The Rundown: Warriors @ Jazz 11/30/15

November 30th, 2015 | by Ben Dowsett
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Now that we’ve all resumed breathing (hopefully), let’s break down easily the most exciting game to take place in Vivint Smart Home Arena since that became the namesake.

My goodness, what a game. While it’s cliche to some point to talk about moral victories, it’s just impossible to come away from this one feeling any differently. Utah took the defending champs, a team on a historic winning streak and threatening all-time great status, down to the wire and gave them all they could handle. They stayed disciplined all night against a team that’s perhaps more difficult to do that against than any to ever play the game. And the best part from this standpoint? The Warriors didn’t play badly by any means.

Golden State shot over 48 percent from 3 on 29 attempts, a fantastically efficient clip. They out-rebounded the Jazz by 101, including 14 offensive boards, several of which were killers. They got a cluster of four threes from former Jazzman Ian Clark to create some separation in the first half. And despite it all, the Jazz are probably streak-breakers if one Rodney Hood three goes down in the closing moments.

“It’s close. Close isn’t good enough, but one we can learn from for sure,” said Gordon Hayward following the game. You won’t catch this group smiling about any Ws that aren’t on the scoreboard.

“I don’t want to say we are here or we are there, but I think our players should feel good about the way they competed,” said coach Quin Snyder.

From this vantage point, there were many more praise-worthy points than true letdowns from the Jazz’s end. They were simply beaten by a better team, one of the best teams we’ve seen in some time. They have nothing to hang their heads about, and if their recent response to adversity has told us anything, Orlando is in for an intense and motivated Jazz team Thursday night. Let’s get to some notes.

Numbers of Note

118.3 — Points scored per-100-possessions by Golden State. Even when it felt for periods like the Jazz were playing just about as well as possible on that end, the buckets kept pouring in. This Warriors team is remarkable, to say the least.

— Number of points by which the Jazz outscored the Warriors when Steph Curry was off the floor.

Musings

Discipline against transition: The Warriors feast on opponents in transition, their lethal group of shooters and passers spreading out and often bombing teams to death in short spans that can wrap games up in a hurry. Against Utah, though, they had just five total points in transition  — not even a quarter of their season-long average per game. The Jazz deserve real praise for their discipline in this area.

Rebounding: On the other end of the spectrum, an area most wouldn’t have expected the Jazz to post a deficit in was rebounding, but that’s exactly what happened. The overall total can be explained in part by seven more missed shots than their opponent, but a few particular offensive boards were killers after possessions where the Jazz had played fantastic defense. To Golden State’s credit, some of these are a direct result of the offensive style they play — they get teams so off-balance that even when they miss, they have guys in position to capitalize. Still, it’ll be a point of emphasis for Snyder.

Leaders being leaders: Utah’s effort on this night was spearheaded by exactly the guys you’d have expected. Derrick Favors (23-10), Gordon Hayward (24-6-4), Rudy Gobert (13-11) and Alec Burks (19 points) were generally excellent, making timely plays on both ends. Favors is becoming borderline automatic from midrange in the pick-and-roll, and Hayward looked like the force offensively we all know. Gobert had a highlight-reel sequence with a one-handed oop dunk followed by a huge block on the other end, and Burks dragged Utah’s offense out of the mud on a few possessions where they badly needed it.

Ben Dowsett

Ben Dowsett

Ben Dowsett is a life-long Jazz fan and current in-depth analyst based in Salt Lake City. He also writes for Basketball Insiders and BBallBreakdown, and can be heard on SCH Radio on ESPN 700 weekly. He can be found on Twitter at @Ben_Dowsett.
Ben Dowsett
Ben Dowsett

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14 Comments

  1. Nick says:

    You say-
    “And despite it all, the Jazz are probably streak-breakers if one Rodney Hood three goes down in the closing moments.”
    First off Hood shot the ball with almost 10 seconds left on the clock. Very bad clock management b/c if he makes it you give the best team in the NBA 9+ seconds to win or tie.
    To say they probably would have won IF this or that is pure BS. That’s why Curry, Green, and Bogut called you out on your horrible journalism. Also did you know, IF your aunt had balls she’d be your uncle?

  2. John says:

    Ben, It is not the Warriors’ job to praise the Jazz. BTW, the reason they were laughing is that they played like a talented, up-and-coming team. Not like champions. Champs don’t let Andre get behind the defense for an uncontested dunk. And at that end of the game, every little thing counts and they don’t have it yet. They can someday because the talent and desire are there, and you look like you have a great organization and coach. But let’s not lose perspective here. Rudy is long and a great shot blocker, but when he shoots, everyone in the stands kinda ducks. We know what that is like since Ezeli used to have stone hands. Not anymore, huh? He has worked his ass off.

  3. Manifesto says:

    Makes sense that a .500 team is writing about moral victories. The Jazz brought their A game and still lost to the Warriors C game. No Barnes, off night from the best bench unit in the league, and Curry/Thompson/Draymond shoot below their season fg%. It’s easy to get up for the defending champs at home, but Utah’s best still allowed GSW to go up 10+ any time it wanted. GSW’s turnovers in the 4th were self inflicted by the second unit. It was basically a scrimmage for them. The Jazz had their best shot at winning something when it had two hall of famers in Stockton and Malone and it didn’t win a thing. Hayward and Favors aren’t taking this team anywhere.

  4. Robin Rodd says:

    wow, a lot of hate presumably from Warriors fans. Why so mean? In the position you are in, you should be graceful, not spiteful. One thing that struck me watching this game was how good Draymond Green is. I know Jerry West recently referred to him as top ten in the league, and I can understand that now. He has gone from strength to strength over the last season and a half, and is a unique two way, multi-dimensional player who can wreak havoc in so many ways, a bit like Kawhi Leonard in that sense. Jazz could have won that one… the final play was broken and not executed well, despite what coach Snyder said. Hood rushed a shot while fading to the right after he had prematurely stopped his dribble and there was plenty of time on the clock.

    • Ted M says:

      The author of the article is tweeting out made up gossip about the Warrior’s locker room. He is unprofessional and deserves whatever criticism he gets.

  5. September says:

    Two thoughts.
    GS was clearly frustrated by the Jazz and pulled this out with unreal shotmaking that is somehow the norm for them.
    Losing may do more than winning would have. We don’t want a sense that we have arrived when we have 2/3 the journey left to travel.

  6. telochian says:

    I think you called it like it was Ben, let’s face it, the Warriors are light years ahead of the Jazz (and pretty much the rest of the NBA right now) but the Jazz very nearly pulled of a gutsy win. Who cares if the Warriors weren’t as dialed in as they normally are.

    I love this group of Jazz players, very young, hard working and even when outclassed from a talent perspective, they never give up or stop playing hard.

    Quin has these guys playing very hard, a couple more years and I think Manifesto will be eating his words.

  7. John Lem says:

    Lol stop calling yourself a journalist. You’re a sham.

  8. you should interview not eaves drop says:

    your privilege should be remove.

  9. AKBear says:

    Yes, the line between actual journalism and social “media” tweeting, blogging, etc. is getting quite blurred, isn’t it? What BD did in his role as “media” is probably not what the NBA or other professional leagues have in mind for letting media such free access to their athletes. It is very easy to take bravado and humor between professional athletes after the heat of the battle and present it in an out of context fashion.

    • IDJazzman says:

      The team has media free time and a set time when the media is allowed in. Perhaps Ben should have just ignored it and not tweeted out what he heard and others heard as well. However, if the GS professionals were professionals on and off the court they wouldn’t have been so sarcastic and arrogant with their smug and vulgar remarks.

  10. Ken Yeh says:

    But the truth is Ben had no idea what Draymond and Steph were laughing or talking about, just his assumptions. Luke Walton has even said it’s difficult to gauge how focused they are, since they’re laughing and joking around all the time. So they could’ve been talking about anything! Even if Draymond said what he said, Ben should’ve verified the context instead of just tweeting his interpretation of what was going on.

    As far as being disrespectful, you only need to listen to the pre-game and post-game interviews to know that is completely false (if you can’t find any videos all the audio is up on SoundCloud). Ben loses all credibility when he retracts some of what he previously tweeted, even if the stuff about Draymond was true.

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