These are the five guys who made sweet sweet music against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Al Jefferson: It should not be a surprise that he’s on the list again, his fifth time in seven games. Big Al had a very solid 20 and 9 game, and an ever impressive 2 more blocks to his Jazz leading tally. (He is tied w/ Favors, who has played nearly 40 less minutes this season though) Still, there were some problems, he shot only 50 ft% and shot it some of the times when he should have passed it, and so forth. Marc Gasol was giving him fits, but to his credit, Marc Gasol gives everyone fits.
Paul Millsap: Perhaps we should just call him Money-sap at this stage now that Memo is gone? Sure, he doesn’t have the range or desire to be a killer from three point land – but Millsap doesn’t miss. He only took 9 shots last night, and he made 7 of them. He also tallied 8 more boards, and 4 dimes – and 2 blocks and a steal. He produces for us on so many different plays, offense/defense, halfcourt/transition, on his man/rotating to help the helper. Big Al may be making $14 m this year, but Millsap’s $8 million is going much farther so far this season.
Devin Harris: Mr. Extrinsic motivation (He only seems to really excel when pushed by Earl) started the game off turning the ball over, but finished it making plays. He finished with 11 points, 3 assists, and one steal, block, and drawn charge each. More than that, in crunch time he stepped up defensively when he needed him to most. He played only 26 minutes last night . . . which is okay because . . .
Earl Watson: . . . because Earl played 23 minutes, and also finished with 11 points. But Earl added 4 rebounds, 5 assists, and one steal and drawn charge. He makes the game simple, and he makes the correct pass on each play. Last year Earl made some mistakes here or there. This season, he’s been Joe Montana-like with his passing and decision making. He had a great oop to Derrick Favors, and is never afraid to get the ball to a younger guy who man not otherwise get enough touches.
Josh Howard: Rounding out the quintet is Josh, who went to the line 6 times, making 5 of his free throws. His ability to get to the line (combined with Harris, who went 7 times; and Alec Burks who went 5) give the Jazz something we did not have last season – people who can put the other team in the penalty. Howard had 13 points, 3 rebounds and 2 steals. He is quietly getting better; though he’s keeping Jeremy Evans firmly bolted to the bench. In a logical world we shouldn’t worry too much. But we live in an illogical world, the world of sports. If people are already okay with terminating the C.J. Miles experiment (he’s 24 years old, after all), what happens then to Evans, who is the same age, but with way less NBA experience? Something for Kevin O’Connor to worry about, and for us to go crazy about . . .