For a moment, mid-to-late 4th quarter, I was sure the Jazz would blow it.
But no. They hit just enough shots to pull it to OT, and they played strong defense down the stretch. I have to give props to Richard Jefferson. I've been pretty ruthless about him ... but he defended Deng really well tonight. Everything was a struggle, particularly in the 4th quarter.
And it was nice to have another win.
I've never been one to advocate tanking. I don't pin all my hopes on a miracle draft pick. I'd rather see the five recent lotto picks that we already have reach their potential, and then let the lotto chips fall as they may. And so I'm happy to see the guys win again. I hope they can make it turn into a little run of success. There's always a chance.
* * *
It was a really, really ugly game. Both teams shot under 40%. Both teams had their starting C foul out. Both teams had some 6th man "heroics" in the form of 1-8 shooting.
Really, the difference was three-point and free throw shooting.
Yeah, I'm shocked too.
Three good things that happened
- The three-point shooting. It was an odd accomplishment. Hayward shot nothing from behind the arc while Marv and RJeff combine for 5-9. Add a couple 3's from Trey (including a HUGE one in OT that basically sealed the game), and it was a nice night for the long bombs.
- Trey and Gordo combine for 16 assists. 12 from Gordon (including the OT alley-oop to Jeremy Evans), and Trey had a Deron-esque flip over the shoulder on the fast break. It's nice to see some excellent passing. Of most fun to me was I saw Gordon make the less-obvious pass to the weak side several times.
- Marv continues to play like the guy we thought we were trading for. Terrific night from him.
- (I know I said three, but hey: wins are too rare these days). Only 15 turnovers. Since Trey returned, the Jazz have given up 14, 17, 18, and now 15 turnovers. Not glue on the hands good, but also not the horror we saw previously. This is workable.
Three gunky things that happened
- John Lucas's interesting style of "playing basketball." What on earth is the deal? Garret's been good since day 1. JL3 simply can't play at an NBA level. His shot selection is terrible. His decisions on offense are laughable (pass up an almost open 3 so he can shoot a highly contested spinning 22-foot 2?). For the love of all that is holy, Ty Corbin, STOP THROWING JL3 OUT ON THE COURT! He can't pass. He can't make shots. He can't do anything else helpful. Alec Burks would get reamed for doing just 1/2 the crap JL3 does every damn game. STOP THE INSANITY!
- The team still went through long stretches that they simply couldn't score. Laughably bad shots, terrible movement, comic iso's. The offense is still a pretty huge mess. True, Chicago can defend. But still. I'd love to see just a hint at dependable scoring.
- Favors fouled out. I don't like picking on him. As you'll all see in the next couple days, Favors is the only player on the team who has improved in more recent games. But some of those fouls were just mistakes.
- Cuz I gotta be symmetrical. Dear Ty Corbin: if you want people to think you're an intelligent coach, stop doing stupid things. Like playing JL3. I'm trying to help you here.
The Jazz win. Ty gets to stay employed a couple extra weeks. We can go to sleep happy for the Thanksgiving break.
The Jazz face Horny in the next two games. It will be interesting to see what happens.