Utah Jazz 103, Denver Nuggets 93

You go, Gordo! - Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Spor

We got the belt! And we ain't never givin' it to FREAKING NOBODY!

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via oi41.tinypic.com

I really like it when the Jazz win. I also really like it when it's on the backs of the young players. Those who are mostly interested in a dream draft pick this year get worried. But not me ... this kind of a game is, to me, what the season is supposed to be about.

For a while, though, it did look like a dream game for the #TeamTank. Jazz played well. And then in a blink of 4 minutes lost a 15-point lead. I'm not sure anyone actually expected the Jazz to pull the win off at that point.

But pull off the win, they did.

It took everybody:

Gordon, Favors, Marv, Richard, Trey, Alec, Jeremy ... in various ways they all made a difference.

In fact, Richard Jefferson inspired this fun pic in the Game Thread (Thanks GameThread King Bad Voodoo):

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via www.mememaker.net

Perhaps the most fun is that we can believe that the team has an actual working offense. You'd never expect this had you watched the games in November. But in the past eight games, the Jazz have been over 100 points five times. The other three were: 86 against Indiana (understandable), and then 98/94 in the two games against Portland.

That's a working offense.

In other interesting news, the Jazz are nearly .500 with Trey as the starting PG (5-6). As I mentioned in the game thread, this is the kind of play I had expected for the entire year. So I'm excited to see it happening.

Three good things that happened

  1. Gordon Hayward played like Superman AND Batman AND Aquaman combined. 30 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 0 turnovers ... and shooting over 60% from the field. That was just a fantastic performance. For those scoring at home, he's now shot 46% overall in the past seven games. He's also driving to the hoop more and settling for long-2's less (still take that extra step back sometimes, though Gordo). It makes me wonder if the injury was affecting him more than we realized. But whatever the case, he played like the Gordo we hoped to have tonight.
  2. Favors beasted. It's not just the 19 points. Or doing it off 70% shooting. But he's starting to use smarts and instincts AND his otherworldly athleticism. A couple of those dunks tonight were insane. Everyone needs to go check out SportsCenter, cuz they're going to be on ... oh, wait. This is the Jazz. They won't be on.
  3. Trey got a double-double. Actually, that's not a big deal. His shot was off badly, so I'm not sure praising him for the 10 points is really warranted. But those 10 assists ... and just how well he's making the team's offense go. What a terrific PG he's becoming. I often talk wistfully about the great Deron-AK-Boozer-Memo years, as well as the great Stockton-Malone-Hornacek years. What sets them apart is the way everybody thrives and has career years. Well, we see that with Trey. Literally everybody thrives when he's running the show. This is from the team's budding stars to the guys we fans are less enamored with. We saw it again tonight ... the entire starting lineup simply thrived. And it's Trey.

Three things that did not go well

  1. Kanter really struggled. He needs a real PG. That's the issue. He's a totally different player with Trey out there.
  2. Gobert got another DNP-CD. I suppose it's not a big deal ... the team played well, and unless Kanter starts (shifting Marv to SF), there is no place for him in the rotation. I'm also resigned to not seeing him regularly until next year.
  3. That's all I can think of. Fouls were reasonable (21 given). Turnovers were, again, great (only 10 ... thanks, Trey!). They hit threes. I don't know. The team played really well. Against a team in the playoff hunt. On the road.

Bring on the Spurs!

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