Wooo! Last night was a pretty close game . . . in the first quarter . . . after the Clippers went on a 6-2 run to bring the score to 17-12 Jazz before Tyrone Corbin called a time out with 3:23 left in the opener. The Jazz would handle the Clippers 108-79. As a result of the blowout that the Jazz handed to the Clippers we got some extended playing time for some of the bench guys. Only one player on both teams played 30 minutes last night (Paul Millsap), and the Jazz played everyone except Jamaal Tinsley 17 or more minutes. Some guys did stick out, and they made sweet, sweet music last night.
After the jump – a break down of their play from last game!
Paul Millsap: This guy has been our best player every game this season, and every game he has played in since Deron Williams’ departure. Last night was yet another in a long line of fine shooting nights for him over his career: 7/11 shooting, 6/6 from the free throw line – 20 points off of 11 shots is 1.82 Points per Shot. (PPS) By comparison, 2011-2012 All-Star (he’ll get in this year, don’t worry) Blake Griffin was harried and baited into shooting 5/12, and finished with only 10 points. Sap does more than just make baskets (6 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist, 1 drawn charge on Blake); but I’m going to stick to his offense for now. Millsap is dangerous all over the court now. I mentioned this in Today’s Downbeat. He went 3/3 at the rim; 2/3 from 3 to 9 feet from the basket; and 2/3 from 16 to 23 feet from the basket. He did miss two jumpers from Carlos Boozer range, but he was highly efficient from everywhere else. Amazing. This guy started off as an undersized rebounding specialist who had no offensive game save for putback as a rookie. Someone needs to send his game film tapes to Enes Kanter.
C.J. Miles: Last night was another example of why I still haven’t sold away my company stock in C.J. Miles Corp. He had a great game: defense, rebounding, ball movement, transition offense, making his free throws . . . everything. He shot above 50 fg%, had 4 steals, 5 rebounds, and was a +/- of +26. He would have made it on the Jazz Quintet even if he scored 6 points, but he netted 19 in total (1.46 PPS, which is better than Karl Malone’s efficient career numbers). He did it all in 29 minutes of action. We was a total catalyst out there, on all parts of the game. Of course the nay-sayers are going to go out there and say "so what about the other 12 games this season. Haters are, specifically, going to hate; as the saying goes. When C.J. plays close to 18+ minutes a game he’s giving you (on average):
- 13.2 ppg,
- 4.0 rpg,
- 1.2 spg,
- 0.8 apg,
- while shooting 45.9 fg%,
- 41.2 3pt%,
- 88.9 ft%
- 1.30 PPS,
- and getting to the line 3.3 times a game.
Which is better than what Matt Harpring gave the Jazz in similar minutes (give or take), and he got a virtual free pass for inconsistency by Jazz fans. Oh yeah, the Jazz are 5-1 when C.J. plays 18 or more MPG.
Devin Harris: While Paul Millsap started off very strong, and C.J. Miles secured the win – it was Devin Harris that was answering all the Clipper runs. He finished with 13 points, and 4 assists – but it was where and when he was making his jumpers that mattered. And they were opportuniative strikes in transition or before the defense could set up – and most all happened to extinguish any LAC momentum. Harris went 4/5 from 16’ to 23’ out; and went 1/2 from three point range on the night. Our team is easy to beat when we’re not getting anything from midrange and/or our non-bigs aren’t making shots. Last night we had our starting PG and an off-the-bench wing come out and both dropped over 10 points. And we won handedly. Imagine that.
Jeremy Evans: Evans doesn’t get to play in every game. And Evans has way more game than just dunking. He can pass, he can dribble a bit, and he actually has a fundamentally sound jump shot. That said, he’ll punish you if you don’t make any adjustments. And he punished the Clippers last night with his dunks. The Jazz would have still won the game if he didn’t play, but if it wasn’t for his play all the Jazz fans around the world wouldn’t be smiling so much today. Thanks Jeremy.
Earl Watson: Did you know that Harris has made this list 5 times? Did you know that Watson has made this list 4 times? Did you know that They’ve both been on the list at the same time 3 times? There’s definitely some kind of Kenny Smith / Sam Cassell stuff going on right now; where they both push each other to be excellent. They have different strengths, but I love that they are both major factors in our wins. Last night Watson only had 3 points (an Alley Oop finish?), 4 rebounds, and 3 assists; but he also set the tone for "his" crew (he’s the boss when he’s on the floor – we should just call him Shift Manager Earl at this point) with 2 steals, 2 blocks, and an absurd +/- rating of +20 in only 18 minutes of action. Amazing. He even mixed it up with Clippers Trey Thompkins (who is a 6’10 / 245 lb dude). I love that toughness. He’s a vet’s vet, and know how to establish an identity at home.