The Utah Jazz played their first game after the All-Star Break and NBA Trade Deadline and failed to show up against the Washington Wizards. Sure, the Jazz were up 4-1 early, but they should have been up 10-1. The Wiz fought back in the paint and tied it up in the first when they should have already been down by double digits to the Jazz. INSTEAD, the Jazz sleepwalked early and couldn't get a stop on Nene Hilario inside, or couldn't understand how to stay home on shooters out on the perimeter. If there was anything else the Jazz needed in the first it was John Wall taking whatever he wanted on offense or defense. It was our new routine start -- very slow -- that led to the Jazz playing catch-up all game long.
Utah was down by 5 after one, lost the second quarter by 2, and started the third quarter on the wrong end of a 10-1 run. They expended a lot of energy in the third to barely lose it 27-26, and ran out of gas in the fourth, losing it 27-21. I honestly turned the game off at halftime, hoping (through fan superstition) that the team would make a run and be in it in the fourth. That didn't happen tonight. This was an old fashioned beat-down, something that used to happen regularly in D.C. for at least the last decade of Jazz basketball.
Marcin Gortat finished with 22 and 10, Nene had 16 and 5, and John Wall ran things with 17 points, 11 assists, 6 rebounds, and 4 steals. They forced the Jazz into 23 turn overs, and hit 38.9% of their 18 threes. I don't think I've started a recap section of a game by talking about the OTHER team. That's how fun this game was.
For our guys, Rudy Gobert finished with 16 points, and 12 rebounds. Gordon Hayward dropped 19 points, and Rodney Hood added 18. Raul Neto had 2 points and 4 assists. Trey Burke had 2 points and 7 assists. They shot a combined 2/13. Not awesome.
Derrick Favors, ostensibly our most talented all-around player, was housed early and often on offense and defense.This game was out of hand early enough that Jeff Withey was getting FIRST HALF MINUTES.
I hope they all remember how bad this loss tastes and helps them focus for the Boston Celtics tomorrow night.