First, thanks to RRR for the great idea for the recap headline. I only wish I didn't have to use it.
Before I get to a small recap of the game, the time has come for the Jazz to do something. This isn't the same type of doing something that we've been clamoring for the FO to do since last summer or even last January.
They have to make a choice, and soon, as to where they want this team to go this season. The team is facing the luxury tax in a little over a month if they can't drop below the line. For a team that's 19-17 in January, you don't have time anymore to see how things play out. They need to beat the salary dump rush by doing something now rather than wait. Otherwise they're going to get left holding the Queen of Spades and a high penalty for doing so.
Or... they can do something to try an salvage the season and make a trade that will improve the team and see if the Jazz can make a playoff push. The gamble with this move is that they're going to have to take back contracts equal to what they're paying out now in most cases.
If KOC could somehow cut payroll and acquire one or two difference makers, he'd be a candidate for exec of the year. That's not likely to happen though so it's going to have to be one or the other for the Jazz.
For the game at hand, the Jazz had plenty of opportunities to win at the end but couldn't pull it off. This is probably where we miss Deron the most.
Regardless of how much of a kick to the groin this game was, I would much rather watch them lose like this, then to fold and give up after getting down 19 points in the first. It brought back memories of the 2003-04 team where we knew they were going to get beat most nights, but you knew they were going to give it their all. I thought the Jazz did that tonight despite some boneheaded plays at the end of the game.
The Jazz were sitting on about a 5-point deficit that they could never quite overcome. The Grizz went cold after the first quarter and the Jazz made a solid comeback attempt. They even took the lead late, but they missed capitalizing on missed free throws and layups by the Grizz by missing their own free throws and layups.
With the game tied at 89 and just over 23 seconds left, the Grizz dribbled down the clock before Mayo took a step-back 20-footer that was nothing but net. The Jazz still had 5 seconds left to run a play, but the best they could pull off was a CJ Miles drive with his off hand while he was being shadowed by 4 Grizz defenders. His heave was blocked by Marc Gasol for the team's 14th rejection of the night and sealed the 91-89 win. A fitting end I suppose.
Zach Randolph was a killer as well from the line tonight getting 15 of his team's 36 attempts. He finished with 29 & 15 including running the tap drill to pad his offensive rebound stats. Gay & Mayo were the only other Grizz in double-figures for Memphis.
The Jazz just didn't shoot well tonight. They had a decent 24 assists and only turned it over 13 times. They shot just 40% and had the lowest point total against the Grizz in a long time. They had been averaging more than 110 previously. The biggest offender being CJ Miles who was 0-7 after going for 24 points on 10-16 shooting in the last game.
And he's the one we have in the game when we need a shot to tie or win in the end. Le sigh.
We get to do this all over again soon as the Jazz head down to Dallas for a game tomorrow night. The Mavs just beat the hot Spurs in SA, so you know, we're in trouble.
After that, the Jazz will head home. Is that when we'll see some changes?