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Game 53 – Suck it Lakers

February 12, 2009

The play of the game and the best moment of the game are intertwined. Memo hit the game-winning 3 with 45 seconds left to put the Jazz up 110-107 and the camera immediately pans to a gratuitous shot of Yeliz. On the replay, we see Memo hilariously mocking Kobe['s dance] after he hits the shot. It just doesn’t get better than that.

Our amazing DWill carried the Jazz to the W*, even though free throw shooting unclutchness (Guilty: DWill, Ronnie B, and Sap) almost lost the game. Ronnie B, in particular, bricked two of the ugliest FTs in Jazz history. But still, our boys came to play, so what do I have to complain about?

*despite Boler and Booner’s inappropriate attempts to jinx his 30+ point streak AND the win with the game on the line.

To top it all off, there’s icing on the cake. AK might be back the next game. How I’ve missed him and how ecstatic I am at the thought of his impending return.

What might be most amazing about this win is that the national sports media noticed.

(Of course, once you click into the ESPN article (Daily Dime), it’s all about how tired the Lakers were, waaa waaa waaa. Hollinger only gave the Jazz mention to say stuff like “…the typical Things That Happen in Utah started happening — shoving off the ball, contact around the rim and the like…” and “Against a Utah defense [Kobe] normally carves up like a Thanksgiving turkey…”)

The rest of the boys:
–Apart from the aforementioned huge 3, Memo played 45:39 and had 22 & 8. Is it just me, though, that he’s getting called for a TON of offensive fouls and traveling in the last few games?
–Sap still cannot buy a call and his non-DD streak continued, but he had two monstersap dunks at the end of the game that brought me out of my seat.
–KK came through with the hustle plays, collecting 7 boards and 2 sweet blocks.
–Matty definitely contributed during his minutes on the court.
–Ronnie B played decent D on Kobe, and had several huge dunks.
–CJ was chucking it up every time he got the ball, but surprisingly, also played decent D on Kobe.

Which begs the question, why don’t the Jazz play D like that in every game against lesser opponents? Hmmm? Hmmm? I won’t dwell on that, or else I’ll go crazy with what could’ve been.

Anyway, [via sltrib] Ronnie B and CJ did a good enough job that Pinky Kobe “was 14 of 33 in the game, 6 of 20 in the second half, 2 of 9 in the fourth quarter and 1 of 5 in the last 1:11.” He was also 1 of 7 on 3s.

While we’re on the subject of the Lakers, here are things about the Lakers that annoy me:
–Phil’s throne (I would not be surprised to find out that the throne has more to do with his ego than his hips/knees/whatever he says it is)
–Gasol’s hair
–Gasol’s whiny bitchness
–Sasha’s hair
–Sasha’s whiny bitchness
–Sasha
–Pinky’s smugass face (or smug assface), jersey popping, and need for million dollar diamond rings

Incidentally, what’s up with Phil’s face? Whether it’s the Grandpa Doll hair or the 70s glasses, he looks distinctly different. Nip nip, tuck tuck? Zen meditation?

OK, enough about them. Back to the Jazz:

KOC said something wise today:

At the same time, O’Connor cautioned against expecting an immediate reversal of fortune once those players return.

“Nobody’s going to come in on a white horse and save the day,” O’Connor said. “We’ve got to continue to play and continue to compete, but it would be nice to play with a full roster.”

I admit that my first reaction was, “I beg to differ–AK will come in on a white horse and save the day.” That’s not [just] my AK homerism talking; he makes such a huge difference in making the team better–there’s no two ways about it.

The point is, what KOC says is common sense. We’ve heard all the guys, including DWill, talk for the past weeks or months about how they will improve and get back to their winning ways when they get AK (and Boozer) back. Which scares me, because they are putting too much stock in the returns. It’s like last year in the Playoffs when they were playing the Lakers. DWill was talking about how the Jazz would get back in the series once it shifted back to Utah and they had the home crowd behind them, etc. Well, as the remaining games of that series showed, wins are earned through effort, focus and commitment rather than being a product of extraneous (but admittedly helpful) factors like the crowd or sleeping in your own bed. At the end of the day, you just have to make do with what you’ve got and plug your finger in the hole in the dam rather than stand there waiting for the cavalry to arrive.

Last thing: As for the argument that the last 6-9 games are evidence that Sap can’t put up DDs/20 & 10s over an entire season, I would like to point out that if he coasted on defense, there’s no doubt that his dub-dub streak would still be going strong. He’s out there hustling and banging and fighting for position on both ends of the court, so he needs a great deal more energy and toughness to play the way that he does than someone that, say, mostly stands around on one end of the court and mostly shoots jumpers outside the paint on the other.

Don’t judge Sap against Boozer and declare him the loser until the Jazz start running plays for him regularly and he’s had one or two years of starting and playing 30+ mpg under his belt. Not to mention that Sap has been playing with bum knees for the past few weeks or month. How ugly would Boozer’s stats be if he were out there playing hurt? (Stop laughing at the idea.) I’m not say that Sap + Sap’s sub > Sap + Boozer. All I’m saying is that there aren’t grounds to straight up compare them statistically and conclude that Boozer is better or more valuable.

Oh, before I forget, the requisite Jazz injury report (because this is after all, the Jazz):
–Harp sprained his right wrist (X-rays negative)
–DWill also got his hand X-rayed after it got stepped on (also negative)
–Knight is still out with a bruised thigh

So as we head into the break, like it says on the whiteboard in the Jazz locker room: “Rest, Recover.”

KK, Memo and wife, DWill and wife, and AK (and wife?) are apparently heading to Mexico together.

Boozer, on the other hand, is going home to Miami to rehab and continue the regimen that has been working so well for him. He has done no running yet. Just FYI.

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