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Charlotte Hornets 104 Utah Jazz 86, Jazz learn a lot in an amazing 5th grade science experiment

This actually happened tonight. Go Zeller!
This actually happened tonight. Go Zeller!
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

So I was feeling positively giddy before this game. The Jazz had just won back to back games for the first time all year. And not only that, but they were both solid wins. Neither was a squeaker. Stuff was looking up. And now the Jazz were playing the Hornets, who haven't been very good this year.

But HA! The joke's on me. I forgot the Jazz haven't been very good this year either.

So the Jazz apparently decided, as a team, that they were going to not try to defend tonight.

The Hornets have been a pretty crummy offensive team thus far, so of course the Jazz let them score 30+ points in two different quarters. I imagine it was an experiment, of sorts. Using my handy worksheet for my 5th graders, here's how it likely went behind the scenes:

  • Question: "What happens when you decide to not defend a team that struggles to score."
  • Hypothesis: "They still don't score much, but the game is easier, so you pretty much can focus on offense and score about a million points.
  • Procedure: "Don't defend the Charlotte Hornets for a 48-minute game"
  • Results: "Jazz lose by 18"
  • Conclusion: "The hypothesis was wrong. If you stop trying to defend a crappy offensive team, they suddenly score points as if they are a good offensive team."

This is, of course, exciting stuff. As I tell my students, experiments are much more interesting when you are proven wrong—that's when you learn something new. So I imagine the Jazz locker room—the players, the trainers, and especially the coaching staff—are feeling positively giddy right now. Their brains are just overflowing with stuff they learned tonight.

Good experiment. Next up: "What happens if you send a crappy FT-shooting team to the free throw line on every single possession?"

* * *

Random stuff from the game

  • Joe Ingles nearly led the team in scoring with 13 points. Hayward ruined it. BOOOO! Hayward.
  • Marvdawg played 29 minutes for the Hornets, and I only noticed him twice ... both times when the camera zoomed in on him sitting down after being checked out of the game. Both times, I said, "oh ... Marv was in?" So that pretty much hasn't changed at all.
  • Cody Zeller schooled Kanter with a move and then glided down the lane for a wide open dunk in the first quarter. Quin called a timeout really fast and reminded everyone: "That was Cody Zeller. He looks like a duck. How the freak did that dunk just happen?" I'm pretty sure those were the exact words.
  • The Jazz took 11 straight shots in the 2nd quarter in which they never got closer than 17 feet from the basket.
  • For the final 4 minutes of the 2nd quarter, the Jazz went with a lineup of Burke-Burks-Hayward-Favors-Gobert. It was the best run of the game, imo. Rudy Gobert will conquer all at some point.
  • Derrick Favors scored 13, shot 5-8 from the field, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and a block (no fouls or turnovers) in 18 minutes of play. He dominated the opening quarter. Moar Faves and Rudy together, please.
  • Both Gerald Henderson and Brian Roberts had fairly lopsided heads. Not sure if that's how it is every game, or if it was just one of those lucky breaks for us tonight.

I was really hoping for a 3-3 road trip—at least after the two wins in a row, I was. The good news is it's still going to happen (98.67% probability) because the Jazz play at Memphis next, and we all know how the Grizzlies are.

Yucca Out!