The game started out with 8 straight points from Joe Ingles and it ended with a M.A.S.H. style-bandaged Joe making the final dagger. Joe Ingles finished with a team high 19 points in the Utah Jazz’s 96-88 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.
In a game that most likely featured the first real viral moment for the Utah Jazz of the season (Joe Ingles bloodied and bandaged), Joe Ingles provided a big boost to a team that was looking to start their road trip with a win and avenge their past two losses to the Grizzlies. Joe finished with 19 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists.
It true Grit-N-Grind fashion, this game was the exception to the new rule of fast paced and high scoring NBA matchups. At one point in the 2nd quarter it didn’t look like either team would eclipse 70 total points in this game. Luckily, the referees had other plans as both teams combined for 53 fouls.
The Grizzlies led after the first half as they outshot the Jazz 41% FG% to 36% (it wasn’t a barn burner). But the Jazz got an unexpected boost from the struggling Dante Exum. Exum had been pulled from the Boston game after only 3 minutes presumably for a lack of effort for not going after a loose ball. This game he brought the fire. Though he had trouble hitting shots in the 1st half, his defense was extremely good. He prevented Shelvin Mack from having yet another revenge game, and ignited a Jazz run in the third quarter. He finished with 9 points with 8 of them coming in the third quarter alone.
As always, Rudy Gobert was an absolute monster. The Utah Jazz’s defense looked like it was back again. Utah is not going to overpower teams with their offense—that’s what their defense is for—and they look to have their anchor dominating on both ends of the floor now. Rudy Gobert finished with 15 points, 16 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 blocks. Rudy Gobert has been a wrecking ball on both ends of the court and tonight was another solid example of that.
Jae Crowder who had been having quite the stretch of games struggled from the field tonight. He finished with 6 points and 6 rebounds on 2 of 9 shooting.
Derrick Favors, though, had himself a game. He had 12 points with two three pointers with 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block.
Utah’s backcourt struggled. If there was one part of Utah that was grit-n-ground to mush it was Donovan Mitchell and Ricky Rubio. Those two combined to shoot 6 of 25 from the field. Ricky Rubio actually fouled out of the game.
Donovan himself continues to struggle from beyond the arc. Many hoped that Donovan would improve on his 34% shooting from three a season ago, but he is now shooting barely over 30% from the field. Another rough shooting night from beyond the arc and Donovan Mitchell could be a below 30% three point shooter. It seems crazy to even think about it. One would expect the odds to turn around for Mitchell, but his three point shooting hasn’t been there this season. The good news for Donovan is he continues to get to the line, but his efficiency should be an emphasis for him in his sophomore season.
Ricky Rubio on the other hand had some good defensive possessions including some stellar defensive rebounds, but he still struggles to consistently put together good games on both sides of the floor. He’s like a Christmas advent calendar. There’s some good chocolate in there, but for the most part, it’s mostly okay tasting candy canes. Utah needs Rubio to be consistent on both ends of the floor for them to succeed. Rubio needs to be consistent so that he can take advantage of a contract year while he’s in a system that’s advantageous to him.
Takeaways & Notes
Joe Ingles is an absolute legend. On Veteran’s Day, the guy gets bandaged like he’s in an old M.A.S.H. unit. I mean just look at him. The man is a gawd.
Utah once again allowed another point guard to go off against them. In a low scoring game, 24 points feels a lot more. Mike Conley was 7 of 16 from the field while going 7 of 7 from the line. This seems to be a recurring theme for Utah.
This game was just flat out ugly. I mean it. From head bandages to terrible shot selection for both teams to referees being TOO involved with it. It was just an ugly game. Absolutely brutal. Playing the Grizzlies is not fun. The Grizzlies probably think the same about playing Utah. The NBA is probably praying to the basketball gods that they never have a Jazz-Grizzlies matchup in the playoffs.
This picture is just enjoyable.
The Utah Jazz play their next game against the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas on Wednesday at 6:00PM MT. Why yes, it is the third time they’ve played them as well. What an incredibly balanced opening schedule.