As a team the Jazz shot the ball extremely well, something that hasn’t happened all that often this year. Overall the Jazz shot 52% from the field and 41 % from three. That type of offensive output will win you a lot of games, but it was also the defense that was impressive. With Royce O’Neale out there might have been a chance for the Blazers to attack the Jazz perimeter defense, but the Jazz did a good job of controlling the game on the defensive end.
Rudy Gobert was a monster in this one protecting the rim. It shouldn’t be a surprise, he’s been fantastic defensively and showed it again tonight.
Rudy Gobert This Season— Kirk Goldsberry (@kirkgoldsberry) November 29, 2021
✅Most total shots defended
✅Lowest eFG% allowed as closest defender pic.twitter.com/PcsGRdlcg6
The Blazers just couldn’t score efficiently at the rim at all in this one and it helped the Jazz be more brazen in defending the Blazers guards. And when you can take more risks, players are able to create more turnovers. The perfect example is this steal and dunk by Donovan Mitchell.
Speaking of Donovan Mitchell. Tonight was a vintage night for Spida. With a line of 30 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds while shooting 60% from the field and 37% from three, Mitchell looked like the all-NBA player he’s aspiring to be. This season Mitchell has been working hard to improve his playmaking and, while his assists are up this season, his shooting hasn’t been there consistently. Tonight was another story. When Mitchell is finding open shooters while also scoring the ball, it makes him one of the elite players in the league. If the Jazz can get more of this from Mitchell where he’s slicing up defenses and knocking down shots, the Jazz are on the verge of getting some big win streaks.
What is it about Joe Ingles and starting? Tonigth Ingles got the start again with Royce O’Neale nursing an ankle injury and he had another great night. Ingles shot 5/9 from the field and 4/8 from three with 6 assists. Ingles has had a shaky season so far but has recently been looking much more solid. It’s always interesting how well Ingles does with the starters. The biggest question is can he continue this type of play off the bench when O’Neale comes back?
Finally, credit needs to be given to Jordan Clarkson who had a fantastic shooting night. Clarkson shot 7/15 from the field but 6/10 from three. That three ball is the thing that vaulted him to 6MOY last season and if that shot starts falling consistently, it’ll not only put Clarkson in the running again for 6MOY, but also help the Jazz win a lot of games. It appeared that a lot more of Clarkson’s threes tonight were catch and shoot, rather than pull up threes. Could that be the difference? Clarkson can obviously do the pull up three but maybe he should wait for those catch and shoot threes and then instead of a pull up, just drive to the lane where he has incredible touch.
All in all, a great night for the Jazz and a continuation of positive play that needs to continue if they want to succeed down the road.