Thoughts from David Locke, radio play-by-play announcer for the Utah Jazz, after Utah’s loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Summary: The dreaded first game back from a long road trip, plus a ton of injuries bit the Jazz tonight versus Memphis, falling 102-96. Old-man Grizzlies Gasol (22), Carter (20) and Randolph (18) carried the Grizzlies to their first road win of the season, and since midway through last year
- The Jazz played without Hill and Hood, instead starting Exum and Ingles. Joe played really well and Dante was aggressive, but missing those two guys plus Alec was a huge part of this game. Without being specific, there were numerous plays that swung in the fourth quarter where the ball is the hands of Hood and Hill instead and they make plays. But that is the reality of the NBA, and tonight the Jazz couldn’t overcome it.
- The real problem tonight was the Jazz starting the game very poorly defensively, and Memphis got rolling and had confidence. Memphis had been terrible in the first quarter of games (30th in offense) and they came with a lot of energy and effort early to rectify their poor play. Memphis scored 33 points in the first quarter.
- The Jazz couldn’t rebound at all in the fourth quarter. Playing Lyles and Diaw as the front court and without Hill and Hood — who are above average rebounders at their position — the Jazz allowed the Grizzlies to get six offensive rebounds and only got five defensive rebounds.
- Quin closed the game with Boris Diaw instead of Rudy Gobert and when asked why, he said “Rudy wasn’t playing well.”
- Rudy made a really poor decision with 10:14 left in the fourth quarter to commit his fifth foul on a trap at the sideline, 27 feet away from the basket on a reaching foul. You can’t make that mistake when you are as important to the Jazz as Rudy is. Before the game, Quin was asked about how great Rudy is playing and he ended up talking about his lack of discipline in the Charlotte game that got him in foul trouble. It was a pre-cursor to tonight. Rudy is a great player, he has been in foul trouble more this year than before. I am sure why, but he is so important to the Jazz, he needs to mitigate fouls any way he can.
- Gordon Hayward didn’t hit shots tonight. Some of the defense from Memphis resembled what Gordon saw last year at times when Rodney wasn’t rolling. Last year, Rodney had 33 versus Memphis when Memphis put Tony Allen on Hayward and Hood went off. Tonight, there wasn’t anyone to relieve that burden on Gordon. Nonetheless, Gordon got some really good looks you would think he would make.
- Trey Lyles — who has been scuffling with his shot — got rolling tonight. He had 18 points on 6 of 12 shooting. He came with a calmness to his game tonight.
- The Jazz only had one field goal for a 7-minute stretch in the fourth quarter. The Jazz were without Favors by that point of the game, who after playing a non-impactful 20 minutes, was not able to continue.
- Joe Ingles had a career high 20 points and came with a great understanding of what the Jazz needed from him in the game, he played a role outside of what he is usually asked to do, and he did it well. He is the ultimate team player.
- Derrick Favors inability to play is concerning. He has been gaming it for the team, but he didn’t play well tonight. He was playing so well during the road trip, it is really too bad to see him limited like he was tonight.
- Vince Carter is incredible – 31 minutes and 20 points and turning 40 in January.