Last night the Utah Jazz took care of business and beat the Northwest Division leaders, the Portland Trail Blazers 92-76 (Game Preview, Game Thread, Game Recap). It was their first game back after the All-Star Break, after the Trade Deadline, and after moving Enes Kanter and Steve Novak to parts unknown. Looking at the roster it's easy to see why some teams would sleep on the Jazz, but as we've felt all along, this team is implicitly better than their on court results. It's not about wins, it's about playing better basketball. If you keep acquiring the right guys, developing them, and playing them as a team you'll end up playing better basketball -- and the wins will take care of themselves.
And that's precisely what happened last night as the Jazz, partly assisted by 18.2 3pt% from the bad guys, played a near complete game. I was a close game to start, and the Blazers took advantage of two quick fouls on Gobert in the first; but after that the Jazz went into overdrive going on 14-2 run (2nd quarter), 20-4 run (3rd quarter), and 15-0 run (4th quarter) and the Blazers gave up the ghost. A Yucca's recap states, a huge part of the win was because of Rudy Gobert's area denial defense. None of their guards wanted any of Gobert. Check out the highlights here:
Via NBA Recap on Y/T
Let's check that move again, guys . . .
Wow! Man, more of this please.
Overall, it was a superb win for the young Jazz against a Blazers team coming into their prime. Also....