The Utah Jazz (37-22) came into the Washington Wizards’ (34-23) arena and made themselves at home. The 102-92 victory does not in any way describe the dispassionate thrashing the Wizards were subject to. One of the fastest paced teams in the league were languishing under a game with only 98.4 possessions. One of the top offenses in the league would only manage 93.5 points per 100.0 possessions (ORTG). A team that burns all the other teams in the league for over 108 points per game missed their average by 16. Their team was decimated early, often, and insulted at home. The Wizards really disappeared on the glass, where their team could only scurry around and collect 27 caroms. The mighty and magnificent Rudy Gobert, King under the Mountain and future Defensive Player of the Year, decided to pluck 20 rebounds and call it a day.
The Wizards were down by 24, made it under 10, and then were pushed aside easily. Gordon Hayward exerted his will on his way to yet another 30 point outing against an Eastern Conference “opponent.” (Among his numerous 30+ point games he’s burned the Hornets, Heat, Celtics, Nets, and Hawks for 30. And he just barely missed out against the Hornets again, the Bucks, and the Knicks.)
In crunch time G-Time hit a three pointers off the bounce to put the Jazz up by 9 with 1:44 left. And then after a Jazz steal put the team up 100-89 with a 20 footer with 1:17 left in the game. If they didn’t cheap him out of a block (called a shooting foul) on Bojan Bogdanovic we would have seen another ‘ascendance’ game from him on both sides of the court. Gordon’s 9 rebounds, four threes, and 2 assists really undressed their offense and defense. Against the 3rd best team in the East during the daytime in their time zone? In their gym? This game is going to be surely glossed over by the National Media. After all, they are cowards.
Our brave Jazz are lions on the court when healthy. The 52-27 rebound advantage is purely an effort stat. Shooting 45.8% from downtown is a skill stat. George Hill nailed five threes, Hayward four, and Hood two. I thought John Wall and Bradley Beal were the best back-court in the NBA? How is it then that they scored barely more than 10 points than the ‘no-name’ back-court of Hill and Hood? Curious.
It’s even more curious how the Wizards were able to conjure up 16 steals, 24 total turn overs, and score 31 points off of turn overs, and still fail to even make it to 100. There is a whole universe of mysteries out there. But one of them shouldn’t be the Utah Jazz winning on the road.
Point Gobert showing us some things pic.twitter.com/ZVXfJHAwCs— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 26, 2017
They control the tempo. They dominate the glass. And they play defense. Their pathetic front court couldn’t stop anyone in this game. The titans in the paint for Utah, Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert, blocked 8 shots away by themselves.
Even our baby kangaroo Dante Exum is sending them back - his one block (in 11 minutes) was equal to the Wizards in 48.
This was a great victory for our heroes, now just 13 wins away from 50 on the season. Utah will pick up sword and shield again on Tuesday, and look to complete the three game sweep of the road trip against the Oklahoma City Thunder. As an aside, try not to write recaps while listening to the soundtrack of “Conan the Barbarian.” It . . . gets pretty weird.