Game 80 – Just when you thought we couldn’t sink any lower…
“There’s something about sports, when your back is against the wall, you tend to play better and guys come together. We’ve had a lot of adversity with a lot of injuries, but we have done a good job of coming together and fighting. We shared the ball, we had each other’s backs, we played with a lot of passion, and that is contagious.”
–Rob Kurz describing the opposite of the Jazz
The Jazz were at home against a depleted GS team that has been playing with a 7-man roster for weeks and arrived in SLC at 2:30 a.m., and Don Nelson had handed the coaching reins over to his assistant coach.
With 2:51 to go in the first half, the Jazz had taken 9 more shots and 10 more FTs than the Dubs. They had a 4-10 advantage on turnovers and a 3-11 advantage on fouls, and the Warriors were in the penalty. And the Jazz were down by 7. They sorta-kinda staged somewhat of a run in the second half, but whatever.
Once again, DWill got outplayed by a nobody PG. CJ Watson, who got only his 15th start of the year, went off for a career-high 38 on 10-16 and 16-16 FTs, to go along with 7 rebounds and 9 assists. I wanted to die of shame when Watson was interviewed after the game and he said their scouting reports told them that they could take it to the Jazz’s big men because they [Jazz's big men] wouldn’t do anything to stop them.
The worst thing was that DWill looked like he was beyond caring. Ronnie B managed to play 26 minutes without doing a damn thing, Sap looked like a scrub, KK went 0-7 on threes, and AK once again couldn’t hit a shot if his life depended on it.
Boozer played like his main goal was padding his stat line, without any thought to the game. I guarantee that in the 3rd, the only thing on the minds of Boozer and his publicist/Fan Club President, David Locke, were what they were going to say post-game about how wonderfully he played, how he’s back, how he can shoot from anywhere on the floor, etc. And indeed, in the post-game, Locke raved about how many great plays Carlos made, how he was the bright spot in the game, and how the Jazz don’t have a chance in the Playoffs without him.
Carlos had a great game. Big freaking deal. Let’s see him have a great game when the Jazz play like a team and get a win. Said the guys at 1280: “Worst loss of the season…most pathetic performance of the season…I don’t care that Carlos Boozer scored 25 in a game that doesn’t matter, congratulations Carlos for being the king of nothing.” My thoughts exactly.
The Jazz didn’t just lose today. They were embarrassed, humiliated, and stomped into the ground by four undrafted players and three rookies. You can’t just ignore a cancerous tumor and hope that it goes away. I’m not saying that Carlos is a cancer (but I’m not ignoring that possibility either), because before he came back, the Jazz were playing as a team, on a roll, and everyone was happy. Now we have locker room issues, everyone hates each other, and players are only concerned about themselves. Whether it’s his return or his person that’s the cause, it’s related to Boozer and when he says stuff like “I’m a starter, PERIOD,” it shows that he places himself above the team, and that he could care less about alienating his teammates when things are already tense.
The ’03-’04 and ’04-’05 Jazz teams didn’t play this badly. They competed, they hustled, and they were a lot more fun to watch than the Jazz of the last few weeks. When you see players playing their hearts out and giving it their all, fans can’t begrudge losses. Bottom line: even if we had won this one, it wouldn’t have changed anything. There are major issues that need addressing.