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Game 57 – Fight

February 24, 2009

Hear those footsteps, Denver and San Antonio? They sound … jazzy.

The Jazz had a great deal of emotional motivation to play well tonight, and they did. I’m still reeling from LHM’s passing, so I can only imagine how actual members of the organization are dealing with it.

This was the first game of the season that the entire roster was available, and Jerry had his work cut out for him tonight in managing minutes in possibly the most all-over-the-place rotation in Jazz Sloan history. The Jazz shot an insane 71% in the first half, and everything was back:

–Boozer was back
–KK’s shot was back (he connected on his first 6 shots, 4 of which were 3s)
–Sap’s real knees were back (he played brace-free for the first time since he got injured)
–Horny was back in Utah (and had worked with KK earlier in the day on shooting)
–Knight’s shooting confidence was back (which was unfortunate since his shot was not)
–even Getty images were back on Yahoo sports (yay!)

Other notes:
–ATL has not won in the SLC since 1993. We are their Spurs.
–Ronnie B hit a buzzer beater from midcourt to end the first half. Awesome.
–DWill got a DD in three quarters and Sap racked one up off the bench.
–Boozer got 2 points (1-5 with the 1 being a goaltend call and 5 boards). The Cowhide Globe says, “What the hell did Boozer think this was…an ’08 playoff game?” LOL.
–Atlanta “held” the Jazz without a field goal in the last 7 minutes of the game. The Jazz missed their last 13 shots and only scored off two FTs during those 7 minutes. They also started the quarter 0-5, which brings us to the three minutes that took place between the 0-5 and 0-13:

The Jazz were up 23 with 8 minutes left and Harp was going up for a layup when J-Smoove shoved him in the chest/shoulders. Matty went down and his head bounced off the ground before he jumped up and went after Smith. KK knew what Matty was going to do before Matty did and ran at him before he even got up. In the end, Sap and AK restrained him and Smith was called for a Flagrant-2 and tossed (although that awful woman they have doing game recaps on nba.com would have you believe it was “J.R. Smith” that was ejected). Now there’s talk (among Jazz fans) that Matty might be suspended for “escalating” things. Be that as it may, I loved seeing Harp’s fire and it was exciting while it lasted, ha.

Anyway, the Jazz scored 13 of their 15 (total) 4th quarter points during those three minutes, and Matty was responsible for 11 of them, hitting 4 shots and 3 FTs. Say what you want about him, but Matty is plenty useful in slow games and (I apologize in advance for using the word “toughness”) gives our team toughness that no one else provides. He don’t back down from no one.

Quote of the Night:
“I can’t get you ready. I don’t believe in motivating players. I think they have to motivate themselves. I think it’s the most overused word in sports: motivation. You either play or you don’t play.” — Jerry Sloan (source)

For once, Matty’s the one bring up football:
“That was one of those that hurt,” said Harpring, who landed flat on his back and whose head banged against the hardwood floor. “Every time I get knocked down like that a voice goes off in my head, ‘get up.’ It just goes back to what my dad said in football — never act like you are hurt.” (source)

Next up: “@” + “Peskyland” = test game.

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