The Utah Jazz fought a close game, but were unable to handle the depth of the Los Angeles Clippers. There were some good things in this game, and some bad things. If you have been keeping an eye on the boxscores for the Jazz over the last 7 games you would have noticed that in THIS game Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin used only 11 players. That's a lot of players for a regular season game, and don't get me wrong I expect to see games like this in the future, but for a man with 19 guys on the roster this was a display of restraint.
The Jazz, a team on the way up (but starting from going to the lotto three times in the last four years), had their hands full with the Clippers. That makes sense as the Clippers appear to be a contender this year. Doc Rivers played 13 guys tonight, and five players scored in double digits, and were led by Jamal Crawford's 16 points off the bench. Behind him Blake Griffin (15), Darren Collison (15), J.J. Redick (14), and Chris Paul (14) contributed to a mostly perimeter attack for LA. They managed to score 103 points despite s hooting 38.6 fg% and going 5/18 (27.8%) from downtown. How did they do this? They did this by going to the line. The Clippers went to the line 47 times tonight, and while they shot in the low 70s in accuracy, still managed to make 9 more FTs then we even attempted. A three point loss due to free throw disparity on the road against a team with stars is not too shabby.
It is when you recognize it was our starters out there in the fourth quarter going up against their bench. But hey, you can't have everything.
What the Jazz do have is a bright future to look forwards to. Derrick Favors dominated with 24 points, 17 rebounds, 3 assists, and he was capable of playing nearly 40 mins without fouling out. Gordon Hayward continued to fill up the stat sheet with 19 points (2 threes), 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, and he probably got to like second base with his girlfriend the night before. Enes Kanter was an occasional wrecking ball who chipped in 13 and 6. These are going th be our big three going forward.The steady Richard Jefferson added 11 points, 5 dimes, 3 rebounds, and super efficient scoring.
The biggest impression came from Rudy Gobert in his first game with more than a quarter's worth of playing time. He used his length to do some good things and some bad things. He was the microcosm of our team's performance tonight, and I'm not going to be mad at a guy coming off the bench to score 4 points, block 5 shots, get 1 assist and 1 steal ... ON HIS WAY TO 12 rebounds.
Loved it before you even knew about him. (Go back to our Combine day 1 google hangout)
Anyway, we lost this game due to depth but there are things to be happy about. One more preseason game to tune things.
And I know you wanted to know, but no, Brian Cook did not shoot 9 threes tonight.