The Utah Jazz are standing tall after a tough month. Derrick Favors has emerged as one of the best power forwards in the league. Kobe Bryant continues to be a divisive topic, with guys like Kevin Durant spearheading an anti-media crusade amongst players. And a quick peek at what Andrei Kirilenko and Kyrylo Fesenko are up to.
Okay ladies and gentlemen, last night the Golden State Warriors got their 21st regular season road win in Utah in over four decades. That's not that impressive, but to the victor goes the spoils. So hats off to the Warriors for keeping their perfect season aspirations alive. This was a very close game, one that I don't think you could honestly say was "in the bag" until the last few seconds. I'm not a fan of the last shot the Jazz took (the Rodney Hood open shot off the bounce), and I think Jerry Sloan would back me up when saying that you don't take a three when you are down by one. But hey, at some stage you do take what the defense gives you and the Warriors looked like they prevented the Jazz from setting up the last second play that Quin Snyder may have designed.
Most people will look at the final score, see some stats, and move on. The story here shouldn't be "Hero Warriors stay undefeated," rather it's more like the tragic movie Raging Bull. I'm not a huge fan of that movie, but a take away point here is that there is the important scene between Sugar Ray Robinson boxing against Jake LaMotta. Please be warned, do not watch this next clip as it depicts one man getting brutally destroyed and it's a very bloody scene.
The Warriors may have won, but they never got this young Jazz team 'down'. The perfect, undefeated, defending champs won in Utah. They won by 3 points in a game where one of our best shooters missed an open three, one of our best free throw shooters missed two and was denied another trip, and where the team gave away a shot at winning countless times.
The Warriors won, but these Jazz didn't get knocked out. And that's something they'll carry with them as they build on their growing confidence. Our young guys can definitely keep their heads up high after last night's game. This was the smallest margin of victory for that undefeated team all season, so far.
Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) December 1, 2015
I agree with Rudy Gobert here. While no one from Golden State would go on the record to do so, I think some of them may agree with him as well.
Kevin Durant does not think that the media is covering the Kobe Bryant issue as well as they should. Fictitious small town newsman Perd said it best:
Many people are not satisfied with other people's opinions on Kobe Bryant because those opinions are different from their own.— Perd Hapley (@PerdHapleyNBA) November 30, 2015
He also follows up with his commentary on the whole "KD vs the Media" thing here:
Kevin Durant's anti-media thoughts are not popular among members of the media, who are in turn not popular with Kevin Durant.— Perd Hapley (@PerdHapleyNBA) November 30, 2015
Players want the media to have less access to players. The media wants the media to have more access to players.— Perd Hapley (@PerdHapleyNBA) December 1, 2015
Funny stuff. I guess NBA players are touchy about people covering them who haven't (usually) walked a mile in their shoes. But such is the nature of our modern world. Even media is turning on itself today, which is so very funny to me.
Speaking of funny, and Kobe, I just can't help myself with this one. I can't stop making fun of Kobe Bryant. Neither can the rest of the world. Next Media Animation, that Taiwan-based news company that makes those crazy CGI news reports, had to discuss what's happening to Kobe right now. It is absurd. It is worth it.
I don't speak the language, but it's all very visual. Also, Kobe sucks. I also think that KD is turning into a prima donna. But it's recency bias, everyone from Charles Barkley to Kenny Smith used to talk about the media while they were players, and now they ARE media. That's just how the world turns.
That moment when you realize that Masha Lopatova is Andrei Kirilenko's boss . . .
Also that moment when you realize that Kyrylo Fesenko is finally the big man Jerry Sloan was trying to develop him into...
Is Derrick Favors one of the best power forwards in the NBA right now? Yes. How does his production stack up against the other fours in the league?
Yeah . . . get Derrick the ball more, and play him a few more minutes please. You need to be on the court to be seen and get stats. You need both to build a rep with the refs and become an All-Star. Refs give more leeway to star players, especially in close games. You need every advantage you can get in close games. So please, help make Derrick a star, asap. These things matter. If you don't think so re-watch the Jazz / Lakers playoff games from the 2000s again.
So November is in the books. They went 8-8 despite having to use a number of starting line-ups because of injuries, and playing a very road heavy schedule (two Eastern Conference road trips). What are your overall impressions?