The weakest perimeter partners here have been Rubio and Ingles.

The reported points produced are for the team as a whole, not just the ball handler, so it seems that both last season and this, the Jazz have been effective generating offense off the pick-and-roll (this has been a staple in Utah since the John Stockton and Karl Malone days). Both Gobert (last season) and Favors (this season) have proved effective as the big in these scenarios.

Thus, if the Jazz recognize this pattern and run more pick-and-play with Mitchell and Hood as the ball handlers and Ingles as the weakside shooter, it could lead to more effective usage of their bigs and perhaps more space for them to work.

Puddicombe has visited the Lakers’ film room on a game day, dimming the lights and conducting a 15-minute meditation session with the players attempting to fall into a state of relaxation in their plush chairs. The goal is for players to train their mental game by concentrating on eight areas — motivation, focus, training, competition, communication, analysis, recovery and rehabilitation — in an effort to get them in a state where they are relaxed but also an active state of readiness on game day.

When we focus on something too much, or overthink it, then we tend to create tension, both in our mind and in our game, Puddicombe said on Saturday. Nowhere is this more obvious than on the free-throw line. Meditation will unquestionably help players step out of that thinking pattern, and get more comfortable shooting from the line, but only if they practice it regularly and apply it in a game time environment.

Sunday was the end of a tough stretch of games for Tennessee, which went 1-3 against ranked teams Texas A&M, South Carolina, Notre Dame and Mississippi State. And the victory, against the Gamecocks, came with South Carolina senior star A’ja Wilson out. Two weeks ago, the Lady Vols were undefeated; now they’re 16-3 overall and 4-2 in a tough-as-nails SEC.

For the Tennessee freshmen, every game is a learning experience, and that was evident as they went against Mississippi State’s seniors. But even some of the Lady Vols’ more experienced players struggled, as senior Jaime Nared and junior Meme Jackson were a combined 4-of-24 from the field. Redshirt senior center Mercedes Russell was 7-of-9 from the field for 16 points, but as has been the case during these past four games, the Lady Vols had a difficult time getting her the ball as much as coach Holly Warlick wants.

Sunday’s game also was an indicator of the way the tide has turned in the league in recent years. Mississippi State was 0-36 against Tennessee until getting its first victory in the series in 2016. Now, the Bulldogs have beaten the Lady Vols in four of their past five meetings, including two years in a row here in Knoxville.
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