Last night the Utah Jazz took care of business and beat the New York Knicks at home. (Home stand Preview, Game Preview, Thread, Recap) Yes, the suffocating Jazz D held New York to just 82 points. But, by the same token do we attribute the Jazz scoring only 87 to the suffocating Knicks D? Utah should have blown out the Knicks skeleton crew. They did not. And the head coach Quin Snyder was pretty upset about it -- and so were the players.
The major metric for this season isn't wins or losses; it's playing better. And while the Jazz were the better team last night, they did not play up to the standards they themselves have recently set. Being happy about the win last night, and it's better than a loss to NYC for sure, is a product of older seasons' thinking. Winning bad games is a talent, but the point is to play all of our games well. And that didn't happen last night.
The Game Flow data from PopcornMachine.Net really tells the tale:
You can't be giving up 17-2 runs to the Knicks. Worse still, the Jazz' biggest lead was only 10 points. A 10 point lead against a team without Carmelo Anthony, Jose Calderon, Tim Hardaway Jr, and Quincy Acy is not hot. Letting Alexey Shved, Andrea Bargnani, and Cole Aldrich 58 points off of 43 shots shouldn't wreck your team -- and they almost did that last night. Also, yeah, Shved almost had a triple double. Absurd.
You can watch the recap here at their site; or just watch this YT upload -- and I will keep uploading these until the NBA allows THEIR vids to be embedded.
Also, these highlights do not fully explain how much of a drag parts of this game here.
Box Score Heroes:
Great night for Favors, when we needed him most. Gobert's Delta D score is off the charts with how well he makes sure there are no offensive rebounds to be had, his defense *and* offense are big parts of this team's success. Dirty Joe and Rodney were huge off the bench. This game is easily lost without them.
On a night without Gordon Hayward (inj), Alec Burks (inj), Ian Clark (NBADL), Grant Jerrett (NBADL), and when Trey Burke shoots 1-11 it's going to be a tougher game. The Jazz proved they were the tougher team. And you always love that. They wanted it more. That's easy to believe, because I think only Derek Fisher wanted this game at all for his franchise.
Overall, again, a win is better than a loss. But sometimes when you are a young team trying to develop -- playing better and losing is more important than sleepwalking to a win against a bad team playing with little desire to win. I don't know. Call me a contrarian on this point if you will.