Thanks to @moni__ for the open. Although the Utah Jazz won, it felt like a loss on a few different levels.
IF you are looking for the Video Recap it is HERE
First, Deron Williams said after the game that, " Our bench has been a strong point for us all season. It’s contagious. I wish the first group could do that." Courtesy of the Trib. Deron essential is pulling or trying to get a lineup change for the starters, which has been a struggle all season. Second, there were 9 lead changes and 10 ties, although the Jazz had a 13 point lead they never really closed the door and were trailing as late as the six minute mark in the fourth.
Game Ball- Goes to Paul Millsap. Kalun came close to his box score. Millsap finished with 22 and 10 and added 3 assists,2 steals, 3 blocks shot 72% (8-11) from the field and 100% (6-6) from the line. He also had huge block and dunk sequence that you can see in the recap video here.
So, rumor was last night that Hayward had hickeys all over his neck from New Year's with his girlfriend. I will post pictures as soon as we can track them down. I am sure they will surface on Slcdunk sooner or later. Anyway since Gordon's girlfriend has been in Utah, he is playing very well and with confidence. It could be the Old Spice or it could be the um-mm relations. Either way let's hope she stays in town.
It's also interesting to see how different players handle different injuries or sicknesses in the NBA. Watson has said the is dealing with the same flu like symptoms as Miles and Price have been going through. Here is what he says about it.
Courtesy of @Tribjazz on Twitter.
Fez is learning...
Nothing spectacular, but this is good for Fez. He is learning how the offense runs and how to handle certain situations.
A win is a win. I agree with a lot of people, that the Jazz are not as good as their record would indicate. However, I think this team can be something special if we can figure out how to open games with more fire and intensity.
UTAH JAZZ (22-11) vs. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (14-18) Game #34 • Home Game #18 • EnergySolutions Arena • SALT LAKE CITY January 1, 2011 • 7 p.m. (MT) • TV: FSN Utah RADIO: 1320 AM KFNZ/B98.7 FM and 1600 AM ESPN DEPORTE Injury Report
Andrei Kirilenko – GAMETIME DECISION (lower back strain)
C.J. Miles – GAMETIME DECISION (flu)
Mehmet Okur – TO BE DETERMINED (lower back strain
Rudy Gay Stomach Virus via @JonRinehart Twitter (Jazz PR Guy)
Xavier Henry (sore right knee) is day-to-day
The Utah Jazz won 94-85 on Dec 6th, CJ had 20 off the bench. . The Utah Jazz lead the all time series 43-14 and have won 7 in a row @ the ESA.
Mathup of the Night
There are two matchups to watch tonight and for different reasons.
Deron Vs Conley, I am interested to see how Deron reacts after his recent comments in the Trib about how the team is not as good as their record would say they are. I am also interested to see how Conley responds after "hitting" the potential game winner, until Tyreke Evans did his thing.
Gasol Vs Jefferson. I really like the way Gasol plays and think that he is much tougher/meaner than his brother. Memphis leads the league in points in the paint (47.8), which is an area that the Jazz have struggled at times at this season. Jefferson needs to match Gasol's toughness and rebound something fierce tonight.
Kalun- The Utah Jazz should dominate from start to finish. Millsap goes of for 25 and 12.
Scotty- The Jazz have to learn their lesson tonight, don't get behind. Look for some of the players that have been inactive if they play tonight to come back gangbusters. Cj Ak Memo.
Jimmy- If this is not a double digit win....then there is something wrong with the us. If you didn't read Deron's thoughts from the trib this thought goes right along with what Deron said. Here is the link.
Utah Jazz 109 Memphis 94
You have something different? Let Us Know.
#5 Goodbye Boozer hello Jefferson. For about three days in the middle of the July KOC was watching his back then the Jazz pulled this.
#4 Utah Beats The Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs
#2 "The Road Trip" Millsap's 46 and the Miracle in Miami which in every way possible was a miracle.
#1 January 15th, 2010 Sundiata Gaines out shined Lebron James with this. Still getting goosebumps.
I have to give the Blazers and coach McMillan credit for how they played the Jazz, at least for this week. I like McMillan. I think he is partially made from the Jerry Sloan cloth.
QUOTABLE: "I'm motivated to go up against anybody. (Facing) Utah is an added bonus, but there's no bad blood there. Everybody wants to play good against his former team."
- Matthews, after equalling his career high with 30 points against the team for which he played last season.
Wesley Matthews played probably the best that we have seen over the past year and a half. He not only had 30 points on 16 shots but added three rebounds three assists, and four steals. There was some dissension on the twitter roll last night about the situation on how and why Matthews ended up in Portland. I don't know every detail but the best timeline of the entire situation is Ross Siler's (former beat writer for the Utah Jazz) Twitter timeline which is here. Like he said this morning for theTweet of the Night
I know Marcus Camby is not worth nine Million dollars a year for his offense, but his rebounding and defense is another story. He finished with 20 boards, five assists, two steals, and two blocks. He also alters 3-5 shots on any given night. He reminds a lot of Dennis Rodman, "I don't need to score, just give me the freaking rebound". We need a guy like that.
57 Fouls in one Game.
The NBA tries very hard to have a unifying goals/rules when it comes to officiating. Sometimes it doesn't crossover to the game very well. The goal is to have a foul called the same way on the same night anywhere in the NBA to make the game "fair". Last night this did not happen. There were a total of 55 fouls calls and two techs. Divide that by 48 minutes and you get a 1.18 fouls per minute during the game. Which means that on average the clock was stopped every other possession last night on a foul call. The calls were going against both teams and were horrible for both teams. Just saying the pace was so freaking slow not only because of the Blazers, but because of the refs. I know there are grind it out nights in the NBA but last night was not "fair" to either team.
In the Month of December Deron Williams is averaging only 8.7 assists per game.He only has one double digit assist game in the past five(Cleveland 10). His points are @ 23. I think part of this is due to all of the switching around and partly because, well, we are playing very inconsistent.
Gordon Hayward- He is finding a way to get to the free throw line 4-6 last night. Aggression towards going to the hole. I am glad that he is learning this skill much easier than Cj Miles. I think this skill alone, if he can keep it up, will get him playing time.
Paul Millsap- in 2008 he went on a streak of 19 straight double-doubles. He had 5 rebounds last night, mostly because Camby was eating everything that even looked like glass, and partially because I think he is tired/injured. I have no factual back up for this theory other than the numbers this year. He is averaging 7.9 rebounds a game which is nowhere near enough for his position and the amount of playing time he gets. I somehow thought that his numbers would increase this year and so far they have not.
Stat of the Night-
18 turnovers by the Utah Jazz- Have to the Blazers credit here.
Highlight of the Night
Pretty Obvious Here
Jerry Sloan's thoughts (Video) courtesy of the Trib.
Seriously, where has Gordon been? Why did it take this long for him to "break out?" Was last night a fluke or can he perform like that every night?
Sitting in the ESA waiting for the Jazz to announce who they were going to take with the 9th pick in the draft was both exciting and terrifying. With a great, educated choice, they could change the franchise for years to come; with the wrong choice, they could nudge the Jazz into a world of losses and problems.
If your first game watching the Jazz this season was last night, then you would probably think the Jazz made the correct pick. However, if you have watched ANY games at all this year, then you know that what you saw last night has never happened before (except for the preseason Laker win...which was PRE-season).
I really, really wish that I had all the answers to the Gordon Hayward question. Like, why does it take so long for him to get a shot off? and why doesn't he tan? and why in the world would you make that rap song...and then tell people about it? I also really wish that I could come out and say that I believe the Jazz made the correct choice with their 9th pick...but, I also really wish that I had season tickets...and I could play basketball half as good as Gordon...and that it would never snow in Utah again.
Some other thoughts from the Utah Jazz Text Round Table.
Jimmy- Its all up to Hayward, He plays good we win. All in All I have a good feeling about tonight.
Brenden- Not worried at all, Jazz are a road team.
Spencer- Jazz squeak it out 89-87 on a last possession game.
Chun- I like our chances. Back end of a back to back and we're playing away. It doesn't matter that they beat us three nights ago. The Jazz win tonight.
"Tonight, it was Al Jefferson who went to work on us. He made some tough shots, but we had some opportunities."
-- Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro.
Al Jefferson going to work on the Clippers, is an understatement, Jefferson owned the second half, with 20 points and ten rebounds for a season high 31 points. Jefferson was making shots from all over the floor and the wheezy was falling like butter. He was hitting jumpshots, hooks, pretty much anything that he put up was going in.
Mehmet Okur kept the Utah Jazz alive in the first half with some very timely buckets and rebounds. The bench put up 25 points last night with Memo leading the way(13).
The Utah Jazz started the second half on a 14-2 run and outscored the Clippers 30-13 in the quarter. The Jazz outscored the Clippers 88-45 in the season series, which is over because of the odd number of teams in the west. Half of the all of the Jazz wins this year have come when we have been down by double digits. It is hard to argue with 50%.
Here are Jerry Sloan's thoughts from last night courtesy of the Trib's Brian T. Smith . Note to Jazz fans do not turn off your T.V. ever, you should have learned this already but just a reminder.
Gordon Hayward or @gordonhayward via Twitter
Over reaction would probably be a good thing here but Kevin O'Connor was smiling somewhere last night giving all the doubtful Utah Jazz fans a little middle finger, myself included. Is it to early to say that this pick wasn't a bust, yes. It is to early to crown Hayward the starter in place of AK/CJ for the next little while, yes. However, it was a small sign of things to come and here is the video.
Tweet of the night
Courtesy of @allthatamar.
Other Utah Jazz Finds
This one courtesy of SLCDUNK
This is from the game winner in Charlotte.