From here on out, nothing about this team will surprise me. In honesty, and without trying to take too much away from the Jazz, the win last night was every bit as much about the Thunder playing poorly. Maybe it was due to that string of ass whippings they had been handing out and they entered this game with a lackadaisical attitude, I'm not sure. What I do know is that the Jazz came out with a lot of energy, caused a lot of turnovers early, and scored a ton of points in transition. Further, they were aggressive on the offensive end and were able to draw fouls on a pretty good defensive team and they were able to out-rebound the 8th best rebounding team in the league by 12 . Its a good thing they did, too. Because you don't often win a game where your opponent shoots 56% to your 48%.
Burks continued to look solid. Some of his advanced stats were skewed a bit by the last 5:00 of garbage time in the 4th, but he continues to do things that impress. There a couple of times in that crucial stretch in the first half of the 4th quarter where his ability to create his own shot helped quell runs by the Thunder reserves. He had a lot of turnovers (6), but turnovers aren't necessarily a bad thing, and after having watched all of them on mysynergysports.com, I can say that they were not what you would consider a "dumb" turnover.
The under the radar all-stars for the game were Millsap and Carroll. Millsap especially had a really quiet, really great game. He finished with 18/10/6 with 2 steals and 5 of those boards were on the offensive end. He also got his 18 points on 57% shooting. Oh, and he did it all in a little over 24:00.
Carroll had a very efficient night getting 13 points off just 6 shots, and added 3 boards and 3 steals in 26:00. Nine of those points came from being 3/3 from deep. His improved shooting has been fantastic for the Jazz and himself.
Here is an interview of Gordon Hayward, by Kevin Arnovitz of TrueHoop (whom I love).
What was your favorite part of the game last night? I liked that the refs kind of let the teams play. I love it when things get a little feisty and it definitely seemed like The Solution had that playoff atmosphere. Andy summed it up quite nicely:
Jazzy jazz jazz jazz jazz. Jazz!— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) February 13, 2013