The Jazz are not yet a great basketball team. As such, several things will pop up this year that cause losses. Players will have off-shooting nights. They'll turn the ball over. Their bench will look great one night and then really struggle the next. They'll let some player get hot who has no business getting hot.
- It all struck at the same time tonight against the Pacers.
- It's hard to win when your starting PG shoots 2-12.
- It's hard to win when you lose the offensive rebounding battle by 8.
- It's hard to win when your bench shoots 3-13 and scores only 11 points.
- It's hard to win when the two guys you need to count on as scorers combine for 9-26 shooting.
And in the end, it's very disappointing. This was a game the Jazz should have been able to win. They got absurdly great scoring games from Gordon Hayward and Enes Kanter. And Hayward deserves more accolades than just his scoring. His entire line was unreal: 30 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 block, 11-15 shooting. Enes's scoring was great (18 points off 7-8 shooting), but he did not contribute nearly as well everywhere else (3 rebounds, 2 blocks, 0 assists, 5 turnovers).
The Jazz started the game playing decently and built a 6 point lead in the first quarter. They also had a very strong run in the 3rd quarter, outscoring the Pacers 19-4 in one stretch.
But they couldn't sustain it. A.J. Price had a career night. Roy Hibbert went crazy, going for 29 points. And in the end, the Jazz got too little from everyone not named Gordon Hayward.
Derrick Favors played okay (13 points off 5-13 shooting, plus 8 rebounds, an assist, and two blocks), but they needed more than okay. Alec Burks shot poorly. Trevor Booker missed a couple gimme layups. Dante Exum didn't wow this game (1-5 shooting). Gobert had a night where his offense looked clearly a work in progress.
And Trey Burke. It's been a long time since I wanted to cover my eyes every time somebody shoots ... but Trey's doing it to me now. His FG% is barely over 30% for the year now. His 3P% is close to dropping below 20%. I don't know what to say anymore. He's in danger of playing himself out of the NBA at this point.
But that's enough about that: his shooting numbers aren't that much worse than Alec Burks' were for a lot of November last year, and we were saying the same kind of things. And he rebounded to end up with a pretty decent year. Hopefully Trey can do the same.
It's a disappointing loss, still. It was a game that they could have won. They should have won. And now it's going to be a little bit harder to win 2 games on this road trip (2 wins was my benchmark for a decent week). Atlanta and New York are winnable ... but much better teams than Indiana.
Oh well. Let's celebrate a crazy good game from Gordo and hope the rest of the guys can work things out for next time.