Wow, you guys. The Utah Jazz just beat the Houston Rockets at home. This is sad that this is something we're excited about, as the Jazz are 62-29 against Houston at home All-Time. But this season is something else entirely. In the first quarter the Jazz controlled the defensive glass, letting the Rockets go "one and done" on many possessions which was a problem for the team over the first two months of the season. The Jazz were last in the league in DREB% and it looks like the quicker lineup of Derrick Favors, Marvin Williams, Richard Jefferson, Gordon Hayward, and Trey Burke helped get to a lot of balls in the first quarter. Instead of just walking it up the floor though the Jazz counter attacked in transition. It was fun seeing Gordon do his Manu Ginobili thing and relentlessly drive to the bucket, or to see Trey Burke leading the break and making pin-point passes to cutters. Those two lead the team as the Jazz exploded for a 36 point first quarter.
The Rockets made adjustments as the Jazz bench came on the floor. The pace changed in their favor, and the game went to more isolations, which isn't our strength. The Rockets closed the gap in the third quarter and started to lead but over all our group held it together. Marvin Williams made some big shots in this game, and our team actually forced turn overs. Imagine that!
Tonight was one of the first nights we've seen that "mythical three guard" rotation that worked so well last year with Randy Foye, Burks, and Hayward. Trey played the role of Foye here and was very effective in a lineup where Marvin Williams played the four and Derrick Favors the five.
Tyrone Corbin rolled with our young guys playing with a hot hand and used only 9 players tonight -- which is a deviation from the norm.
- Gordon Hayward shoot slump seems to be over, he shot 12-18 tonight on his way to 29 points. He made all of his free throws and did not attempt a three pointer at all.
- Derrick Favors held his own against Dwight Howard, bringing home a 14 and 13 night against the All-Star's 15 and 9 night. Both finished with no blocks and 2 assists.
- Defense? Yes, we played defense and held Houston to only 103 points in this game. Coming into this game the 13-5 Rockets were #1 in points per game and #3 in offensive rating. They scored -6.4 points tonight. That's not a fluke. We're getting better on defense, this wasn't just Houston missing shots. They took what our defense gave them, and we gave them a loss.
- Rudy Gobert DNP-CD . . . we won the game, but were still out rebounded. After the first quarter we had a struggle to control our defensive glass. Guess who leads the team in defensive rebound rate and drb%? It's the tall French guy.
- Enes Kanter AWOL again, Kanter played 13 mines and finished a -12 in +/-, and managed only 3 points and 2 rebounds. He's playing worse than he did as a rookie. Maybe PF is his spot after all?
- Jeremy Evans actually started to miss jumpers *and* layups. He went 1/4 for the night. But if our three biggest problems are three bench bigs having trouble and we still beat Houston, it's a good night.
Special shoutout to our TAG group (each player handles the ball or spots up, effectively "you're it" on any given play) of Trey, Alec, and Gordon. They combined to score 71 points, had 13 assists, only 4 turn overs, and went 6/10 from downtown. They also added 11 rebounds. Can we just START these guys yet? Even if that means Alec at the three?
We've now won two in a row! We're going streaking!