clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Recap - Denver Nuggets @ Utah Jazz - Pre-season Game 1 - W 103-87

If the Jazz beat the Nuggets in a pre-season game and nobody outside the arena saw it, does it still count?  Well, at least according to Yahoo! it did.

For a lot of us though, the first time we actually see the Jazz play this season will be against Denver again come Oct 28 on ESPN.  That's too bad.  I guess that luxury tax is hitting the Jazz worse than we thought.

As I mentioned in the game thread, the game had a different feel to it.  Could have been a combination of a lot of things - new season, lineups, Locke announcing, etc.  But there was a definite something that gave off a good vibe from this game.



Is that what we call it when the Jazz get 14 steals as a team?  Their hands were active from the get-go, forcing 8 turnovers in the first quarter.  They probably had many more deflections.  Steals aren't the biggest indicator of good defense necessarily, but it sure seems like the Jazz have turned their focus towards D like they claimed.  I can't tell you how simultaneously pleased and surprised I would be if that's the case.

The Nuggets ended the game with 26 turnovers and just 21 assists.  Not a good overall game from them. 

Is it too early to call a breakout season for C.J. Miles?  clarkpojo has been calling it for a while.  CJ finished with 16 points on 5/7 shooting to go along with 3 steals.  I've written that for the Jazz as a team to make the leap, someone was going to have to turn into a near All-star.  Hopefully this is Mile's year.  It's obviously just the pre-season, but with CJ's off-season workouts and pickup games, we could see him really start fulfilling his potential.  If he keeps hitting threes like he did tonight, we're in business.

Deron Williams matched CJ point-wise with 16.  The third quarter was his biggest, scoring 14.  He played just 21 minutes.  If you stretch that out to 36 minutes, he's at about 27 & 10.  Looking forward to many more games like this.  He cooled off a bit in the fourth, but it was his play in the 1st and 3rd quarters that helped the Jazz build the 17-point first-quarter lead and then hold off a bit of a Nugget surge.

Mehmet Okur was also a big part of that first quarter.  He did what we've come to expect from Memo.  He had 10 points on 4-8 shooting including one three.  7 of those points came in the first.  He tied Boozer with the team lead for rebounds, 7.

Speaking of Boozer, @benbags stated that he had more cheers than boos and that it was an overall subdued tone.  Maybe that changes for the first regular season home game.  Maybe by then we haven't heard from Booze or anything about him really in a month.  Locke stated that this could be the best D that he's seen Booze play.  It wouldn't take much to improve his D, but if it was noticeable, that's encouraging.

We saw the lineups juggled a bit as Paul Millsap played at the 3 for the majority of the game.  I think it was more of an experimental thing but Sloan may try to get him minutes wherever he can.  Paul might mind playing the three a bit, but I bet that gets cured pretty quick by playing time.  Millsap didn't have anything to brag about stats-wise, but the Jazz were +17 while he was on the floor.

Ronnie P and Maynor had pretty similar minutes with Price finishing with 5 & 4 while @emaynor3 had 4 & 1.  Maynor didn't do anything really to overtake Price.  Price will still probably be the primary backup when the pre-season breaks, but I think they could share some floor time concurrently.

And the bulked up AK came away with 6 & 2 along with 3 assists.  Going on what Locke said, you can notice the bulk when he's next to other players.

Wes Mathews seemed to be the only non-invitee that stood out with his PT.  His hard work and defense could land him a spot.  Dupree played quite a bit but didn't do much to earn a spot.

So what does the first pre-season game mean?  Well, a win is a win.  I think what we saw from the regulars was great.  I don't think you could ask for much more after just 6 days of training camp.  Most of the players have been playing together over the last month or so of the summer and it probably showed.

They weren't without fault of course.  The 43% shooting percentage isn't going to impress anyone.  And after missing 20 free throws (26-46), you can guarantee that there will be extra focus in practice.

Other notes

  • I thought Locke was good.  Still a bit weird to not hear Hot Rod, but he'll be fine.  The only thing I didn't like was that the interviews he played and some of the stats interrupted some of his game calling.  It's still pre-season though.  They'll get that smoothed out in a bit.  It's definitely a shift from the old way.
  • There were a ton of foul calls.  69 whistles and 88 FT attempts is a bit on the high side.  The game was almost 3 hours.  It didn't seem like the refs were an issue though.  Maybe they were and there was a directive from the NBA not to criticize?

Next up, jolly old London and the Bulls.

Other blogs,