Tonight was the first game of the Utah Jazz preseason, and thankfully it will not be their last. The Jazz started off blazing hot against the Portland Trail Blazers (see what I did there) and went on an early 11-0 run. The team would finish the game going on a 78 - 98 run. That’s less impressive. Of course, because I don’t have ROOT Sports, and was left to the depredations of NBA TV, I missed that 11-0 run. Instead I got to watch the seal-clubbing that was the end of the Chicago Bulls home loss to the visiting Milwaukee Bucks.
I did see some good things and some bad things out there when the game actually hit my retinas. The resounding good is that Dante Exum is fast. Gordon Hayward is swole. And that Trey Lyles’ versatility is going to be something we all appreciate going forward. The Jazz kept the Blazers off the glass (only 2 offensive rebounds for them!), but then again, part of that could be the Blazers shooting nearly .500 from the field.
As for the bad, well, the team finish with more turn overs (19) than assists (17). Also the veteran additions didn’t shine, George Hill finished the game with a +/- of -6; Boris Diaw with -12; and Joe Johnson at -22. On numerous occasions perimeter players were at the risk of having their ankles broken by the likes of Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, Evan Turner, Allen Crabbe, and Shabazz Napier. It could have been a much worse looking game.
It was sloppy, there were a lot of players out there who were new to one another, and in the end, it was a 3rd quarter collapse (POR 27 - UTA 17) that made the difference. But thankfully, it was just the first preseason game of the year.
Things are going to get better. This is a good team to be hyped up about.
- Gordon Hayward - 17 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal
- Derrick Favors - 14 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2 blocks
- Rudy Gobert - 10 points, 13 rebounds, 1 assist
- Trey Lyles - 9 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist
- AllThatAmar - Watched about half of the game, wrote a lot of posts today.