Okay, the 112-104 final score indicates nothing but the benevolence of the Boston Celtics to allow the Utah Jazz to make it only an eight point loss. Seriously? This was the similar game we’ve seen so many times before this year — shoot first point guard with speed and dribble moves can penetrate at will, defense shifts to leave shooters open. And boom, game over. Kyle Lowry. Kemba Walker. Stephen Curry. And now the second time this season, Isaiah Thomas.
Boston was even missing two starters (to the Jazz missing just one), and Utah was still devastated. Boston got big support from their bench (Gerald Green, Kelly Olynyk, James Young), while no one for the Jazz really rang that bell (Trey Lyles a little bit). But blaming the bench is the wrong way to go here. Boston just outplayed Utah all game long. They shot .592 / .433 / 652 — only giving the Jazz a chance with their poor free throw shooting. The Jazz, on the other hand, missed 23 threes in this game (shooting .238% from outside) and that’s regularly a big piece of their offensive production.
Guys were trying. Guys were making the extra pass. This team crashed the glass (13 offensive rebounds). They even held it together for just 9 turn overs in 48 minutes. They just couldn’t play defense.
And that’s the game.
Gordon Hayward had 31, which is more than Isaiah Thomas’ 29. George Hill’s 22 was more than Al Horford’s 16. Rudy Gobert’s 14 was more than Marcus Smart’s 10. But three point making, defense, and production from the rest of the depth was the problem tonight.