Final Score: Warriors 102, Jazz 88
Run It Back
Player Of The Game: Derrick Favors – 17 points, 7 rebounds, 8-12 shooting.
Favors continued to showcase more of his offensive confidence and skillset despite inexplicably spending the first 9-minutes of the 2nd-quarter on the bench despite no foul trouble and an 8-point on 4-5 shooting 1st-qtr.
Favors’ 8 field goals:
1. Face-up on David Lee from right-wing, dribble to baseline then step-back jumper.
2. Pick&pop 17-foot jumper off nice feed from Burks.
3. Right-block running jumper going middle, contact on way up but still banked in.
4. 1-on-1 vs Lee at FT line, one dribble right then spin back left and kissed fadeaway off-glass.
5. Offensive rebound putback.
6. Cross-screen action freed him up for layup while also drawing foul on Bogut.
7. Pick&roll with Jefferson rolling to basket for another 3pt-play opportunity.
8. 12-foot jumper over Bogut facing-up on left-block.
On Utah’s roadtrip Favors appeared to lose a lot of confidence in his offensive game. Gradually over the past four games he’s regained that and now he’s taking and making shots that have surprised us as well as his defenders.
On Favors first three jumpshots to start the game, the most encouraging part was they looked so much better. When Favors misses, he usually shoots a flat-footed jumper where he aims it at the rim. These were jumpshots where he didn’t hesitate, got good elevation and went straight up into a smooth release.
Inside vs Outside?
The Jazz probably should have gone to Favors more inside. When getting the ball on the block, Favors shot 4-6 for 8 points. He got on additional post-touch resulting in a pass out. Kanter in the post shot 2-5 for 4 points but also had another post-up resulting in a kick-out to Jefferson for a three.
Insead of post-ups, Utah ran a majority of screen-rolls and dribble-hand-offs (to go along with their usual assortment of 1-on-1 drives when everything breaks down) throughout the game with middling success. After the game Ty Corbin said, “We’ve got to put together 48 minutes, especially on the road. We have to do it.” The Jazz were outscored in every quarter but one. They got hot in the 3rd-quarter by relying on the three-pointer – a formula which simply isn’t sustainable success over a 48-minute ballgame for this team.
Utah Jazz shot-breakdown: 3rd-Qtr vs 1st, 2nd & 4th-Qtrs
|1, 2, 4||21||49||42.9%||3||11||27.3%||8||14||26|
So the Jazz shot 27.3% behind the arc in three quarters and 83% in the only quarter they “won.” Coincidentally, Utah is shooting 27.6% on threes for the entire season. They had only shot over 40% on threes just once entering last night – which came in their only win. It’s not hard to see what percentages are legitimate and which are a fluke.
The Jazz are clearly a poor three-point shooting team, although they’re taking a lot (nearly 17 per game which is just a shade under their franchise record set last season) and both their scoring and offensive efficiency is dreadful. For the season the Jazz are -86 on points-in-the-paint and are scoring just 39.6 per game after averaging 42.9 last season and 48.4 in Jerry Sloan’s final full season as coach.
I fully understand the numbers which support shooting threes, but if you shoot 27.6% (twenty-seven percent!) and have a ton of turnover problems, maybe try and get the ball inside a bit more? Just a little? Worst thing that can happen is you miss, which is something we’re all used to by now.
Odds and Ends
- The Jazz opened the game with Favors guarding C Andrew Bogut and Kanter guarding PF David Lee, presumably to keep Favors closer to the basket to protect the rim. It didn’t work out so well as the quicker Lee drew foul a Kanter on a drive then hit uncontested jumper over him early. To start the 2nd-half, Favors was matched up on Lee and Kanter on Bogut.
- In the 2nd-qtr Mike Harris made a great steal on Speights went the whole way but missed the layup, Kanter missed the follow, Marvin got the rebound and was stuffed and GS got a free runout capped by a Draymond Green dunk. Not easy to turn a fast-break opportunity into an 0-3 possession and 2-on-0 the other way but the Jazz did.
- The Jazz lost their 4th game this season where they failed to hold the lead at any point.
Against the Warriors, Utah’s pick&roll defense was slightly tweaked but had more of the same results. They chose to have the guard go over on the screen (because you can’t go under on a Steph Curry or a Klay Thompson) and have their big show out and then recover.
Once again, this created a 4-on-3 disadvantage that sent Utah’s defense into a scramble-drill that gave Golden State any shot they wanted. Even when the Jazz defended well within their guidlines, they still got burned.
7:11 2nd-Qtr – Warriors’ lineup of Curry, Thompson, Iggy, Barnes, Bogut versus a Jazz line-up of Lucas, Burks, Harris, Marvin, Kanter.
Warriors run high screen-roll between Curry (guarded by Lucas) and Bogut (guarded by Kanter) roll. Curry came off the screen with Kanter showing out until Lucas could catch up. As result, Curry hit Bogut rolling down the lane where Mike Harris rotated up and met him outside dotted circle to stop Bogut’s dive cold.
Considering Utah’s strategy, Harris’ rotation was as good as you can hope for. The problem is, with the rotation Kanter now has to guard Harris’ man – which was Andre Iguodala. The Warriors recognized this, gave Iggy the ball iso’d on Kanter where he easily breaks him down off the bounce. This sets up a sequence of draw and kicks that sucked Utah’s defense in and ultimately resulted in a wide-open three for Iggy that he knocked down to put Golden State up 35-21.
5:18 2nd-qtr – Curry/Bogut side screen-roll with Lucas/Kanter again sticking on Curry. Bogut rolled to the rim which dragged Burks down to the lane leaving Thompson wide open on the wing for a three to put GS up 46-29. Rotation and pass was no different than the Deron/Boozer screen-roll which Utah ran throughout, most notably in Game 2 vs Denver in the 2010 Playoffs that resulted in the game-wining three by Kyle Korver.
The Final Word
Screen-roll defense can be complex but one concept is simple: If you don’t pressure the ball yet consistently end up with two defenders helping on the ball-handler, you will consistently get beat trying to defend the entire court with 3-against-4.
This is why great defensive teams re-direct the ball-handler (normally away from the screen) where they can then calibrate their help-defense to one side of the court. That way your numbers disadvantage is always on the weakside where you only have to cover half the court (25′ x 25′), as opposed to letting the ball-handler use the screen at their discretion – spreading your help-defense across the entire court (25′ x 50′).
Obviously the reason so many teams run screen-roll so often and so well is that a perfect pick&roll is impossible to defend. However, you can employ strategies to increase your chances of stopping it and that’s something the Jazz continue to struggle with.