If Twitter and blogs are any indication, a disguised Ty Corbin is at this very moment being hustled out of a nondescript white van with tinted windows surrounded by men in black suits with small “LHM” monograms and sunglasses with earpieces into a quiet community in [Anywhere, USA] while his family is temporarily in a safehouse in █████████████.
Take a deep breath and have a peek at this instead.
For those of you unfamiliar with the excellent tool that is PopcornMachine.net, let’s break down a few aspects of what we witnessed last night.
1 Derrick Favors started in place of an injured Al Jefferson for the second straight game, and went berserk on the glass in the first half putting up 14 boards (I say “put up” rather than “pulled down” for good reason. Read on).
However, half of those first-half rebound numbers were extremely inflated coming on offensive rebound taps, often after one of Favors’ own misses, more than once netting multiple offensive rebounds on a single finally-made tap-in.
Favors would net only a single rebound in the entire third quarter, much closer to his season rebound percent than the inflated first half numbers he’d put up. All those offensive rebounds were the reason the Jazz were up three at the half.
Follow Larry Sanders’ name across that third quarter and we find he kept Favors off of that glass in the third pulling down 10 rebounds, negating the effect Favors had had in the first half.
1a This is the “game flow.” It charts the overall game score with the flow line in the center as it heads toward whichever team is winning the battle of scoring runs, while showing in small blocks the runs teams go on or give up in plus and minus as runs go back and forth or when substitutions are made at stoppages.
We find that despite Derrick Favors being in for the full third quarter, the Jazz found themselves on the wrong end of a 13 point deficit approaching the end of the quarter. Ty Corbin needed some offense and rebounds if they were to have a chance at coming back in the fourth and final stanza.
2 Enter offense in the form of Alec Burks, Gordon Hayward, DeMarreCarroll as well as a way to regain that rebounding advantage by way of three-time NCAA rebounding champ Paul Millsap and glass eater Enes Kanter, both of whom are far more refined offensively than Favors as well.
This group would chip away at the Bucks’ lead to find themselves only a couple of possessions down by the usual time in the game that Corbin would reinsert his big man starter-finisher, presumably Favors in place of Al Jefferson this particular evening.
But who do you pull here when both Kanter and Millsap are in the midst of leading the comeback run alongside an aggressive Burks, and would end the quarter with a combined double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds? Corbin would gamble that the hot hands would continue, and ultimately be right as they led the Jazz all the way back, eating up the entire deficit netted in the third quarter, and some.
With the score all square at 96 with 42.8 seconds left, Gordon Hayward would secure the rebound after some excellent team defense and a long miss, then bring the ball up the floor himself, a perfect opportunity to guarantee the Jazz the final possession with a 2-for-1 attempt, where the offense attempts to score quickly to get the ball back for an additional offensive possession. Gordon would instead dribble down the shot clock to :08 before making a pick-and-roll play to Kanter, who would put the Jazz up two with 23.8 seconds left in the game.
Milwaukee now has a chance to win with no time left on the clock, but instead fire early on more great team defense, with Millsap securing the rebound with 14.9 seconds left to play. The Bucks have to foul and do immediately. But Paul misses one of the two free throws giving the Bucks new life and a chance to tie with a three. Brandon Jennings makes Utah pay from 27 feet with Alec Burks practically inside his jersey.
Somehow, the Jazz would still get another chance to win the game in regulation with 8.4 seconds to play.
The ball would again be in Hayward’s hands and he would make his second clutchtime mistake in the last 32 seconds of game play here, failing to realize he was driving on the best interior defender in the entire NBA in Larry Sanders, coming up empty on a two-hand drive to the rim. The contact from Sanders was slight, the defense awesome, but Hayward also needs to realize officials rarely allow a final play to be settled for the win with a free throw unless it’s egregious.
3 All three of the Jazz’s available bigs contributed heavily toward the effort Utah had in having an opportunity to steal a solid road win at a critical juncture in the season. Favors, Kanter, and Millsap would combine for 73 of the Jazz’s 108 points, 39 of their 59 rebounds, 5 of 18 assists, and 4 of the 14 steals, while winning he paint 56-52 over the Bucks’ bigs.
But this one was lost on the perimeter.
Ty Corbin would seal up a red hot Brandon Jennings by putting Alec Burks on him on a night when Jennings was abusing Earl Watson and dropped 17 dimes. Burks took Jennings out of the game late save for the one incredible final Bucks possession in regulation. But Monta Ellis and JJ Redick would be there to pick up the slack.
In a recent piece over at WeAreUtahJazz.com, I noted that DeMarre Carroll, while frenetic and full of energy, is a gambler on defense. And he would gamble aplenty this night, leaving Redick wide open at the worst possible times to go double something somewhere that I can’t explain.
Redick was drafted into the NBA for a single skill: Shooting. You have to know this when he’s your man. He’d score the first eight points of the overtime for the Bucks.
Redick would punish DeMarre with 13 fourth quarter and overtime points, while Monta Ellis would take advantage of Hayward to the tune of 11 fourth quarter points and an overtime dagger over Carroll. Ellis was given too much room to roam on the perimeter in setting up drives to the paint that he’d convert with easy looks right under the bucket.
The Bucks veteran wings totaled 26 points on the Jazz’s swingmen in the fourth quarter and overtime, making the difference in the game by making the plays that counted when Milwaukee needed them the most.