The Utah Jazz (7-6) allowed the Chicago Bulls (8-4) to come into the Aunt Viv, put their feet up on the couch, and boss our guys around. Chicago and Utah didn’t shoot well in this game, despite the 26-25 first quarter lead for Utah. The second quarter was ugly. And then the Jazz went in to halftime and never came back. To be fair, yeah, Gordon Hayward had a really bad sequence when the Jazz got the ball back with 10 seconds left in the first half, with a five point lead — and shot it with four seconds left with none of his teammates even on the offensive side of the court. The Bulls inbounded the miss, and Jimmy Butler made a 30 foot three pointer at the buzzer, making it just a two point deficit for the team in red and black.
That’s not the entire game, but it was a huge momentum shift.
Both teams had chances to win or lose this game. But the Bulls pounded the Jazz into a 15 point lead in the fourth quarter, and took their foot off the pedal. Aside from a crazy Dante Exum three pointer on a THIRD attempt at scoring in crunch time, this game wasn’t memorable. Rudy Gobert looked good in the first half, but missing George Hill, Derrick Favors, and Alec Burks sucks. The Bulls were without Rajon Rondo, Doug McDermott, and Michael Carter-Williams. So both teams were shorthanded.
But Chicago, with legit game finishers like Dwyane Wade, Robin Lopez, and Butler . . . man, they know how to win games. Utah’s “veterans” like Boris Diaw and Joe Johnson did not step up in kind. Joe was okay, he finished with 9 points off of just 4 shots, but it wasn’t a great game for anyone aside from, perhaps, Rudy who finished with 16 / 13 / 3 / 1 and went 2/2 from the line.
I am not confident in the play of Shelvin Mack right now. Quin Snyder still is. He sees more than I do. But as a fan it’s not fun right now to see him play while Raul Neto sits.
Trey Lyles came off the bench and showed some life. There’s that, at least.
But hat’s off to the Bulls. They won this game. It’s something the Jazz are still trying to figure out how to do when the team is not in top gear.