Recap - Los Angeles Clippers @ Utah Jazz

Snappy.

That's the word that came to mind as I watched the Jazz play last night.  Snappy passes, snappy movements, snappy hands.  You can substitute crisp if you'd like.

You could also substitute Matt Harpring, which Jerry Sloan did putting him in for CJ to start the game.  We all know that Matt has two shots, the mid-range jumper and the missed layup.  You also know that you're going to get an all-out effort from Harding, good or bad.  If only somehow we could harness this power for good only.

Maybe Gatorade can analyze his sweat and find out that there's some super-hustle electrolyte that only he possesses.  Instead of G, they would have H.  Actually, that seems to be the next step, right?

That hustle is something that the Jazz have been sorely missing the last couple of months.

Matt also gets credited for his basketball smarts.  The team has been missing that as well.  I don't know if you can capture that from sweat though.

Don't think I forgot toughness, I didn't.  I just couldn't come up with a clever way to tie it in.

Harp only played his normal 15 minutes, but his biggest contribution was getting the Jazz off to the good start that they needed and that they've been struggling with.  Maybe his new nickname is the sparkplug? 

The Jazz raced out to a 30-17 first-quarter lead and pushed it to twenty a couple of times.  They actually went on a 8-0 run when Harp was subbed out but that start was all we needed.The Clips had a couple of runs that cut those 20-point leads in half. The last one came to start the fourth when the went 9-0 before Deron came back in and restored order.

Deron has had more games lately where instead of coming out at the 3 minute mark in the first quarter, he plays the entire first and Knight comes off the bench to start the second. I really, really like this. Knight had been turning into Jason Hart 2 when it came to managing the closing minutes of the quarter. You're just praying that they don't give up too much of the lead. It also matches what other teams do and Knight is going up against another backup instead of a Tony Parker or Chris Paul.

The Jazz did what they were suppose to do (and what they should have been doing the past few weeks) and beat an easy team.

Despite all of the terrible play lately, with a little luck and a lot of effort, they could still squeeze into the 7th seed and possibly the 6th.  And with my Jazz-blue glasses, I would have some renewed hope for the playoffs and over-optimistically think that they could do some serious damage.

If we could pull off a win in LA tonight, we'd be able to sit back and wait for the Mavs and Hornets to play and hope for a loss.  Otherwise, the Jazz will just hang out in LA until Game 1.

Other notes

  • Ronnie B - Now is not the time to be losing your shot.  I hope you have all of your bad shots out of your system.
  • Booze - Give me 20 & 13 in the playoffs and all is forgiven.
  • Memo - Get well soon
  • AK - I want you to do nothing but watch tapes of yourself circa 2004.  That is all you do.  I will grant you an extra freebie for the year if you put up similar numbers and effort.
  • Millsap - Do you know who gets paid in the off-season?  Playoff heroes.  Get to it, but do it in the system.
  • KK - Let's hope your hotness is on the rise again.
  • Koufos - Your time is coming.

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