The game was a true Phantom Menace game, for both teams really.
It was an episode for the die-hard fans alone ... anyone else will watch the game and think, "wow, that was pretty terrible." And even the die-hard fans will shrug and shyly smile as they admit that it wasn't games like this that made them fans, but if you are into the plot of the Rise of the Jazz to Rule the Universe, this can be viewed as an interesting bit of plot development, from a certain point of view, if you define plot development in a certain point of way.
Gordon Hayward had a nice line, 25 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists.
Derrick Favors had a couple really nice inside moves to chip in with 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 assists.
Rudy Gobert gave the team 9 points, 15 rebounds, a couple steals, a block, and a dozen changed shots. Oh, and the finger roll. Probably my favorite moment in the game. The Darth Maul vs. Obi-Wan moment of the game, if you will.
It was a game that made it even hard to play the Jazz defense, simply because I'm not sure it's defense alone that gets credit when the opponent is airballing 3's.
I mean, the Jazz starting lineup included the dreaded "minutes" stat for Jingles, although that 1-4 shooting stat for Exum was any better. Nor Favors' 3-12 shooting. This is basically including Jar Jar Binks, and Anakin's "Yipee! I'm going to be a Jedi" and Baby Greedo shaking his booty in the movie trailer as a sad attempt to get casual movie-goers interested.
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At the same time, despite the general gookiness of the game, the Jazz have still gone 2-1 on a road trip thus far. That's worth celebrating. As is their defense since early February. As is their 6-2 post All-Star record. We're still seeing a team that is starting to be one the casual fan should pay attention to.
On to Brooklyn