NBA Regular Season 2012-2013, Game 45:
Houston Rockets 125 @ Utah Jazz 80
Walk like a Nigerian.
Last night the Houston Rockets came into our gym, set the pace of the game, and never let up. The Jazz responded with little fight, and ended up getting ravaged at home by 45 points, also known as the worst home loss of all time. The Rockets starters repeatedly penetrated through our defenses, with James Harden and Jeremy Lin either finishing layups, getting to the line, or dishing off for assists. They started off rocky -- but went on an early 15-3 run in the first quarter. The Jazz, bereft of Mo Williams (starting PG) and Gordon Hayward (6th man), did manage to make it close at the end of the first. The Jazz finished the first quarter down 6 points.
Tyrone Corbin went with the "All Bench guys" lineup that honestly no other head coach in the entire NBA uses, and the Rockets started rumbling for another blast off -- Corbin then went with a mixed line up, and then an All-Starters lineup. None of it worked as Houston went on 17-4 and 8-0 runs in the second. Kevin McHale was getting great results from everyone on the floor: Lin and Harden were carving us up. Omer Asik dominated the glass. Guys like Chandler Parsons and Carlos Delfino were making their outside jumpers, and finishing at the rim. This must have been one of the most personally satisfying regular season wins in Houston Rockets' Fans history.
The 18 point halftime deficit was just too much to comprehend; the Jazz did not appear to fix anything at halftime and the starters did not respond to any halftime motivation. During the entire night Houston would let Jeremy Lin roam around and double when we'd try to post up Al Jefferson. Our passing was slow and predictable, and not sharp and effective. As a result, everything was slow and ate up too much clock.
In one way, that's fine, because we were trying to control the pace of the game; however, it also took us out of our game. We didn't play Jazz basketball last night. And what we saw last night was not defensible at all, unless you are paid to specifically write only good things about the team.
- Marvin Williams was allowed to touch the ball inside of 15 feet, and he was aggressive and finished with 7 points (3/6 fg, 1 three, missed both FTs), 5 rebounds, 2 assists; but ultimately was not used correctly for the 40th game in a row
- Paul Millsap shot 2/9, finished with 4 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 assist
- Al Jefferson shot 5/14, finished with 10 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, and some of the WORST defense I've ever seen him play (and yes, as a starting bigman in the NBA part of your responsibility is defending guards on pick and rolls / team defense). Sometimes he doesn't even know who has the ball in his hands on defense; or if he knows, then he doesn't understand the fundamental of turning his back to the ball handler. He's not a 21 year old. He should know better. He is paid better.
- Randy Foye did all he could, but no one can stay in front of James Harden. Foye had 12 points off of 13 shots, and 2 assists.
- Jamaal Tinsley had 1 assist, he also went 2/5 from downtown. But that's not why we have him on the court.
- Derrick Favors went for 11 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks, 6 free throw attempts (3 makes), and went 4/9 fg with a variety of moves.
- DeMarre Carroll only played 11 minutes tonight but I wonder why he did not play more
- Enes Kanter finished with 20 minutes, but during the later stages of the 3rd quarter he had only played 5 minutes. He ended the game with 9 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, and went 1/2 from the FT line. Millsap and Jefferson went there zero times. Favors and Kanter went there 8 times. A big part of the perceived gameplan was to get Asik in foul trouble -- but our starting bigs did not. Asik ended up with 19 rebounds -- which was the first part of their running attack. Playing Kanter 5 mins did not help.
- Earl Watson only played 10 minutes, and he wins by being only -5 in +/-.
- Alec Burks is the reason we lost this game because he had one bad turn over in the first quarter at the END of the quarter. He did finish with 8 points (6 shots), got to the line 6 times, had 4 assists to 2 TOs (so after that first TO he went 3:1 which is what we want our ball handlers to do), 1 rebound, and 1 block.
- Jeremy Evans played the 3 in garbage time, and Kevin Murphy also played -- and they were a mixed bag. Murphy did shoot the ball 6 times in 12 minutes, finishing off a dunk and a three among his four FGM. Glad we're not going to see him next game as Ty plays the starters all 32+ mins.
The next game is at home on Wednesday hosting the New Orleans Hornets. The old Jazz teams would respond to this type of game with a blowout win. How this team responds will go a long way towards providing more and more evidence about the make up of this 2012-2013 Utah Jazz.