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Utah Jazz forward Trey Lyles will not be intimidated - The Downbeat #1870

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Way more than five stories to tell tonight after last night's game

Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz are going streaking, having won three in a row. Their season long streak was seven games before the All-Star Break, and since then had not strung together any wins in a row, until now. They are turning it up and it's fun to watch even with so many exciting players out. Dennis Lindsey sure knows how to draft though, with skill set redundancy helping the team out during this injury plagued 2015-2016 season. But it's not just about skills, it's also about the mentality of some of these players. The Jazz do a personality battery on all possible picks, but what they do in key situations on the court matters more. And we learned a lot about Trey Lyles last night.

And we also got to see how a former NBA Finals Jazzman thinks about some of the young guys on this team. Furthermore, we look at how the Cleveland Cavaliers lost last night, how the Golden State Warriors are absurd this year, and the actual history of the Utah Jazz defending (or not defending) the three point line. Did someone say "March Madness"? No? Oh. Did someone say Dinner time? Maybe not. All of this, plus Joe Ingles good news continues!

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What a win last night, huh? I'm at some stage going to have to get off my butt and start doing the "While you were sleeping thing" again but the Jazz are still sitting out of the playoffs right now, even after winning three games in a row. They are 2.0 games behind both the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks, and 2.5 games behind the Portland Trail Blazers. It appears as though Portland is out of reach, especially since they won the season series -- and thus the tiebreaker. The other two teams? Totally within reach because, and I must remind you, the Jazz play Houston and Dallas once more still.

And in both cases, Houston and Dallas are on the second night of a back to back. Houston has to have a road game against the Oklahoma City Thunder the night before we play them, and we're idle the night before. And Dallas has a road game against the Los Angeles Clippers before flying from LA to Utah. Utah is playing the Denver Nuggets the night before, in Denver. This is the 80th game of the year for Denver and they will be resting players.

If Utah wins those two games it means that the final margin is only 1.0 games -- and that's something you can easily make up with a month of the season to play still.

Before we get down the stretch though, we do have March Madness to look forwards to! Everyone is filling out their brackets, and you can do so here too. But this . . . this is something else.

Some good eatin' here, especially if you are a cannibal. (By choice or by some other means entirely.)

... and entirely new meaning to March Madness.

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Soon-ish-to-be daddy Joe Ingles announced that his twins are going to be a boy and a girl!

DB 1870 - Joe Ingles Twins Boy and Girl Announcement

Other boy/girl twins in Jazzland are Dante Exum and his sister, Gordon Hayward and his sister, and Karl Malone 's WNBA daughter Cheryl Ford and brother Darryl. I am certain I am missing out on a few other Jazz boy/girl twins that you will remind me of in the comments section. There are more same-sex twins in Jazzland too, like Jarron Collins and twin Jason Collins, and Derrick Favors' two daughters.

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Last night the Cleveland Cavaliers went 10/42 from deep. A lot of that had to be tired legs, especially in the fourth quarter where they went 2/16. I think that most of that was cumulative fatigue from having to play their second back-to-back set on a four game road trip. But hey, that's almost always the case for the Utah Jazz as well, but whatever.

Historically, only twice has a team attempted 40 or more three pointers against the Jazz. Both times the team that resorted to going outside that much lost. Last night the Cavs went outside 42 times in an 88 FGA game. And they shot 23.8% while doing it. Back in 2007 the Golden State Warriors did it (in a playoff game) and shot 40 3PTA in an 90 FGA game. That one was much better, at 37.5%.

Utah won last night 94-85, and against the Dubs they won 127-117 in OT. But this enough of a trend to say "fire at will" while playing defense? If we look at opponents shooting 30-39 threes we get a sample size of n = 45. And the Jazz are 15-30 in those games. The lowest 3PT% for a team beating the Jazz in this data set was 32.4%, an Orlando Magic win, 105-87, back in 2009. The highest percentage while getting a loss was 56.7%, a Phoenix Suns loss, 124-115 back in 2010.

Three point shooting is proving to be an effective way to stay in a game, or extend a lead. But there are smaller, more tangible and reliable ways to ensure a win. Get rebounds. Get to the line. Pass the ball. The long ball will remain a risk until a team can hit 35-45% of them every game, and then the Golden State Gates of Hell will open up. (For the record, the 2015-2016 Dubs are shooting 41.4% for the season, with a season high of 57.9% and a season low of 13.3%.)

I had to look it up, here's the frequencies for their full game 3PT%

  • 0 - 9% -- zero times
  • 10-19% -- 1 time
  • 20-29% -- 5 times
  • 30-39% -- 23 times
  • 40-49% -- 26 times
  • 50+% -- 11 times

They are about twice as likely to shoot 50% from three this year than they are to shoot under 30%. W. T. F.

And this probably goes into the Jerry Sloan concept of letting teams shoot against you. It's unprecedented to see what Golden State is doing this year. The Cavs game shows us that you can still win in this league because the odds are that you're not going to face a hot shooting team every night. Tooting my own horn here, this tweet from last night sums it up.

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Lots of good stuff happening in the world of Trey Lyles. the Rookie has had a pretty exciting season so far. The 20 year old has played in 65 games this season, and broke the 1,000 minute mark earlier this month. (Apples to apples, Karl-Anthony Towns 2086, D'Angelo Russell 1810, Jahlil Okafor 1591, Kristaps Porzingis 1806, Mario Hezonja 1013, Willie Cauley-Stein 996, Emmanuel Mudiay 1612, Stanley Johnson 1410, Frank Kaminsky 1366, Justise Winslow 1828, Myles Turner 999, Devin Booker 1579, and Cameron Payne 506.) Overall he's had an up and down year, which is expected, but he's doing more good than bad. In the games where he has gotten playing time he has produced: 7.3 ppg and 5.9 rpg when he plays between 20-29 minutes, 10.6 ppg, 7.8 rpg when he plays 30 and above. And as the season has progressed more and more people have noticed.

What really has impressed me is his demeanor. On the bench he's a team 1st guy who is always among the first off the bench to celebrate a big play. And on the court he's not going to back down. Lyles had a great game last night that helped the team pick up the big W.

But all anyone is really talking about is the Channing Frye incident.

What I learned from it is that Trey'll actually make eye-contact with an opponent during an altercation (unlike Gordon Hayward), and respond with and equal amount of physical force during an altercation. HOF coach Hubie Brown agrees with me, and adds that you can't let another player intimidate you. This type of mentality is something you can't teach. All the other things, like being a great prospect, having multiple tools, being 6'10, and being so skilled at such a young age -- that's all great. But being tough? That's something this team needs more of.

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Speaking of toughness that can't be taught, former NBA Finalist bigman Antoine Carr was at the Aunt Viv last night. He was signing autographs!

Of course, he got to comment on the game he just saw as well.

He also had this to say about our rookie:

I love me some Big Dawg. This may be partially obscured through the comforting lens of nostalgia, but I miss those NBA Finals Jazz teams. Not only did they kick butt on the court, but they were filled with so many interesting personalities and players you wanted to root for. We'd go crazy for Chris Morris if he made a three. When Chris Johnson does it today it does not elicit the same response. Oh well. I guess the NBA was just more fun in the 80s and 90s anyway.