Recap - Utah Jazz @ Phoenix Suns



How do you close out games on the road? Does it just come from experience? Is there a certain mental toughness that we're lacking?

This happened @ Atlanta, @ Miami, and now @ PHX. In all of those cases, we had 7 or 8 point leads late in the game and couldn't finish them off nor even hold them off.

Maybe it's late-game lineups? Maybe the Jazz need to call a time-out at the 6:00 mark so that they can have a bathroom break?

Maybe it's because of my post that proclaimed the Magic 8? If that's the case, let me denounce the Magic 8 and never speak of it again. Stupid jinxes.

It can be inexperience anymore. They've done this a million times over the past three seasons. If they're not learning from it...

AK had the largest +/- last night at +12. He only played 21 minutes though and we didn't see him much in the fourth.

Whatever it is, I don't see them overcoming it any time soon (semi-intentional reverse jinx).

This game was pretty close to a carbon copy of the first meeting in PHX. The Jazz rebounded better this time around but couldn't hit a free throw. Memo went 2-6 to "lead" the team's 16-27 output. The Suns on the other hand made 22 of their 27 attempts. Ball game.

In fact, the Jazz almost shot better from the arc (12-22 54.5%) than from the free throw line (59.3%).

And despite all of that, it's a game that should have been won.

Deron must have turned on his ninja too early. He made back to back three-pointers to close a 7-point PHX lead to 108-101 with a little over 4 minutes left in the game.

But he had two identical free-throw line jumpers that didn't fall in the closing minute. He's hit the same shots in the Boston and Rockets games to close them out. I see if he misses one, but not two. Those are normally gravy. Both attempts would have tied the game, the second coming with :16 left.

Memo got the rebound from Deron's second attempt and couldn't get a good shot off. He had an open look at a three, but he head-faked and had an awkward drive and an off-balance shot. He probably should have got a foul call, but the way he was shooting from the free-throw line, it didn't matter.

After Memo got the offensive board with :14 left, he passed it back out to Deron. Plenty of time left to run something. But Deron passed it right back to Memo. Totally surprised me. I thought for sure they'd run a play or at the least they'd isolate Deron. It could be argued that Memo shouldn't have had the ball in that situation unless Deron was passing to him for a jumper. Total helter-skelter with that last possession.

This was a big blow for home-court.

Other notes

  • Carlos was taken out in crunch time. Shouldn't he be "back" by now?
  • Can't remember which announcer said it, but after a fake behind the back pass and dribble before giving it to AK, they said, "That's a Chris Paul move right there." No sirs, that's Deron Williams. He's been doing that for a long time.
  • Since his 8-turnover game, Deron has had 33 assists to just 3 turnovers. That's 11:1 for you non-math people.
  • Shaquille O'Neal - 4-6 from the free throw line. Good hell.
  • The Jazz got burned at least 4 times when there was no one back covering and the Suns got an easy fast-break off of a Jazz miss.
  • With the exception of Houston, the 2-9 teams are 6-4 over their last 10.
    2 San Antonio 47 24 .662 9 ½ 25-11 22-13 30-13 9-5 96.8 92.9 +3.8 Won 2 6-4
    3 Houston 47 26 .644 10 ½ 29-8 18-18 30-14 8-6 98.3 94.6 +3.8 Lost 1 7-3
    4 Denver 46 26 .639 11 27-8 19-18 28-15 9-3 103.5 100.4 +3.1 Won 1 6-4
    5 New Orleans 44 26 .629 12 26-11 18-15 26-16 7-4 95.9 93.4 +2.5 Lost 1 6-4
    6 Utah 44 27 .620 12 ½ 30-6 14-21 30-12 10-3 103.3 99.6 +3.6 Lost 1 6-4
    7 Portland 44 27 .620 12 ½ 28-7 16-20 22-19 7-5 98.8 95.2 +3.7 Lost 1 6-4
    8 Dallas 43 28 .606 13 ½ 26-8 17-20 23-20 5-7 101.5 99.9 +1.6 Won 2 6-4
      Phoenix 40 31 .563 16 ½ 24-13 16-18 24-17 9-4 109.0 106.6 +2.4 Won 6 6-4


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