Emptying the Noggin - Fatigued Jazz Lose 2nd in a Row
By David Locke, Utah Jazz
Summary: The Jazz — playing four games in five nights — looked like a tired bunch for most of the night and fell to the Denver Nuggets, 103-93, splitting the season series at two games apiece.
• The Jazz weren’t very good tonight. They weren’t sharp.They didn’t throw themselves into the game. They didn’t have a lot of bounce. They didn’t make shots. It was a group that lacked a lot of juice.
• In all likelihood, this will be the final time in franchise history that the Jazz play four games in five nights. The league is starting the season two weeks earlier in order to eliminate this situation. The league has already done a lot to get rid of these games as teams aren’t very good when they play four games in five nights. The Nuggets weren’t a particularly fresh team, having played six games in ninenights, and this was really ugly basketball for much of the game.
• When the Jazz led it midway through the second quarter,you could feel that they didn’t have it. I said on the air that the Jazz were on the verge of being down 10 by halftime if something didn’t change and sure enough, that is what happened.
• The Jazz sent the Nuggets to the line time and time again in the second quarter. Playing defense with your hands and not your feet is the quickest way to commit fouls, and the surest sign that you are tired.
• Rudy Gobert’s rebound streak came to an end after being extended on a review of Monday’s game film.
• Nikola Jokic was terrific: 23 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocks. He is incredibly skilled offensively.
• The Jazz made a run in the fourth, and if one of two shots had fallen, maybe the night would have ended differently.George Hill had a wide open three on a Denver breakdown with 3:16 left and the Jazz down by six points. He missed it. Then, Hill had a wide open three from the right corner with the Jazz down four points with 2:23 left and it didn’t go. Hill has been so good, but tonight the shot didn’t fall. He went 6 of 18 and 1 for 6 from three.
• Hayward had a poor night: 2 for 10 and nine points. TheJazz aren’t going to win a lot when Hill and Hayward shoot 8 of 28 from the field. It’s rather remarkable that with thatshooting night, I can find two shots that might have changed the night.
• Derrick Favors had an awesome third quarter tonight with 16 points on 7 of 7 shooting and took Jovic to school. Favors was great in the paint and his mid-range jumperlooked excellent. Jokic is still a very poor defensive player and Favors was able to take advantage.
• This was the second straight solid night for Alec Burks. He is bringing an element the Jazz haven’t had off the bench and is really scoring. He uses a lot of possessions in a short period of time and those possessions have been being used fairly well, so he needs to stay efficient.
• The Jazz have lost two games in a row. I wouldn’t worry too much about this. The Jazz have three more games during this stretch where they were favored for 11 straight (turned out they weren’t favored tonight) and if they can go 9-2 in