by Kimya Oliver
The Crossover: Utah Jazz by the Numbers
Mike Conley drove to the basket for the floater to ignite the offense. The Jazz opened the first quarter on a 17-7 run. Eric Paschall started to get hot by driving to the basket and making the easy layup.
The Jazz started to slack off with Rudy Gobert losing the ball. Isaiah Hartenstein took the ball and pushed upcourt for the easy three-pointer. The first quarter ended with the Jazz leading 30-20.
Jordan Clarkson drove to the basket and missed the floater, but cleaned up by getting the offensive rebound and tip-in to start the second quarter. The Jazz gained offensive momentum quickly and opened the second quarter on an 11-5 run. The Jazz played hot this quarter, scoring a total of 41 points and ending the first half leading 71-34.
The Jazz came into the third quarter sluggish and did not score for the first three minutes. The Jazz scored circles around the Clippers with Clarkson driving to the basket for the finger roll layup to close the third leading 95-58.
Jared Butler stole the ball from Robert Covington off a bad pass and threw a pass to Clarkson for the shot beyond the arc. The Jazz continued to feed off of offensive momentum and the Clippers continued their poor defense throughout the remainder of the game.
The Daily Double-Double
Rudy Gobert had the lone double-double of the night with 19 points and 16 rebounds. He has been a monster as of late on the boards and his scoring numbers have improved as well.
Let me start off by saying this: Paschall is a great interior scorer. This season, he is shooting 48 percent from the field. He steps up when he needs to. Paschall does not get minutes every night, but his presence is known when he is on the hardwood.
Speaking of interior scoring, Gobert is unstoppable down low. Gobert knows how to take advantage of smaller defenders when under the basket and uses his long arms to grab rebounds and put the ball back into the basket. I think if Gobert can get a bit stronger down low and work on post-game moves, he will be unstoppable on the low block. This season he is 71 percent from the field. Defensively, Gobert is spectacular this season. He averages 2.2 blocks-per-game so far this season and in my opinion is one of the toughest defenders in the NBA right now.
The Jazz clicked offensively tonight or the Clippers were not stepping up defensively. Either way, the Jazz looked great. I think the key thing the Jazz did tonight was collapsing the defense into the paint and then kicking the ball out to the perimeter to the open man. Also, finding the mismatch down low when switching allowed Gobert and Paschall to get easy baskets.
One thing I think the Jazz could take advantage of is the fastbreak points. The Jazz is currently ranked No. 27 in fastbreak points, 9.9 points per game. No, it’s not horrible, but it could help contribute to easier points. Donovan Mitchell is currently No. 11 out of everyone in the league in scoring. Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson are also viable scoring options in the backcourt. Mitchell is one of the most athletic point guards in the league, so taking advantage of his ability can help.
Bounce Pass: Up Next
The Jazz will face the New York Knicks on March 20, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. MST.
Featured image courtesy Spenser Heaps, Deseret News