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Utah Jazz Notes

Jazz shootaround: Rocking arena presents challenges for home team, too

First Published      Last Updated Apr 21 2017 12:05 pm

The Utah Jazz are especially preparing for crowd noise as they get ready for Friday night's Game 3 against the Los Angeles Clippers

That's because Vivint Smart Home Arena is expected to be loud.

It's Utah's first home playoff game since 2012, and probably the first home playoff game since 2010 where the home team has a decent chance to win, even without Rudy Gobert. The Jazz were swept by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round in 2012.

The crowd noise has the potential to cause issues for the Clippers, but also could be a problem for the Jazz. So Utah has been working on non-verbal communication like hand signals, head nods and eye contact — little things that can lead to critical baskets or defensive stops.




"We know the crowd is going to be excited, and we are excited as well," Jazz forward Gordon Hayward said.

The Jazz will be without Rudy Gobert for the second consecutive game, so rebounding and interior defense also has been a point of emphasis.

Teammates said Gobert is progressing, exercising on workout equipment and shooting free throws. But the Jazz have said they won't put him on the floor if there is a chance he reinjures himself.

"Rudy's OK," Jazz forward Boris Diaw said. "He's coming back. He wants to be on the court with us and play. But he doesn't want to come back too quick."

The series is tied 1-1 after the Jazz won the opener but dropped Game 2. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.

— Tony Jones

 

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