We have reached game #60. The season has been so slow and yet its hard to believe we are already to game 60. Its March which means its the last full month of the season since we are in a #fallsfortheballs mode and not a #playoffpush
Tonight the Utah Jazz take on the Milwaukee Bucks, surprisingly enough the Jazz have 10 more wins than the Milwaukee Bucks. In case anyone was wondering the Jazz had 11 wins the last time we played the Bucks and the Bucks have 11 wins now. The Jazz have added 10 more wins while the Bucks have only had 4 wins since they last played us. In their first meeting the Bucks had the worse record in the NBA (which they still have) and the Jazz had the second worst record (we now have the 7 worst record).
Jazzbasketball's final word about the January game:
The Bucks are a dreadful team with the worst-talent base in the league. As a team Utah’s level of play wasn't great (as evidenced by a 1-possession game with 3:30 remaining) but the Jazz did take care of business at home against a team they had no excuse to lose to.
While veteran starters Richard Jefferson and Marvin Williams both struggled (combining for just 6 points on 2-10 shooting), Utah’s young core provided the scoring punch with 78 of their 96 points (81%) coming from Burke, Burks, Hayward, Favors and Kanter. That talented fivesome is still yet to see the floor together at the same time (just 15-minutes in the entire season), but last night they all provided the scoring punch.
We are playing seemingly better than we did in January so I expect this game to not come down to a 1-possession game in the final minutes.
Things aren't looking too good in Milwaukee, they own the worst record in the NBA, attendance in low, they need a new arena, or perhaps the team will be moved. Gary Neal who signed a two year deal with Milwaukee this past summer, was traded to Charlotte, had this to say about the Bucks current circumstances (via Slam online)
We’ve known for months that Neal was upset with the situation in Milwaukee. He was kept out of 21 games due to coach’s decision and never given much of a chance to be an impact player in games. During his toughest days in Milwaukee, he generally steered clear of the media or kept his frustration in check while responding to questions — no one wants to let their negative feelings out to the media when they still need to be in the locker room every day.
Ex-Spur Gary Neal returned to his former home for the second time this season, under far better circumstances than his first visit with Milwaukee. A, he actually played meaningful minutes (23); and B, he did something with them, scoring 15 points to give the lagging Bobcats a critical offensive lift on a night they shot just 37 percent.
Neal unloaded on the Bucks — who buried him on the end of the bench after signing him to a two-year deal during the summer — before the game, saying he got out of town ASAP after he was traded to Charlotte.
"I didn’t turn nothing in," he said. "I got on the plane. I left everything in the house, wrote a (rent) check and I was out of there. I was just getting out of a shootaround in Milwaukee when I found out. I took out my insoles (from my shoes) and I was out of there.
"I’m excited to be playing meaningful basketball again. After three years of being with the Spurs, with every possession of every game counting I’m just glad to being back to that. I’m a little too old for the tanking situation."
So here is a player admitting that his former team was tanking. It seems like we have heard a lot lately that coaches and players aren't in on the tank, that they don't know anything about it, that its all about how the GM builds the team to lose. Well I guess with the Bucks at least one player knew about it.
The Bucks have improved their bench since the trade deadline. Jeremy Schmidt had this to say about the Bucks bench:
Milwaukee’s reserve unit of Ramon Sessions – OJ Mayo – Giannis Antetokounmpo – Jeff Adrien – John Hensonis +17 in 58 minutes (second most by a unit) over the last six games. It seems – 58 games into the season, with new pieces added to the mix – that players are starting to figure out their roles a bit.
The Bucks are 6-24 at home, 0-7 against teams in the North West division and 2-4 since the All Star break.
The Jazz as we know nearly beat the best team in the league last night, thanks to the incredible play of the F5. It will be interesting to see if Corbin plays the young players similar minutes or if Richard Jefferson and Marvin Williams will go back to their normal minutes (if not in foul trouble)
The Jazz are currently 0-2 on their longest road trip of the year. This will be the Jazz's third game in four nights. If the Jazz team that showed up for the Pacers show up tonight, the Jazz should win. On the other-hand if the Jazz team of the 2nd half of the Cavs game shows up, well who knows who will win.
The Jazz are 7-22 on the road, 3-5 against teams in the Central division and 2-5 since the All Star break.
PF- Ersan Ilyasova
SF- Khris Middleton
C- Zaza Pachulia
SG- Brandon Knight
PG- Nate Wolters
PF- Marvin Williams
SF- Richard Jefferson
C- Derrick Favors
SG- Gordon Hayward
PG- Trey Burke
Carlos Delfino (foot)- OUT
Larry Sanders (foot)- OUT