Steph Curry is really special. He got rolling and it was awesome. We let him get really comfortable, and when he gets comfortable it’s hard to stop him. On the first two possessions we went under on the pick and roll—and that makes sense if the big hedges hard, but there weren’t hard hedges so someone did something wrong. No way the game plan was to go under and recover. Curry is such a great shooter.
The first two plays of the game were side pick-and-rolls with the weak side overloaded with three players. The ball-handler came to the middle of the floor and the roll man was the only one left on that side of the floor, and he got a wide-open dunk or layup. Once on each side of the floor.
The TV crew had the best headline—rather than “Splash Brothers” this was a “Splash Kicking.”
In the opening eight or nine possessions, the Jazz seemingly had a breakdown in some place on every possession. Wonder if having just a morning meeting instead of a shootaround made it so this team wasn’t able to translate what adjustments they needed to make. Seems that games without the shootaround have featured worse defensive execution. No facts on that—just what I perceive.
Curry and Thompson were just terrific. Curry had awesome gravity tonight (meaning he pulled guys to him, which created openings everywhere else).
Trey Burke had a career-high 15 assists.
Warriors make the ball-handler shoot, and you saw early that Burke, Hayward and Burks got all the action.
Alec Burks is going to the rim at an awesome rate.
Draymond Green is not Carmelo Anthony.
Jimmer Fredette was drafted in front of Klay Thompson.
When Rudy Gobert sprinted the floor in the fourth quarter, it was evident. A player sprinting the floor should not stand out.
Warriors EFG% was 67%.
Marvin is just not the player he was before March 1.
Seriously undermanned Pelicans team and the Jazz got the win. I thought it was going to get interesting as the game got close late (coupled with Utah’s recent inability to close out game) and this one was close. However, the Jazz were able to pull away and win it over the Pelicans.
Anthony Davis didn’t play in the third quarter and the Jazz took advantage, scoring 30 points in the quarter and dominating the game in the paint. Favors had 14 points in the third quarter. Tyrone Corbin decided to separate Kanter and Favors again, and it seemed to open the floor for Favors tonight.
I know we are all interested in seeing Kanter and Favors together, but it is possible that those minutes are hurting Favors. This year with Marvin on the floor, Favors has an EFT% of 53%, but with Kanter on and Marvin off he shoots 45.6%. The floor has spacing and the ball moves better, and Derrick doesn’t have to be the passer.
The Pelicans were doubling the post not because they were scared of Kanter and Favors’ scoring, but because they knew they couldn’t handle the ball as well. Favors and Kanter had a combined seven turnovers and two assists at halftime.
Late in the game Corbin went away from Kanter and Favors together again. The lack of ball movement and floor spacing makes it hard for guys to score. This has been a bit better as of late when both are on the floor—since Jan. 1 Favors has an EFG% of 51%, Kanter 47.7%, Hayward 47% and Burke 45%. The league average is 50%, so this is not very good.
Alec was terrific at attacking the basket and getting to the line tonight. He nailed a few outside jumpers, and he got to the line 13 times. He understood the lack of rim protection without Anthony Davis on the floor. My favorite play was a really nice pick-and-roll with Favors where he dropped the ball over the top of the defense to where Favors would have been rolling. Favors was grabbed and fouled, but it was nice anticipation.
Hayward followed his trend of the last month. Fewer shots, usually early, and a solid all-around game. Tonight he went to the line 13 times, making it 54 in the last five games. He finished with 21 points, four rebounds, six assists and three steals tonight.
Ian Clark got 13 minutes tonight and Jeremy Evans got 16 as Tyrone made a conscience effort to get them time.
Richard Jefferson and Gordon Hayward did a nice job on Tyreke Evans, who had seven turnovers. The last time we played, he had a career-high 15 assists.
One player’s season has been classified as a breakout to stardom. He was an All-Star. At times he has been talked about as the next superstar. At times he has been talked about as the third-best player in the NBA. This player also plays with two other All-Stars. He has a max contract.
The other player has had a disappointing season. He has been classified as overwhelmed and playing outside of his role. Not good enough to handle his role. A national commentator and former successful head coach said he was no better than the fourth or fifth option and is a mid-level exception player.
How big is the difference, really?
Let’s look at each of these players since Jan. 1.
Here is the budding superstar:
Here is the one being called a disappointment:
Wow. A better FG% and 3-point FG%. Their combined assists and rebounds are the same. They’re nearly equal in steals and turnovers. The disappointment is averaging more blocks. The only reason the budding star scores more is that he shoots more.
It’s worth noting that the disappointment’s team has been better offensively since Jan. 1 than the budding star’s team.