See what happens when you play defense and offense? And offense? And passing? And offense?
After putting this in the game thread/preview,
"Maybe without Deron playing, we can see the team focus and put up a better effort like they did when he was out earlier this year."
Maybe I should start putting something like that in every preview because it sure seemed like everyone had focus and determination tonight.
I don't know if I recognized anyone on this team tonight. They've shown up several times this season but have been MIA for a lot of it.
The Jazz did put up 117 on one of the worst defensive teams in the league but I'm going to take anything we can get at this point. This was a game that the Jazz are suppose to win even without Williams. You while you can downplay the significance of this win a bit because of that, this is a game the Jazz were suppose to win and did.
But as was mentioned in the game thread, hopefully this doesn't delay any moves because someone in the FO feels like they've turned a corner. We thought that was the case back in November and look how things have gone since then.
Enough with all that. This was a very enjoyable game to watch. The Jazz had 39 assists which is the most the team has had since a game against the Wiz almost 2 years ago. They were making the extra passes that we saw earlier this season when they went on that modest winning streak where they were tearing it up offensively.
In addition to the "sucking at the teat of Deron Williams" metaphor, you could also say that the team's performance was analogous to someone losing their sight/hearing and the rest of their senses becoming sharper. Whatever way you want to put it, we haven't seen this type of team performance from the Jazz for a while.
Everyone seemed to step it up a bit.
Let's start with AK.
This is the AK that we've all known and that we've been dying to see for the past couple of years. 12 points, 6 boards, 4 assists (including another between the legs beauty to Matthews cutting), 3 blocks, and 4 steals. He was playing a lot at the 4. Coincidence?
It was his night. He started out hot and never let up. He had a season-high 24 points. That's just below his 25 points he scored in November and just off his career-high of 29. This was very reminiscent of his pre-season game that gave us a lot of hope for this season. Let's hope it continues.
He's been shooting 38% on the season including a not-even-Mendoza 16% from behind the line. Tonight he was 5-8 from the field while hitting 2-3 from three-point range. He also finished with 6 assists and only 1 turnover. Oh, and we was wearing the biggest butterfly bandage ever on his shoulder.
He had a good game with 15 points on 5-9 shooting but I imagine this is all he will take from this game,
Don't worry, happens to the best of them Matthews.
He pretty much had his way tonight and was pretty close to perfect from the field. He had 20 & 6 and also had 4 assists. He also had 1 block to go along with 3 dunks including a one-handed dunk. You never see the "hamma" dunk from Booze.
Korver, Millsap, Brewer, and Okur
Korver finally got some PT at the end of the blowout and grabbed 7 points including a three. Maybe boosting his trade value a bit? Millsap had 9 boards and a nifty post move on a quiet offensive night. Brewer only took 3 shots (his one make a breakaway dunk) but had a career-high 10 assists. The Jazz are now undefeated when he has 10+ assists. And Okur wasn't horrible for the first time in two months.
I don't think anybody is content with just one win, but it sure beats another eye-gouging loss. At this point, the Jazz would have to win abuot 10-15 in a row for me to think that they've turned a corner. We've been burned before though.
The Jazz now head to Memphis for the second game of a home and home. They've killed the Grizz at home but have struggled when they've had to put on their blue suede shoes.
- Yata (Sundiata) Gaines played 21 minutes tonight in his first ever NBA action. That's about 20 minutes more than I expected. He was only 1-7 from the field (that coming on a layup) but got 5 assists.
- The bench of the Jazz has always been a strength of the team and has really given them an advantage against other teams. Tonight was one of the first nights that I can remember where they really stood out. Maybe we're getting some depth back?
- Fess had 5 fouls in 9 minutes. That's 20 fouls per 36 minutes.
- 9-19 on threes? What team is this?
- The Jazz outscored Memphis 31-23 in the third.
- So Greg Miller tweeted right before the game that he had an extra floor seat for the first person to meet him at the end of the bench. First, it looks like that seat opened up because Greg sat in LHM's seat that has been open since his death. Somewhat significant.
But how does the kid that got the seat get down to the bench? How did he explain that to the users? "No, really, Greg said I could come down here and get a court-side ticket. He tweeted it... He's on Twitter. No, it's like texting, but it's online. No, from his phone..."
- AK gained some strength at the half when he went from the dry, flat hair to a slicked back wetted version.
- Here is just how re-damn-diculous it is for Paul Millsap and getting fouls called on him. Here's the scenario.
- The Jazz launch a shot
- Millsap is boxing out Randolph, who pushes Millsap into Gasol when they're getting ready for the rebound.
- Gasol flops forward with arms flailing.
- Millsap gathers the ball, hesitates and fully expects a whistle to be called on him.
- No whistle so Millsap puts it back up and in.
- Three seconds after the no-foul and after the bucket, the ref calls a foul on Millsap. W.T. F?
- The Grizz bench had a good lobbying party right in the ref's mug.
- Absolutely ridiculous.
- Straight Outta Vancouver