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Emptying the Noggin —Gobzilla takes over New York
By David Locke, Utah Jazz
Summary: The Jazz waited until the fourth quarter to close the door on the Knicks, but when they did Gobzilla took over New York and Utah won, 108-101.
- Gobzilla (aka Rudy Gobert) left a path of destruction and wreaked havoc on the New York Knicks. Rudy had a career high 35 points, hitting on 13 of 14 shots. He grabbed 13 rebounds and a career high 11 offensive rebounds, adding four blocked shots. Only Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Davis have had stat lines similar this season. He was far and away the best player on the floor.
- The Jazz trailed by eight points after the first quarter, four at the half and then by three heading into the final quarter. The Jazz won their 11th game when trailing going into the fourth quarter this season.
- Gordon Hayward went the Paul George route tonight. Similar to Paul George in the Indiana game, Hayward had a miserable start, missing 10 of his 12 shots. In the fourth quarter, he went 4 for 5 and scored 13 points.
- Raul Neto played the backup point guard tonight instead of Dante Exum. Exum didn’t play the point guard well on the road trip and had too many possessions that killed the offense. Teams are going under every pick with Dante, and even when he runs off re-picks, defenders are still going under. This is stalling the offense and leaving the ball in his hands for too long each possession.
- Instead, Quin went to Neto and was rewarded. Neto hit a corner 3 and a top-of-the-key 3 when the Knicks went under the pick. Neto is small which hurts him on the defensive end, but he’s a better shooter and runs the team with more efficiency right now than Dante.
- The Knicks caused the Jazz problems early with Porzingis popping out, which opened the middle for drives and gave Kristaps looks from 3. The Jazz have struggled defensively all year with the stretch-5, and the same was true early tonight when the Knicks scored 34 points in the first quarter.
- The Jazz simply couldn’t make a shot for a long time in this game, starting 4 of 24 from 3.
- The Knicks are 30th in the NBA in defensive rebounding, and the Jazz had 18 offensive rebounds in 46 chances; 39% is an outrageously high number.
- Boris Diaw started at power forward instead of Joe Johnson, but was -12 in his 14 minutes.
- Alec Burks went 0 for 4 and was somehow +15. That is the complete opposite of how Alec’s career has gone.
- The Jazz got a much-needed win. If they win in LA Saturday, Utah has a chance for the four seed. If they lose, it will be very unlikely.