He’s a guy that defends and makes people better when he’s out on the court.”
Unlike his back-up.
LONG TIME COMING: By the way, Neto did something that even John Stockton and Deron Williams didn’t do in their Jazz careers — start their first game as a rookie. On Wednesday, the 23-year-old became the Jazz's first rookie guard to start since Darrell Griffith in 1980. The Jazz haven’t started a rookie player since Luther Wright in 1993.
You have to go back to the Jazz's inaugural season in Salt Lake City of 1979-80 to find the last rookie point guard to start: Duck Williams.
FEELING IT: Jazz rookie Trey Lyles hasn’t scored in an NBA game yet. He missed his only shot Wednesday and was 0-for-3 Friday.
The former Kentucky player said he didn’t experience butterflies this week as his professional career began.
“It was exciting, but it really didn’t feel like my first game,” he said, speaking of Wednesday’s season-opener. “We had played seven before that.”
So, is it setting in that he’s in the NBA now?
He smiled. “Not having to go to class helps a little bit.”
Looked like your fist game. I don't get why you are playing. It's like they are still tanking. You aren't ready. Withey looked the best and he hasn't even dressed. I'd love to hear the logic there.
NO FAVORITES: Forwards Trevor Booker and Gordon Hayward had particularly sweet and strong dunks in Friday’s game. Booker’s was a powerful sweeping left-handed jam in which he treated the rim like it was Roy Hibbert’s face. Hayward elevated to emphatically dunk over a Philly player.
Which was better?
“Both of them was impressive,” Jazz power forward Derrick Favors said. “I think Book’s might’ve been a little bit nastier, but Gordon dunked on somebody. I don’t know. I’ll let y’all pick on that.”
a one-sided result that not surprisingly prompted some in the Philadelphia crowd to boo throughout the night.
Can't blame them after years of that crap. I don't much different about the Jazz other than Gobert.
“We needed a win,” Favors said, “and we just came out and played like it.”
Favors was the man for the Jazz again in the scoring department, totaling a team-high for the second straight game with 20 points, 12 rebounds and three steals.
Gobert had the Philly offense discombobulated all night, swatting six shots to go with 11 rebounds and eight points.
“Me and Rudy just took it upon ourselves,” Favors said, “just to go out and set a tone early, just try to get the team going and just try to pick up a win.”
Done, done and done.
“Our players were really focused,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “There’s just things they’ve been working on and committing to, and you saw them connect some of those things tonight. It’s good to see.”
Be real good to see against a good team.
Two nights after scoring 26 points in his NBA debut, third overall pick Okafor was limited to 10 points. Noel scored only eight. The two combined to make just six of 24 field goals for a Philly squad that shot 30.2 percent. Utah outscored the Sixers 40-22 in the paint.
“Their defense was pretty good,” Noel said. “We missed some open looks and made some ill-advised decisions, starting with myself.”
It’s much easier to make ill-advised decisions when you’re being hounded by a powerful and athletic 6-10 big man like Favors and the menacing 7-foot-1 Stifle Tower.
“Like Coach says all the time, defense travels,” Gobert said. “Even when we have a bad night offensively, we know that when we play defense we still can win the game.
“Tonight, we didn’t play well on offense and we fed off of defense. Also we had a lot of easy fast-break points (10). That’s who we want to be and we’ve got to do it every night.”
If only the Sixers (0-2) were their opponent every night. While Philadelphia had five guys in double figures, nobody scored more than 12. The Jazz held them to 33 first-half points and then blew the game open with a 13-0 run to begin the second half.
That spoiled the Sixers’ festive opening, which included a national anthem by Patti LaBelle, blue “Since 1776” T-shirts for everyone in the crowd and a heartfelt tribute to Philadelphia legends Moses Malone, Darryl Dawkins and stats guru Harvey Pollack.
Missed the Patti!
This quote by Brown gloomily sums up how tough things continue to be for the NBA team from the City of Brotherly Love.
“We’re going to experience some heartache over the next month.
Everybody bunker in,” said Brown, whose teams have won only 18 and 19 games the last two seasons. “That’s a fact. I’ve said it. It shouldn’t be a mystery. We might draw one out and go find a brilliant performance, but this is going to be a fistfight for a while.”
Maybe Rocky can come out of retirement?
The Jazz offense didn’t exactly put on a clinic, shooting just 40.9 percent from the field. Some positives: Utah committed only eight turnovers, hit 7 of 13 3-pointers and got terrific dunks from Gobert, Gordon Hayward and Trevor Booker.
Also, Rodney Hood scored 17 and shot 3-for-6 from deep after his 0-for-7 opener beyond the arc, and Alec Burks (15 points, seven rebounds) and Trey Burke (10 points, six assists) gave the spark off the bench that Snyder was hoping for when he assigned them to that role.
It was especially encouraging for the Jazz that Burke played so well after his scoreless night in Detroit when he played just three minutes in the second half.
“Coach felt like I didn’t have he same energy Wednesday night and he did what he did with the lineup,” Burke said. “But I felt like tonight, the way I came out with the energy, the intensity I had defensively, my aggression on offense, is how I’ve got to be every night.”
encouraging that Trey is still an inconsistent piece of shit?
The Jazz finish their season-opening road trip Saturday night in Indiana. The Pacers are winless so far, having lost to the Raptors and Grizzlies.
“They’re a hungry team,” Snyder said. “We played pretty good tonight, so hopefully we can keep focus and we can do it again.”
JAZZ NOTES: Three Jazz players made their season debuts Friday: Trevor Booker, Tibor Pleiss and Chris Johnson. Booker was suspended for the opener after slapping Lakers center Roy Hibbert. Pleiss, a rookie from Germany, finished with two points and one rebound in his first NBA action. … This was the fourth time in Alec Burks’ career that he had at least 15 points and seven rebounds. … In Wednesday’s loss, rookie Raul Neto was the only Utah player to hit a 3-pointer. Neto shot 2-for-2 from beyond the arc for the second straight game. Rodney Hood, Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks also connected for 3s.
One of the things Utah needs to do this season to achieve its postseason aspirations is to take care of business against the league’s inferior teams. It did exactly this Friday, scoring an extremely easy win.
But didn't do against Detroit.
If anything, the outing serves as a confidence-builder to start the season. Several young guys got either their first minutes or first points of the young campaign.
Grading the performance: The Jazz were simply dominant. They imposed their will defensively, making everything difficult for Philadelphia. The active and impressive defense helped spur Utah’s offense, though it only shot 40.9 percent from the floor. Several Jazzmen had good nights, with five scoring in double figures.
Utah Jazz grade: B+
What can be said about the Sixers? They struggled, almost from the get-go. The effort was listless, punchless and seemingly hopeless. Philadelphia missed nearly 70 percent of its field goal attempts, had three more turnovers than assists and got outscored by four or more points each quarter. The Sixers have some promising players, but it appears that this will be yet another long season in the City of Brotherly Love
Philadelphia 76ers grade: D+
Three telling stats:
- Led by the formidable duo of Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert, the Jazz absolutely controlled the battle of the boards, 51-39. It also helps when the wings contribute, as Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks did with seven rebounds apiece.
- Utah’s defense was on point all evening, with 10 steals and eight blocked shots only telling a part of the story. Gobert was a one-man wrecking crew, recording six swats.
-The Jazz’s offense was solid, with the ball moving all night. They had 19 assists, compared to a mere seven turnovers — a 2.71 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Up next: Rather than some good, old fashioned trick-or-treating, the Jazz will spend Halloween night taking on the Indiana Pacers. This will conclude Utah’s early three-game road trip. The Pacers are a much different team than last year’s version. Out are Roy Hibbert, David West, Luis Scola and C.J. Watson. In are Monta Ellis, Jordan Hill, Myles Turner and Chase Budinger. Perhaps the best development is the healthy return of All-Star forward Paul George. This game signals Hayward’s annual return to his hometown Indiana.
Mabe Hayward will wake up at home? It's hard to understand why good or bad there have to be several articles every game about Trey. The guy sucks. Has for two plus years.
0 — Number of minutes (excluding garbage time) the Jazz played without at least one of Derrick Favors or Rudy Gobert on the floor in the second half.
First game they were the only two centers too. Favors getting in foul trouble and leaving early was part of it in this one though. Withey was dressed finally but Lyles continues to play and look lost. It's ridiculous. I understood it the past couple years when they were tanking but now it's a joke. Lyles shouldn't play until he's ready to contribute. Withey, Pleiss, no one or make a move and get someone that can play!
Quin Snyder tightened his rotation and seemed to emphasize leaving at least two of Utah’s top players on the floor at all times, and it paid off in spades.
That's good. Millsap still played though. Alec certainly needs to play more as do others
20, 46 — Percentage of available offensive and defensive rebounds, respectively, that Gobert collected while on the floor tonight. Musings
Halftime adjustments are key: Failure to properly credit Snyder for what his team did in the second half after the lackluster showing in the first would be errant. Thrown out of whack to some degree rotations-wise in the first half with a couple guys in foul trouble and wildly inconsistent play from nearly everyone on the roster, Snyder regrouped at the break. Both he and his team were razor sharp to start the half, and a few lineup tweaks in the right spots2 proved timely.
I'd guess he lit into them again. They definitely came out a different team.
Tempo, tempo, tempo: One of the largest issues facing the Jazz offense this year, and something Snyder and players have been open about in the face of numerous questions on the subject, is their pace. Over time, this has come less about their raw per-48-minute possession count (the actual “pace” stat, that is) and more about the flow of the offense in general. Saturday night was once again a totally different ballgame in the second half here; their movement had so much more purpose, their initiation of the threatening parts of sets so much more urgency. The Jazz were forcing the Pacers into tough decisions offensively in a way we’ve rarely seen to this point in the year — the third quarter in particular, where the Jazz took the game over, illustrated how much more potent they can be. Utah’s pace in that period was 99.76, at the very high end for where teams finished last season3. The stat isn’t necessarily a hands-down indicator of offensive success, but here’s five dollars to your five that no one will be displeased with the results the rest of the year whenever the Jazz can speed things up to that degree.
Hayward still struggling: That the Jazz were able to shake the cobwebs in such an emphatic fashion despite Gordon Hayward’s continued struggles has to be a big positive. To be fair, Gordon had one of the most difficult wing matchups in the league in Paul George, among the game’s premier defenders and ideally suited to stifle guys like Hayward. Utah’s captain has been pressing all year, though, and imagining what the team’s play can look like if everyone maintains their highest level and Gordon inevitably returns to form is a fun exercise.
Other standouts: Rodney Hood was once again excellent, looking more and more like another potential offensive centerpiece for the Jazz. He was the only reason the Jazz were even close in the first half Saturday night, and paced them offensively for their big run in the third as well.
Even better he actually did something else besides score in this one.
Derrick Favors couldn’t find his touch early, but rebounded for his usual consistently excellent game — he’s now averaging over 21 points and eight rebounds per game for the young season, and has firmly established himself as the team’s most consistent player early on.
Not sure about that.
Gobert was a seismic force in the second half, with a six-minute stretch to start the third quarter that very few centers in the game today are capable of duplicating. He simply decided no one was going to score within the vicinity of his basket, gobbled up every rebound in sight4 and was hugely active on offense — even drawing help with an aggressive drive Ian Mahinmi wasn’t ready for before finding Hayward for a wide open three:
I think he was talking French to him after the one!
Not enough freebies: Despite the strong effort Saturday, drawing free throws looks to be something of an issue for the Jazz early on this year. They’ve allowed 28 more freebies than they’ve taken on the year, and while some of that is overly handsy defense and another bit is a few questionable calls (or non-calls) over a short sample, it’s still a tad concerning. Guys like Hayward can’t get frustrated that their usual tactics aren’t drawing the whistles. The group as a whole can find more opportunities to get to the line and grab easy points, though they improved here in the second half Saturday night and had their best evening of the season percentage-wise from the stripe. Ben Dowsett
Jerry's influence seems to be there right now. Hack and hack some more!
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.
Or the other team isn't 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.
We'll see how awesome when the tough part of the schedule starts next Saturday.
• 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.
The want layups and 3's . Alec gets to the rim anytime he wants. He's not taking the long twos that others on the team are still taking.
• Trey Burke has made some passes I have seen from him over the last two games. He is playing a much different game.
until he isn't. We've seen him have good games and many more horrible games.
• 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.
He's one of the guys I thought the Jazz should go after but why when you have Trey!
• 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.
Especially when he's getting deep into the paint.
• 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.
The opposite of what he was supposed to do!
• 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.
A loss isn't a great trip. They win with Booker but they also win with some more NBA players on their roster instead of what they have. Inexcusable.
It was just a matter of we liked Myles Turner a little better."
He looked good. Jazz might have been better off with him too!
So on draft night, the Pacers grabbed Turner with the 11th overall pick, letting Lyles fall to the Jazz at No. 12.
"I thought all my workouts were pretty good," Lyles said. "I did what I could in each of them. But I ended up here, so I'm happy about that."
At 6-foot-10 with some small forward skills, Lyles is a versatile player, but still a project who can be developed slowly in the Jazz system.
But they aren't developing him slowly. They are throwing him into the fire and he's not ready for it. It's a joke! He needs to show he can play at the D-league level at the very least first.
"I'm getting a lot more comfortable," he said. "The guys are welcoming so that makes it a lot easier. The guys kind of know what I can do somewhat and they trust me somewhat. … That just comes from me working hard in practice and staying after and getting extra work on stuff, because I want to be better and I want to be a key player on the team."
Lyles said he was looking forward to facing off against Turner, a former AAU opponent, in Indianapolis.
"It's a fun thing," Lyles said. "We've been playing against each other since we were younger. Now we're in the NBA, so it's a cool experience."
On Saturday, the Pacers rookie had the bigger night, finishing with 10 points and four rebounds. Lyles and the Jazz, meanwhile, notched the win.
With the first pick in this year's D-League draft, the Idaho Stampede — the Jazz's affiliate team — grabbed former San Antonio Spurs big man Jeff Ayres. The 6-9 Ayres has played more than 200 NBA games over five seasons, averaging 3 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.
Grand Rapids nabbed former Westminster guard Michael Stockton, son of the legendary Jazz point guard John Stockton, in the second round. The Santa Cruz Warriors took former Jazzman Ronnie Brewer, also in the second round.
We’ve wanted to be a good road team, and that begins with playing good defense, and I think that’s what happened the last two nights.”
You were a good road team. Need to dominate at home now.
The win improved the Jazz’s record to 2-1, marking the first time they’ve been above .500 since April 2013.
Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and Alec Burks are the only players who were even on the Jazz back then when the team just missed the playoffs with a 43-39 record.
“We didn’t get off to a good start tonight, but our defense got stronger as the game went on,” Snyder said. “Our guys came together, and we really guarded (Friday) night as well. I like what we did on this trip.”
Similar to Friday’s game, when Utah opened the third quarter in Philly on a 13-0 run, the Jazz exploded out of the locker room with a double-digit spurt to seize momentum for good in Indy.
Utah scored the first 12 points of the third quarter after going into halftime trailing 49-42.
With the intensity and activity turned up to 11 on a 10-notch dial, the Jazz continued to dominate even after the Pacers finally got on the scoreboard five and a half minutes into the second half.
Utah ended up outscoring the Pacers 28-12 in the third quarter. Indiana only shot 28.6 percent in that period, hitting just six of 21 shots.
This from a Paul George-led Pacers team that didn’t play Friday and had built a 10-point lead in the first half over the visitors.
“That’s who we are. That’s the identity on this team is defense,” Jazz power forward Derrick Favors said. “We’re going to have bad games offensively some games. Some nights we’re going to make shots, but overall we can control what we do on the defensive end.”
The Jazz didn’t slack any in the fourth quarter, either.
Utah held tough the final 12 minutes, allowing the Pacers to score just 15 points on a measly 13 shots. Favors, Rodney Hood, Trey Burke, Alec Burks and Chris Johnson each had steals in the fourth as Indiana was forced into making 11 of its 24 turnovers in that quarter.
“We kept competing and played great defense throughout,” said Gobert, who had 17 rebounds, nine points and two blocks. “It’s hard to play good defense against a team who plays hard for 48 minutes, but we were able to do that in the second half tonight.”
And then some.
If the first half on this holiday night was a trick, the second half was certainly a treat. The Jazz held the Pacers to a mere 27 points in the final two quarters.
“They hurt us inside in the second half and we weren’t able to capitalize on the other end,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. “We weren’t able to execute offensively in the third quarter. We didn’t match their physicality. We let them beat us to our spots.”
That’s quite the compliment from a coach who’s used to his defensive-oriented team playing that same way in recent years.
While Utah is off to its best start in years, the Pacers dropped to 0-3. They looked like the Jazz stole their candy bag in the second half, acting frustrated and out of sorts.
“They came out with a lot of intensity, picked up the defense,” Indiana guard Monta Ellis said.
Meanwhile, the Jazz’s offense also did a turnaround, and especially Favors. He only had two points in the first half and ended up leading the Jazz in scoring again with 18 points to go with seven rebounds, three steals and a blocked shot.
“I’ve been in the league for six years, so I know how to react to certain situations,” Favors said. “I know not to put my head down if I miss a couple of shots, get in foul trouble. I just go out there and keep playing.”
Starting shooting guard Rodney Hood continued to play well. He was the bright spot of the first half, scoring 10 of his 17 points in the first quarter to keep Utah within reach.
“We were passionate out there. We didn’t want to let this one slip away,” Hood said. “They were real physical with us in the first half. We had to meet that.”
JAZZ NOTES: Utah has Sunday off after arriving back from Indiana early in the morning. The Jazz will have a couple of days to practice before hosting Portland on Wednesday for their home opener at Vivint Arena. … Center Jeff Withey got his first action in a Jazz uniform, playing the final 1:21.
Everybody on the team who is healthy has now played. … Rookie Trey Lyles scored his first two NBA points in Indiana where he went to high school. … Utah had lost its previous four games to the Pacers, dating back to Jan. 26, 2013.