Run It Back
Final Score: Lakers 111, Jazz 106.
Player of the Game: Rudy! Rudy! Rudy! Rudy Gobert stole the Jazz show with 16pts/9reb/3blk in 24:34 of play. Of Gobert’s 8 field goals, 6 were dunks, 1 was a tip-in and the other was a nice 6-foot jump-hook with the left-hand.
Best Play: 5:01 3rd-Qtr – Gasol made a beautiful high-post bounce pass to Nash for a layup. Nash faked an off-ball screen, by slipping it. Lucas was prepared to switch it with Hayward, but the screen never and Nash broke completely free on a very Stockton-like cut.
Best Move: 9:13 1st-Qtr – On a Hayward&Favors side screen-roll L.A. forced Hayward baseline resulting in Favors getting the ball at the left elbow. Favors faced-up on Shawne Williams, made a quick left-to-right ball fake and with one dribble swooped in for an easy layup that Gasol didn’t challenge.
Favors only took 5 shots but his other two makes included a no-hesitation catch&shoot foul line jumper and a face-up Jack Sikma style jumper over Pau Gasol. Another solid offensive performance by him with limited opportunities.
Best Dunk: 8:24 4th-Qtr – Gobert missed a tip-in on an errant Brian Cook floater, rebounded with two hands and went up for a two-hand flush over Jordan Hill that got the entire Jazz bench up and some Jersey Shore style fist-pumping from Andris Biedrins.* (Considering Gobert is taking Biedrins minutes, really nice to see Andris up supporting his teammate).
Best Shot: 0:41 3rd-Qtr – Steve Blake hit a fall-away three out of the right corner with Justin Holiday flying at him.
Laker announcer Stu Lantz’s reaction: “What’s with him tonight?”
Blake, who was 3-27 in the previous 4 games, naturally shot 7-7 and 5-5 from behind the arc against the Jazz.
Best Pass: 0:24 3rd-QTR – Steve Nash penetrated the lane off high screen-roll and dropped an over-the-shoulder dish to Shawne Williams for the layup. As Clarkpojo said, it sucks seeing Nash close out his brilliant career on a very poor Laker team.
Worst Pass: 0:54 1st-Qtr – Rudy Gobert out-ran a lackadaisical Jordan Hill down the lane and had what appeared to be a transition dunk if not for an errant John Lucas III pass that rocketed off the rim and had nowhere near the touch to be an alley-oop. The Lakers scored in transition off the turnover.
Best Jazzbasketball Play: 3:47 2nd-Qtr – Off a Lakers miss Kanter sprinted the floor and posted up on the left-block. Lucas pushed the ball ahead to Hayward who got Enes the ball with 19-sec still remaining on the shotclock. L.A. brought the double so Kanter kicked the ball out to Jefferson who moved it around the horn to Lucas who then dumped it inside to Favors on the right-block. Again L.A. doubled and Favors found the free man (a cutting Hayward) for a layup. That’s the essence of “Jazzbasketball” – getting into early-offense, moving the ball and cutting to the basket.
Best “Karl Malone” Play: 7:49 3rd-Qtr – Off a jump-ball at the Lakers end that Utah gained control of, Derrick Favors motored down the court leaving Gasol in his dust. That forced Shawne Williams to track him down and opened up a lane for Lucas to drive down for an uncontested layup. Running the floor not only gets you easy baskets, it can get your teammates ones as well.
Underrated Play of the Game: 11:09 2nd-Qtr – The Jazz historically break full-court traps by getting the ball to their 4-man in the open court and letting him attack down the lane. The Lakers pressed Machado who found Kanter 60-feet from the basket. Kanter took a whopping four dribbles before he met a defender, where he then finished with a layup over Jordan Hill while also drawing the foul
Veteran Move of the Game: 4:49 3rd-Qtr – Hayward tried to use his size on Blake. After drawing consecutive off-ball fouls, Hayward went down on the left block to post-up. Blake got up into Hayward enough where on Gordon’s aggressive counter he sold the contact and drew the offensive foul. Although he played a frontcourt position at Butler, Hayward doesn’t have a lot of experience in the post so the nuances getting deep-position are a still a learning process for him. Nevertheless, he’s still made some nice plays this preseason inside against shorter guards.
Run of the Game: The game was comprised of three major runs. After building a 6-point lead late in the 1st-qtr, the Jazz once again imploded in the 2nd-qtr, falling behind by 11 on a 25-8 Laker run.
Once the starters returned, the Jazz then went on a 17-2 run to take a 6-point lead. On 4-consecutive Jazz possessions, Hayward score a layup off the pass from Favors (See JBB play of the game), backed Nash down in the post and drew 2 FT’s, hit a catch&shoot 3pt in transition and then pulled up for a 22-footer (foot on the line 2pt) from the left-wing. It was a brief stretch but Hayward was on fire. It should also be noted 3 of Hayward’s 4 scoring plays came in a complementary off-ball role which I believe is his ultimate role on a great team.
In the 3rd-qtr, the Lakers opened up with a 19-6 run that put Utah in a hole they could never climb out of.
Quote of the Game: Stu Lantz: “One thing about Gordon Hayward [the Jazz] better lock him up and lock him up in a hurry. You can tell he is the cornerstone for that franchise.”
Stu Lantz has seen a lot of basketball but later he also said: “Ty Corbin decides to put in probably his two-best starters in Gordon Hayward and Richard Jefferson,” so he’s probably batting closer to .500 when it comes to accurate assessments about the Jazz.
Odds and Ends:
-Ugly Jazz collision to end the 1st-half where Lucas was running down court calling for the ball and ran directly into Richard Jefferson.*
-On Utah’s first 2nd-half possession, Enes Kanter took a wide-open left-corner three that was about 6-inches wide right. Judging from the 2-seconds he held his follow-through, it looked like he thought it was good.
-2:10 3rd-Qtr Alec Burks pump-faked at the FT line, sending everybody in for a rebound that never came. Nick Young may still be looking up for the rebound.
-Brian Cook reportedly opened the 4th-qtr with a driving dunk but the producers failed to return from the break early enough to show it. Luke Walton (Lakers studio host and close friend of Cook) was upset it wasn’t shown, remarking: “He doesn’t do that very often.” If Brian Cook dunks in a game and no one shows it, did it make a sound?
-Twice in the 4th-qtr when Gobert was near the rim he motioned for a lob to the rim. Both times Brian Cook had the ball and no lob was thrown.
*For .gif’s of Lucas taking out RJ, Gobert dunking, Biedrins fist-pumping, plus other great stuff, visit JazzFanatical for fantastic postgame coverage!
The Gobert Report
Six dunks in one game is an impressive accomplishment for any player. How did Gobert get free for all six dunks?
The first three dunks came from offensive rebounds where a teammate (Hayward, McGuire & Hudson) penetrated, which drew help from Gobert’s man freeing him up on the offensive glass. Dunk #4 was highlighted previously (See “Dunk of the Game”). Dunk #5 came off a low-post touch where Gobert made a baseline dribble-hand-off to a cutting Ian Clark who drew the defense and kicked it back to Gobert for a ferocious 1-hand tomahawk. Dunk #6 came off high screen-roll where Gobert got a nice pass on the move from Lester Hudson and finished with a 2-hand flush.
Although he may be limited skill-wise offensively, Gobert’s teammates will learn the value he brings and understand when he’s on the court – drive to the basket and get a shot up on the rim which will free Gobert as a vacuum on the offensive glass.
After some impressive summer league play, the big question was whether Gobert could translate that to NBA play quickly enough to pass Andris Biedrins in the rotation. The past 2 games he answered that with a resounding “
There’s no reason Gobert shouldn’t be given the first opportunity as Utah’s backup center in the regular season. In preseason he’s shown he can dunk and block shots. In summer league he’s shown he can dunk and block shots. Rudy Gobert dunks and block shots. That’s a valuable commodity not many 7-2 backup centers can provide.