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Emptying the Noggin —  Jazz control the whole game at the Palace

By David Locke, Utah Jazz

Summary: The Jazz jumped on the Pistons early and controlled the entire game. Utah won for the ninth time in 11 games at the Palace at Auburn Hills.

  • The Jazz’s game plans are so good every night. Moreover, they are executing the game plans every night. Today, they wanted to do two things: The Pistons are more of a dribble hand-off team than a pick-and-roll team. The Jazz’s goal was to disrupt the timing and the spot on the floor where those handoffs took place, and then to force Detroit into the mid-range to take shots. This is exactly what Utah was able to do. It forced the Pistons into a one-on-one game and they became more and more selfish as the game went on. The Pistons were 1-15 in the mid-range.
  • Offensively, what we are seeing from the Jazz is what Quin Snyder has been trying to get from his guys all season. His entire system is that “When someone does X, then you do Y.” When the Clippers top block the wing cutters, the Jazz reacted perfectly. When the Pistons reacted to Rudy’s roll to the basket at a very high level, Utah made the correct reads. I said today on Locked on Jazz that the Pistons bring three guys to the pick-and-roll in a way few teams do and the Jazz exploited that perfectly. The third guy took away the Rudy roll. If two guys are on the ball and you’re able to move it, the opponent scrambles.
  • The Jazz took a double digit lead at the six-minute mark of the second quarter; The game was inside 10 points for only one possession the rest of the way. The minute it got within 10 points, the Jazz brought back Hayward, Hill and Gobert and the night was over.
  • Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond got benched midway through the third quarter and never returned.
  • Ho Hum. Gordon Hayward: 25 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. He is shooting 42% from 3 since December 1. He hit of 4 of 7 tonight, including a dagger to end the game.
  • Joe Ingles started the second half when Rodney Hood could not continue with right knee soreness. Joe is also on fire from 3 and is now 19 of his last 35 from three. He’s such a weapon for the Jazz and is big for floor spacing.
  • The Jazz started Joe Johnson at power forward tonight and that lineup gave the jazz a nine-point lead in the first seven minutes of the game, and the Jazz cruised from there.
  • Rudy Gobert’s impact on the game is incredible. Tobias Harris had no inkling to drive at any point all game except the minute that Gobert checked out of the game. Once Jeff Withey was in at center, Harris drove to the basket for a dunk and a layup. When Rudy returned, Harris lost interest again.
  • The Jazz had 28 assists – seven players had at least two.
  • Rudy Gobert went 5-hole backwards to a back cutting Gordon Hayward for a layup tonight.
  • Hayward was +30, Gobert +25 and Hill +22.
  • Dante had a solid game with a few more moments that show he is improving his understanding of the game, the system and the speed. He waited on a fast break for Gobert that led to a layup in the lane and Exum initiated the early action for the key Hayward 3 where Dante engaged the defender and then left the ball for Gordon to hit the 3.
  • This was a solid win to start the road trip. It’s not easy to control an entire game like that. The Jazz have won 5 of 6 and 9 of 12.