[Sorry this is so late, I am having computer trouble today.]
What a great win for the Utah Jazz last night against former midwest division rivals, the Houston Rockets. The 109-91 win was a lot of fun, and we covered all of the game: podcast, scouting the Rockets, the game preview, game thread, game recap, and post game reactions. But wait, there's more! We do need to delve into just how awesome this win was at least once more -- and break down what we saw.
First of all, this is what a wire-to-wire victory looks like:
Even when Houston would go on a run against our bench, it still didn't make a dent in the game. While the Utah Jazz bench, right now, isn't very frightening (Trey Burke, Joe Ingles, Elijah Millsap, and Trevor Booker were on the floor at times all at the same time with a starter) -- they do have the ability to at least be in the game when they are in the game. Trevor's threes have gone away, but he still hustles, muscles, and gets rebounds. Millsap sometimes makes all of his shots, and sometimes misses all of his -- but he's still going to play defense and try to be another ball handler out there. Ingles can do a little bit of everything, and the last two games he has shot quite well, just when we need it. And yes, Trey Burke is basically mercury right now. He's liquid at room temperature, and he clearly indicates how hot he is. Wait, no. I mean he's really mercurial right now with his shot making ability. Some games he is making open threes, getting to the rim, and scoring on floaters. And then there have been the last few games where he is not really feeling it. In March he is shooting .257 fg% / .136 3pt% / .571 ft%. This is a bad turn around because in February he shot .404 / .370 / .789. Yikes. But Trey Burke is actually more than just a guy who shoots. He takes care of the ball very well, his assists to turn over ratio has gone up as of late, and while the ball does stop with him at times he has been a team player all season long.
And against these four serviceable players with flaws the Rockets couldn't get back into the game.
Gordon Hayward and Rudy Gobert were unstoppable, and really led this team. It wasn't just about getting the numbers or the highlight plays -- but without them this game looks a whole lot different.
You can watch the NBA.com recap over here at NBA.com (duh); but you can't embed their video. So here's a YT upload. Enjoy!
What I really liked about this was that it was fun to see almost zero highlights from the bigger market team.
It really seems like the Rudy Gobert show, but with the night he had, it pretty much was.
Box Score Heroes:
Okay, where do I begin? Let's start with the starters who combined for 88 points, 40 rebounds, 16 assists, 10 blocks, and 2 steals. Actually, when you compare that to the Rockets team who manged 91 points, 37 rebounds, 19 assists, 2 blocks, and 8 steals that's really about as far as you need to go.
Gordon Hayward is so good right now that when he has an amazing game it goes under the radar. We now have seen him be amazing so many times that it's almost expected. While the same isn't also true for our bigs, tonight they were. The passing by them and amongst them has been something we haven't seen since Karl Malone and Tom Chambers were on the team. It's fantastic.
There wasn't much overt bench production, but when needed they got it done and didn't buckle under the pressure from the Rockets. It was an amazing win from a young team playing above expectation. I hope they keep it up! And yes, thank you for bearing with me, this is the 3rd attempt at writing this post so a lot of the wit has been lost to the internet Gods as a sacrifice.