert is obviously fabulous, but for the last two games the Jazz have been playing five guys together with amazing energy.  They had 14 steals tonight. The last two nights have been two of the biggest steal nights of the season. The Spurs and Blazers are both above average at taking care of the ball.
  • The Jazz have had great point guard play the last two games. It makes all the difference. Trey Burke had 23 points tonight after 19 v. Portland. He’s hitting the mid-range shot and the paint non-restricted area. This is career-changing for Trey.   He has hit 28% of these this year and the last two nights it has been a weapon. He has been working very hard on these shots.
  • The speed Danté showed chasing down Parker was absurd, and his pass to Derrick Favors late in the game coming right to left on the baseline and bouncing back to right block was something you can’t teach.
  • Rudy sprinting the floor early twice for dunks changes the game. Rudy also made a great pass to Favors in the paint for a dunk.
  • A lot of quiet nights that were big—Ingles with three steals, 10 points and two huge threes. Favors had 14 points and 10 rebounds plus 3 steals and a block on Duncan when he came helpside as Gobert was guarding Duncan. This play changed the way the Spurs went at the basket
  • The Spurs got into the paint and were aware of Gobert all night.
  • Elijah Millsap has 36 rebounds in the last 5 games.
  • Trevor’s energy was again amazing.
  • This team might be really good. We’re on our way. Last year we had 25 wins. Maybe we get to 35 this year without injuries and 45 is in play for next year. If you’re a top defensive team in the NBA, you win games. Couple that with Quin’s offensive mind and you are building something. Lots of pieces need to be added and lots of combinations need to be built and it will still be a journey, but wow how the world is different right now than it was when the year started.

POSTCAST – Locke and Boone breakdown Jazz win over Spurs

How good are the Jazz?  Boone and Locke discuss. ……

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TIPOFF – Feb 23 – NBA 5, why the Jazz were brilliant v. Portland

Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke gives you the NBA 5, then looks at Utah’s great win over Portland and more.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Jazz are brilliant v. Portland

  • A remarkable performance from the Utah Jazz. Defensively, the Jazz completely dominated the game.The Blazers scored 24 points in the 1st quarter and then scored 52 in the next 36 minutes. The Blazers shot just 17-for-56 after the first quarter. One of the league’s best 3-point shooting teams shot just 2-for-18 from three after the first quarter. This was complete defensive domination. Stunning.
  • Beating really good teams in the final 30 games of the season is hard to do.  The Blazers slip from third to a tie for fifth with the loss. These guys have no margin for error they are coming hard. The game was 65-59 to open the fourth quarter and it felt like time for the Blazers to flip the switch—and instead the Jazz went on a rookie-led 20-2 run. Ingles hit a bucket; Exum, Hood and Millsap followed with threes; and then Millsap added another three and the Jazz had run away from the Blazers.
  • Trey Burke was as good as he has ever been in the middle of the floor. He hit floaters in the lane that have eluded him all year. All season he has hit on just 25% on paint nonrestricted shots, but tonight he made those shots and it forced the Blazers to react.
  • The Jazz ran the pick-and-roll from the top very well. Favors took the ball on the roll and was a force. Favors finished with 16 points and nine rebounds.
  • Rudy Gobert was a huge part of the night, but the big story has to be how good Utah’s defense has become both with and without Gobert. The Blazers shot 35% with Gobert on the floor and 38% with Gobert off the floor tonight. Utah’s offense shot the same with and without Gobert.
  • Having Favors or Gobert on the floor for all 48 minutes is very helpful for the defense.
  • The Jazz had 11 steals tonight and were super aggressive on defense.
  • The defense was a five-man effort tonight. They rotated terrifically all evening. The game plan on Aldridge was executed perfectly. Quin asks a lot out of these guys with the game plan and they are beginning to figure it out. This is a now a smart group of basketball players. This will allow them to maximize what Quin wants.
  • Elijah Millsap has Tony Allen comparables. He hit three 3-pointers tonight. If he can shoot, he’s going to be a nice NBA player. He’s a mistake waiting to happen with the ball in his hands, but his defense is elite and fearless.  If he can make a catch-and-shoot, pass without mistakes and DEFEND like he is right now, he could be Utah’s Tony Allen.
  • Nice to see Rodney Hood out there.
  • The key run of the game was in the third quarter when the Jazz beat up on the Blazers starters. For the Blazers to win, they have to beat you with their starters and survive with their bench.
  • Gordon Hayward had 10 third-quarter points.
  • Trevor Booker’s box score doesn’t look great, but his energy was amazing. It changed the game.
  • The Jazz are 14-15 over their last 29 games. This team is making incredible strides.

POSTCAST – Locke and Boone breakdown Utah’s great win

The Utah Jazz radio team breaks down Utah’s win over Portland.

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PODCAST – Locke goes 1 on 1 with Dennis Lindsey

Utah Jazz radio voice David Locke sits down with Dennis Lindsey about why the Jazz made the deal, the development of Rudy and Derrick and how cap space might be most important on draft night

TIPOFF – Feb 20 – Rearview mirror on the trade deadline

Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider David Locke breaks down the NBA’s trade deadline activity.

PODCAST – Locke joins Spence and Gordon to talk about Kanter trade

Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA Insider joins Spence and Gordon on home of the Utah Jazz 97.5 FM home of the Utah Jazz to talk about the trade of Enes Kanter.