The Utah Jazz overcame yet another team that's going to the playoffs, while our guys sit at home watching. Tonight it was the Houston Rockets, playing without Dwight Howard (and they've been doing that since January, so that's not much of an excuse -- they still beat teams without him). James Harden was there. But unfortunately for him, the Utah Jazz defense suffocated the beardly-man, and he shot only 3-13 from the field. Of course, he still went 9-13 from the free throw line, but the vast majority of his points had almost no effect upon the game. It was a wire-to-wire victory for the Jazz -- one where Rudy Gobert dominated to the point that he not only eclipsed the other team, but his own teammates as well. Rodney Hood had a 20 point game in the start, making three threes and doing Rodney Hood things. Gordon Hayward finished with a ho-hum 29 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, and 3 threes.
But while it was a team victory and his team mates had great games -- Rudy Gobert is really going to be the only thing people talk about from this game. The Gobzilla finished with 19 points, 22 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 2 assists. He was startlingly good against Houston, who just didn't have the size to deal with him. The Jazz team as a whole took advantage of this, getting 22 offensive rebounds (12 were just Rudy)
There's almost no point in detailing the ups and downs of this game. It was a win our team hasn't experienced in a long time -- not since that home game against the Phoenix Suns so many moons ago.
SLC Dunk's recap should just be @theshum's tweets tonight.— Diana (@dianaallen) March 13, 2015
So here are a few highlights from The Shums:
SALUTE— Layton Shumway (@theshums) March 13, 2015
Rudy Gobert dunking and saluting https://t.co/0UYYTkpVic— AP (@Ananth_Pandian) March 13, 2015
The Jazz are undefeated when Rudy Gobert salutes. #advancedstats— Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) March 13, 2015
DO YOU HEAR THE RUDY SING SWATTING THE SHOTS OF ANGRY MEN IT IS THE MUSIC OF A PLAYER WHO WILL NOT BE BENCHED AGAIN— Layton Shumway (@theshums) March 13, 2015
me watching rudy gobert rn pic.twitter.com/mb4ysNHFop— Layton Shumway (@theshums) March 13, 2015
reading @monilogue's Opposing Game Thread post tomorrow is going to be most gratifying— Layton Shumway (@theshums) March 13, 2015
Oh, by the way Dreamshake:
Scoreboard! Anyway, it was a great night. And Rudy Gobert is a star -- one who will stand tall as the lighthouse for our future playoff journeys. Or something.
They should have sent a poet.
Odds and Ends:
- Hayward was a more competitive game away from a 30/10/10, and it's still all Rudy, Rudy, Rudy!
- Derrick Favors had 10, 8, 4, and 4 blocks as well. Very quite, but strong game. We didn't need him to carry the team like he did against the Knicks
- Rodney Hood as a starter is good, but what makes him special is his ability to make his own shot, and have that shot go in the basket. This is currently eluding Trey Burke, who is in a huge slump. I blame his hair cut.
- Dante Exum is slowly figuring things out. He still makes mistakes, or is too tentative at other times -- but two things stick out. He can play defense and prevent his man from getting by him, that's rare. The other is that as a kid who was supposed to have trouble shooting he seems to be able to hit spot up threes well enough.
- Trevor Booker secured the blowout with his energy. Without him it would have been more of a nail biter
- Joe Ingles is back to the bench, and I think that's fine. He did what he had to do and I don't think his abilities get better or worse depending on who else is on the floor with him. That bench unit needs someone to make plays. And he has demonstrated that he can.
- Elijah Millsap is a hustle guy, and while he can defend well enough and occasionally hit the deep shot, I think he does have a lower ceiling than some of the other guys on the team right now.
- Jeremy Evans, Bryce Cotton, and Jerrelle Benimon all played as well. So, expect their "per game" stats to decrease for no good reason.
Utah doesn't play again until they face the Detroit Pistons on Saturday. The Jazz now have a four game win streak . . . and I don't know when it will stop!