Ok first off, DWYANE WADE!!! I’m still in awe at that news. It sounds like the Miami Heat have had open arms to D Wade about joining their ownership group in the past. And he chose the Utah Jazz. Wow. Just wow.
Anyways, that was the only good Jazz news of the day, as the afternoon game did not go particularly well. The Jazz had to play 5 games in 7 nights, which is stupid and the NBA should ensure that never happens ever again. So the 2 days off was much needed. But they came out flat against the Pacers today and Indiana made them pay.
It was a back and forth battle between 2 good teams in the 1st quarter. I’m really interested to watch Indiana come together now that Caris LeVert is playing again and getting acclimated to his new team. I think the most surprising thing about this 1st quarter was Illysova getting early burn. Especially after the way Brantley played last game, I think he deserves more minutes with the regular rotation. The Jazz really struggled to score midway through the quarter and the Pacers took advantage, building an 8 point lead after one.
The 2nd didn’t start much better, with the Pacers quickly stretching the lead to 11, which they held pretty consistently. Then it ballooned to nearly 20 and things weren’t looking great for the good guys. Donovan Mitchell did his best to claw the Jazz back in it, scoring 17 in the first half alone. And the Jazz were able to bring the lead down to a manageable 7 points with 45 seconds left to go. And then apparently decided it was time for an afternoon nap. Because Indiana scored 8 points in that small timeframe and that manageable deficit turned into a 13 point halftime deficit instead. They’ve got their work cutout for them in half #2.
"This was always a goal of mine... That's what the Utah Jazz is, something bigger than myself." pic.twitter.com/RI58Qw4doh— utahjazz (@utahjazz) April 16, 2021
And they are awake! A very fast 9-2 run burst by the Jazz to open the 2nd half forces an Indiana timeout. 6 points back doesn’t feel so bad, especially for a team that can put together runs like this in a hurry. Oh no. Please no. Gosh no. NNNNOOOOOOO! Donovan rolls his ankle after jumping to block an outlet pass and Edmond Sumner scissor kicks him on the way down. Please just be a sprain and nothing more. I now feel sick...
Offensive rebounds killed the Jazz this quarter! But shooting well from 3 and fighting back mentally after seeing Donovan go down was impressive. They completely evaporated that 13 point halftime deficit and it was a tied ball game heading into the 4th quarter.
Goodness. What had been a good game turned absolutely ugly in the fourth. Just terrible basketball on both sides for both teams. It looked like a warm up game or something, rather than the 4th quarter of a close game.
BOGEY! Big time rebound and putback through contact. Then a huge corner 3 on a nice drive and dish by Ingles. This after an unfortunate travel on a play previously. Huge stretch for Bogdanovic there to give the Jazz a somewhat comfortable 7 point lead late in the 4th. And wow Rudy Gobert just manhandled the Pacers in the 2nd half. Absolutely took over and dominated.
Utah pulled out in the end and got a solid win despite losing one of their stars. Get well soon Mr. Mitchell!