EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – A mind-bogling second half

• Wow. That was crazy impressive. What the Jazz did to the Pacers in the 2nd half is hard to fathom. Teams don’t manhandle other NBA teams like this unless you are really good. The Jazz defense was incredible. They held the Pacers to 27 points in the 2nd half. To blow out another NBA team by 30 over 24 minutes is unheard of.

• Rudy Gobert is the core to the defense but it goes much farther than just Rudy. In no way am I minimizing what Rudy is doing. He is the most impactful player I have seen in the NBA since either a young Dwight Howard or Ben Wallace. But the whole team is connected. They build incredible walls. They take away huge portions of the floor with their shifts. They react to each others actions. They are forcing teams to make skip passes over the top that slow down the offense and force them deep into the clock and into weakside 1 on 1 actions. It is awesome.

• Gordon Hayward had a tough offensive night but his defense and the team defense on Paul George was fabulous. He busted his *&* defensively. Ron Boone says it is the hardest he has ever seen him work defensively.

• The Pacers scored 29 first quarter points. The Jazz were having a hard time with the Pacers pressure. They were turning it over time and time again. The Pacers were getting out on the run and the Jazz looked like a team on the ropes. Instead the defense clamped down and held the Pacers to 20 points. It kept the Jazz in the game.

• The Pacers completely outplayed the Jazz for the first 24 minutes and then in a span 3 minutes of the 3rd quarter the Jazz outplayed the Pacers and took the lead. The Jazz opened the third quarter on a 13-0 run and the Pacers missed their first 8 shots of the quarter. Pacers ended up shooting 6 for 21 in the 3rdquarter. Paul George was 2 for 6, if he is going to be the best player in the league as he said he was then he needs to be able to stop these type of droughts.

• Favors got in foul trouble in the 1st quarter 4 minutes into the game and he came out in the 3rd quarter with a point to prove. He dominated with 8 points and Rudy grabbed 10 rebounds in the 3rd quarter. It was pure domination.

• Little moments in the first half mattered – Rodney Hood kept the Jazz in the game in the first quarter, Trey Burke bailed the Jazz out after Raul Neto had a tough first 6 minutes. Joe Ingles scored 5 in a row after the Pacers lead by 10.

• The lack of three point shooting is still a problem for the Jazz. Only 17% of the shots were 3s. it is going to be impossible for this team to be anywhere near the league average if Alec takes 13 shots without a 3 attempt.

• Trey Burke has made some passes I have seen from him over the last two games. He is playing a much different game.

• I love George Hill. He is so physical defensively. He had his hands all over Neto tonight and Raul had no idea how to deal with it in the beginning. Hill is a 40% catch and shoot 3 point shooter. He is a super player. If Indiana implodes he could be a major piece for a contending team.

• Rodney Hood was really good tonight. 4 steals on the defensive end. He has only taken 2 free throws in 80 minutes. This needs to improve.

• Favors 18-7 again. He is averaging 21 points and 8 rebounds thru 3 games and he showed a full array of an offensive game.

• Neto is 1 for 11 inside the 3 point line.

• Thru three games teams are scoring 83.1 pts per 100 possessions with Rudy Gobert on the floor and 82.4 with Derrick Favors on the floor. Those numbers are mind boggling. Teams are shooting 36% with Rudy Gobert on the floor.

• An incredible performance to go from down 7 at the half to a runaway 20 point win. Super job. Great 2-1 road trip. Jazz might be a Trevor Booker hand slap away from being 3-0 but Detroit is good.

JAZZ GAME REWIND – Relive Utah’s win over the Sixers

Tyson Ewing takes you through the Jazz’s win over the Sixers with the best action, the best stretch and the player of the game. If you missed the game, this will give you the feel of the night. If you want to relive the night, this will do it. If you watched TV and want to know how it sounded on radio, this is the answer.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Defense stifles the rookie

• Wins count. You have to get this one and the Jazz did in commanding fashion. Home opener, early in the year, seemed like a night where the Sixers could give a fight and it was over in a hurry.

• The defense was terrific. They had a solid game plan on Okafor and Noel. It prevented either of the them from getting any type of rhythm during the game. The Jazz sent a strong dig at Okafor and knew he would immediately revert to playing straight up basketball rather than post ball. Noel has no game outside 5 feet and the Jazz took advantage of that in numerous ways.

• It was great if someone got by Gobert Favors was waiting and vice versa. The Wasatch Front is imposing.

• One of the first plays of the game Okafor got into the body of Rudy and power through him. Rudy never allowed that to happen again and caused Okafor a lot of troubles.

• Rudy Gobert had 6 blocks and Favors had 2.

• Trey Burke had a really nice night off the bench. He found open guys. Made a nice weakside pass to a corner 3 for Alec Burks. Defensively he got beat the first few possesions and then adjusted and didn’t have troubles again after that.

• Philadelphia is really awful.

• Derrick was a beast again with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Add 3 steals and 2 blocks and that is an all around performance.

• The defense shut down the Sixers and held the to 20 or fewer points every quarter. They sagged off Noel and clogged all the lanes so the Sixers couldn’t get anything to the basket.

• Raul Neto is a pest. 3 steals but neither Isaiah Canaan or TJ McConnell are NBA caliber point guards right now

• Rodney Hood took 6 threes. He has taken 13 in 2 games – AWESOME. High volume three point shooters are crazy important in this league.

• 15 points and 7 rebounds from Alec off the bench in 27 minutes is big time production. He had 15 points and 8 shot attempts. Rebounding guards are one of the most underrated things in the NBA. Every really good team has them. If Burks and Hayward rebound well enough Jazz might be able to play a small line-up.

• The small line-up gives Favors rolls to the basket a lot of room and makes him a tough guard.

• Jazz got the offensive rebounding back tonight with 13 offensive rebounds in 44 chances. 29.5% right back at the league leading level of last year. Jazz had 23 2nd chance points on 8 of 13 shooting. Jazz were #1 in the NBA in offensive rebounding and putback percentage last year.

• Rudy and Okafor had a nice battle. It got heated. Rudy got the best of him.

• Gordon Hayward’s off night is now 12 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal.

• Jazz shot distrubtion thru two games is off. Tonight Favors had 17, Hood 14, Hayward 12, Burke 10 and Burks 8. The offense can have all the movement but the right guys have to get the shots at the end if your offense is going to be good. In two games, Favors has taken 32 shots, Hood 29, Hawyard 23, Burks 22 and Burke 12. This will rectify itself.

• The Jazz are still learning and this team will improve as time goes on. Indiana would be a good win. 2-1 would be a super trip.