I love it when a team comes together
Probably the best team performance we've seen all season. Even scoring, even rebounding, even assists... this is what we've been looking for all season. 22 of 24 free throws made. 32 assists. 6-11 from three. This is the ball moving and executing offense that we've come to know and expect. Compare those 32 assists to the just 18 the team had against Boston.
We had only 9 guys dressed for the game with only 7 of them playing for most of it. The biggest team effort of the year also resulted in some of the biggest individual performances of the year. Crazy how that works. Let's go through each of them.
Eric Maynor is used to stepping things up. In his first significant game of the season, he couldn't have done much more to fill in for Deron Williams. His biggest contribution was his 11 assists and only 2 turnovers. That's poise. He also added 13 points but that was icing on the cake. He got the Jazz into the offense and drove constantly into the lane.
Ronnie Brewer added 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists to go along with 2 steals. This has come to be the norm for him this year. The assists were a little higher than his average. But just shows how well the ball was moving around.
Memo was decent tonight. He had a couple of big baskets in the third. He had 15 & 4 and hit the only three he took.
I was surprised when I saw the Andrei only had 4 assists. I could have sworn he had twice that. He threw in 7 boards and 13 points. He thrives in this environment when he's one of the leaders of the team. I think we've seen that all year from him. There's no doubt that his contract is huge, but he's the glue right now for this team.
Millsap finished with 15 & 7 and would have brought the house down in the ESA with one of his plays in the second quarter. After he missed a little jumper, the rebound came down to two 76ers. One of them had the ball and Millsap just came in and ripped away from him and put it back in for an easy bucket. That's why he's Mansap.
Wesley Matthews did most of his damage in the first half. He was 3-4 from the arc and had 14 of his 16 points before the break. He also penetrated well and created a lot of opportunities for himself.
Most impressive about Maynor and Matthews' performances is that they haven't been intimidated. Their confident when they hit the floor and it shows.
I don't often, if at all, talk about Sloan's performance. His rotations were great tonight (except I was wanting to see at least Fesenko get in the game). He's down 5 players right now and used 7 guys to beat the 76ers on the road. Everyone bought into the system tonight and Sloan had a lot to do with that.
Don't think I forgot about Boozer. I'm so torn when he does well because it starts making me soften my stance on him and I start forgetting just what he's done in the past.
Here's the thing, he hasn't said a word since the season has started and after a nasty start, he's getting better. He's still nothing to brag about on defense, but when the team is winning, it's hard to say anything critical about him.
And what infuriates me the most is that I don't think anyone wanted to hate Boozer. He's a Jazz man and one of our own. We've all been frustrated with players before, but we didn't hate any of them.
I still think it's best to trade him but the reason for wanting that is shifting slightly. With each game that he plays better, it increases his value and the return we would get in a trade would be higher. Being able to get a scoring wing player would be huge for this team. And that's becoming my biggest reason to trade him now more than just wanting to get rid of him.
I have a huge internal struggle with the whole situation right now.
Back to the team though. We had hustle, multiple tip balls, and a lot of guys going for loose balls tonight. Boozer had active hands and had three steals. The team only had 15 fouls which has to be some sort of record or at least on the bottom end of the bell curve. They had just 3 turnovers in the first half. It was mass hysteria.
High fives were breaking out all over the place and you could tell the team was enjoying the game again.
Once again, once we see 4 games or so like this in a row, maybe I'll start to think that something has changed. But too many times have they had a game like this and then crapped the bed again.
- Boonerism of the night - While talking about Matthews' scoring, he said, "Each time he scores, it's a new career high." He didn't go so far as to say whether that was a new season high though.
- After Millsap got a rebound, Samuel Dalembert came up from behind and fouled Paul. He then held on in a hug from behind for a little a lot too long. That led to this statement from Steve Brown speaking as Millsap, "You got more than just basketball."
- Liberty Ballers
- Ross Siler
- Living and Dying (moni saw the game the same way I did)
- The Cowhide Globe