Defensive Rotation Is Key In Game 2 For Jazz

Apr 16, 2019, 4:19 PM
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets shoots over Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz in the first q...
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets shoots over Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz in the first quarter during Game One of the first round of the 2019 NBA Western Conference Playoffs between the Houston Rockets and the Utah Jazz at Toyota Center on April 14, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Leading up to Game 2 of the best-of-seven first round series with the Utah Jazz and the Houston Rockets, the Jazz Notes podcast hosts agree that the defensive rotation is key to getting a victory in Game 2.

Hema Heimuli Jr. and Dallen Graff talked about the bench needing to step up for Utah as well as putting the clamps down defensively against a powerful Houston offense.

The Jazz are coming off of a disappointing 122-109 loss in Game 1 on Sunday in Houston.

Defensive Rotation

A lot of the criticism is how easy the Rockets were getting looks at the rim and scoring points.

“Rudy Gobert was not himself,” Heimuli said. “He was getting caught out of positions and defending people that he wasn’t supposed to be defending,” he added.

James Harden in particular was shredding Utah’s defense and forced the Jazz to make some defensive decisions and made them pay.

“It seemed like Harden was targeting Gobert,” Graff said. “Whether it was looking for the lob to [Clint] Capela or dishing out to P.J. Tucker,” he added.

Stopping Harden and the lob to Capela is a tall task for any NBA team, but when they take those away, Heimuli knows what Houston does next.

“You take away the lane and you take away Capela and what is left? The corner three-point shot,” he said.

The Rockets made 15-of-41 from the three-point line in Game 1, while the Jazz hit just 7-of-27.

Bench Play Must Improve

Going into Game 1, Graff said that the key for Utah to get a win on Sunday was that Utah’s bench needed to play well.

“Nine points for Jae Crowder off the bench and on just 1-of-9 shooting is not good,” he said.

Crowder’s struggled from downtown as well, hitting just 1-of-7 from the perimeter in Game 1.

“Jae Crowder’s problem is if he is in a slump, he is going to try and shoot himself out of it,” Heimuli said.

The Rockets bench outscored the Jazz bench 35-18 in Game 1.

Game 2 is on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. on TNT.

  • Utah Jazz Scoreboard

  • Utah Jazz Team Leaders

  • Utah Jazz Standings

Jazz Notes

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)...
Ben Anderson

Why Do NBA Players Take Shots At Rudy Gobert?

Why do NBA players like Patrick Beverley continue to try to take shots, both literally and figuratively at Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert?
10 months ago
Utah Jazz guard Jared Butler (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)...
Ben Anderson, KSL Sports

Mailbag: Can Jared Butler Crack The Jazz Rotation?

With Quin Snyder running a relatively tight nine-man rotation, can a rookie like Jared Butler find regular minutes?
1 year ago
Ttah Jazz forward Eric Paschall against Minnesota Timberwolves center Naz Reid (Photo by Ezra Shaw/...
Ben Anderson, KSL Sports

Mailbag: Do The Jazz Have A Small Ball Center?

To help bridge the final stretch, it's time to answer your mailbag questions as the team prepares to return for open gym in the coming days.
1 year ago
Joe Ingles - Utah Jazz...
Ben Anderson, KSL Sports

Jazz Mailbag: Uniforms, Rotation, And Ingles Future

With free agency and the draft in the rearview mirror, we answer Utah Jazz fans' questions about the future of the team.
1 year ago
Baylor guard and Utah Jazz draft choice Jared Butler (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)...
Ben Anderson, KSL Sports

Mailbag: Jazz Draft Butler, Trade Favors

After the Utah Jazz drafted Jared Butler and traded Derrick Favors, we answer your questions on what lies ahead for the franchise.
1 year ago
NBA draft prospects Trey Murphy III (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)...
Ben Anderson, KSL Sports

Utah Jazz NBA Mock Draft Round-Up: 3.0

The NBA Draft is one week away, and mock draft season is in full swing with the Utah Jazz owning the 30th pick in the first round.
1 year ago
Defensive Rotation Is Key In Game 2 For Jazz