The Utah Jazz took game 2 of their 5 game road trip tonight by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 109 to 100. Guard Raja Bell came back for the Jazz, and Head Coach Tyrone Corbin elected to move former lottery pick Gordon Hayward to the bench. While moving Hayward to the bench may pay dividends, I do not seriously think the correlation between him having a good game and him being benched is strong. He did have a tremendous game, as he and Al Jefferson combined to score 49 points.
Devin Harris had to leave the game, leaving the Jazz under-gunned. Hayward took the opportunity to shoot the ball and he stayed aggressive all game long. He would finish with 23 points, going 8/11 from the field and even knocking down two threes. That's the type of game Hayward is capable of having, regardless if he's starting or coming off the bench. His activity level and assertiveness is up to him -- and not something controlled by an on/off switch due to a rotation change made by the coach. (IF you bothered to do the work you could have figured that out for yourself) It's about how many shots he takes not who he's playing with. He needs to assert himself. After all, he'll be an All-Star one day; while guys like Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson will never be All-Stars.
Al Jefferson had a great game as well, he dominated inside and finished with one of his best shooting nights as a Jazz man. He set a new record for assists in a game and I am really happy for him. The Jazz beat up on a team that was tanking and beat up -- and still only won by 9. A large part of that is due to the Jazz making their free throws (24/29 tonight). This game is a lot more difficult has the Jazz shot poorly from the stripe.
Hayward had a good game, but the other three lottery picks played a grand total of 35 combined. It's the playoff push I guess. What's the recourse if we fail the make the playoffs though? That's a question for the Jazz brass to answer, and hopefully one that will be held accountable for if that time comes.
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