13 February 2012
This was a forgettable game. A game that hurts.
Back to back or not...it was a winnable game.
A night after an inspired performance in Memphis, the Jazz come up empty handed in New Orleans against the Hornets. After spending a team building day remembering history, they resort back to old habits. Turnovers, lack of energy, no offensive flow...need I go on? This was ugly basketball at it’s worst. You can’t get much lower than this.
New Orleans Hornets guard Marco Belinelli (8) scores over Utah Jazz power forward Paul Millsap (24) in the second half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Monday, Feb. 13, 2012. The Hornets won their fifth game this season 86-80.
I’m not going to pound on the low lights. The game was a collection of those. But I will take a moment to talk highlights. There weren’t a lot, but as the cliche suggests: “every cloud has a silver lining”.
#FreeAlecBurks had it’s time tonight. Although his line doesn’t seem to suggest impact it was the silent stats that seemed to keep me on the edge of my seat...and yes for a few moments in the fourth quarter, I was jumping up and down in complete excitement.
It was as if via @clintonite33(above) Ty said: “Go get em, kid”. What did the Jazz have to lose? They were already getting run out of the building. The starters and even much of the bench had the body language of a team DISINTERESTED in really making things happen. So Ty reached deep down the bench and called up #10...and set him loose.
He did all the right things, things that dont show up on the stat sheet. He was in Bellineli’s face, hounding him defensively, not allowing him any level of comfort on the floor. He got his hand on many a loose ball and even rebounded the ball well in his stint on the floor. He attacked the basket in a number of ways and found his teammates for wide open layups and dunks. It is those kinds of little things that equate to playing time. And Burks may have just earned himself some extra time in the coming games.
Favors continues to show signs of what we all can only drool over. His athleticism got him many opportunities at the rim tonight and every one of them were impressive. He continues to work on his post game and seems to have found a nice fade away jumper in the post. Indeed, if he continues on this path, the future is VERY bright in Jazzland.
Kanter also continues to show flashes of brilliance as he dominated the night on the glass, finishing the night with 12 rebounds in just 22 minutes. While he still struggles at times to gather himself under the basket, he had moments where he was able to finish strong and draw the foul on the defender.
Utah Jazz shooting guard Raja Bell (19) shoots the ball over New Orleans Hornets point guard Greivis Vasquez (21) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Monday, Feb. 13, 2012.
And finally worth noting, Raja Bell continues to be hot from long distance finishing the night 3-4 from downtown. And as David Locke(@lockedonsports) pointed out Raja “has hit a three in 15 straight games - 3rd longest streak in the NBA”. Raja has found a grove that works. He’s scratched and crawled his way out of a slump that has spanned over the last year and a half. Raja is “ringing the bell” again. And it’s a pleasant site to see.
So the Jekyll and Hyde identity of the Jazz continue. Which team will we see next? Jekyll or Hyde? The team that beats the Lakers, Nuggets and Memphis with an air of confidence or the one that goes on the road in New York, Indiana, and New Orleans and struggles with the basics?
You’re guess is as good as mine. But hopefully we find the answer to those questions sooner than later.
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