07 January 2012
both photos via AP
If you missed last night's game, go back to the DVR, find the archive on your League Pass, whatever you have to do to see it because it was a fantastic game. Both teams looked to be out of the sluggish preseason-ish form and into a flow that looked like real NBA ball. The injury riddled Grizzlies continued to fight for win's, just like last season, by doing the dirty work: physical play, fighting for second chance points, and tough defense. In the end, the Jazz were able to pull out the win by doing those exact same things. The Jazz lost the TRB and ORB battle, but were able to hold the Grizzlies to 41% shooting, force 19 TOV's, and 23.5% 3P% (there own wasn't much better, but they only launched 8). Finally, the blockfest continues as the Jazz went for 10 tonight, including 2 particularly great ones by Gordon Hayward on one Tony Allen.
-The defense continues to improve, though its most shining examples have come against bad offensive teams, with the exception of Philly.
-Earl Watson showed us why we all clamored to have him back: his leadership is beyond reproach, he controls the tempo of the second unit (read: The young guys), and he does the things needed to win- last game it was purely facilitating his teammates, this game bringing needed back court scoring- 11pts on 5/7 FGA.
-Paul Millsap had another great all around game, and he continues his efficient scoring. Last night he dropped 14pts on 7/9 shooting, plus added 8 TRB, 2 BLK, and a steal on top. He also gets no love from the zebras, going to the line ZERO times.
-The young guys: Burks, Kanter, and Favors didn't get a lot of burn last night (expect that to change tonight), but still made their contributions, chipping in a combined 16 pts, 9 TRB, 2 BLK, and a steal
The real stars of last night were our Twitter Jazz Fan Compadres Diana (@dianaallen), David (@davidjsmith1232), and our own Clint (@Clintonite33) who were invited by Jazz owner Greg Miller (@greginutah) to join him for the game in his seats next to the Jazz bench. I hear Clint even managed to bottle some of Big Al's sweat for further analysis. Congratulations, lady and gents, you are the envy of all of us.
-At the risk of drawing the ire of Clint, I have to mention Big Al's continued reluctance to pass out of the double team. Trust is such an important part of creating a winning team dynamic and his habit of attempting to force a shot over or through even the staunchest double team is hindering that development.
-Free Throw shooting last night was horrendous. The team went 20/30 for a whopping 66.7%. Currently they are shooting 71% from the line, good for 24th in the league. Not good.
Play of the Game:
I have to give it to Hayward for his late dunk that, essentially, put the game away.
The rookies finally got their adorable pink backpacks- Here's Alec Burks modelling his
-both via Jonathan Rinehart (@jonrinehart), Utah Jazz PR Director
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