Game 1 – History Was Made Today, People
That’s right. During the game, JC was on the front page of Yahoo Sports NBA, while Matty was on the front page of ESPN NBA.* Odds of that happening again? About the same as (take your pick) Jerry ranking Gira #1 on his All-Time Favorite Players list, Amaechi ranking Jerry #1 on his All-Time Favorite Coaches list, Boozer winning Defensive Player of the Year (this year), Stock’s assist record being broken (by Stephon Marbury), Isiah being hired as Jerry’s replacement when Jerry retires (in 2050), Houston fans no longer whining, or me becoming a Lakers fan.
Anyway, back to the game.
Flip the switch?
Before the game started, I predicted how it would go: The Jazz would get down by 18-20 early, claw their way back and cut the lead to 8-10, and the game would end. Basically, I was right on the money. Not that it took any great act of intellect to figure that out if you’ve been watching the Jazz for the past month.
When the Lakers got into the penalty with 7:45 remaining in the 2nd, I also predicted that the Jazz, who had one foul at the time, would be called for four fouls like *that.* I wasn’t wrong about that either…it took 17 seconds to get the second foul, 30 seconds to get the third, 38 seconds to get the 4th, and 13 seconds to get the 5th (that’s a total of 1:38, in case you’re too lazy to add it up).
I’m not saying that the officiating was why the Jazz lost the game, just that it was utterly predictable. The Jazz lost the game = couldn’t connect on any jumpers + sequences like this:
8:22 Carlos Boozer defensive rebound 80-92
8:18 Deron Williams misses driving layup 80-92
8:15 Andrei Kirilenko misses tip shot 80-92
8:15 Andrei Kirilenko offensive rebound 80-92
8:12 Deron Williams offensive rebound 80-92
8:00 Paul Millsap misses driving layup 80-92
8:00 Lamar Odom defensive rebound 80-92
We have no shot at all in this series unless Memo is ready to play by Game 2 and is in decent form. Without Memo, the Lakers basically have five guys collapsing on DWill and/or Boozer all afternoon/night/middle of the night long, leaving three guys that can’t hit shots uselessly open.
Whether you want to believe it or not, Collins was who got us back in the game and while he was doing that, he was >>> Boozer and Sap (see picture below of JC working hard, Boozer helping by yelling, and Sap nowhere in sight**).
As Luhm said (while legions of Jazz fans threw up in their mouths, but not me), “Jarron Collins played well in place of Okur and showed…why good teams need veteran players who keep their mouth shut, fill their role and keep themselves ready to play.”
Meanwhile, Boozer and Sap unintentionally showed the world their complete out-of-sync-ness. While Boozer said before the game, “The great thing is we had three great days of preparation. Three really good practice days [that became 'more and more intensified']” and “We’re ready to give it our best shot” (so in sum, prepared and ready), Sap said after the game, “There were jitters to [our first Playoff game]…we feel like our backs are against the wall…” and “I don’t think we was ready when we stepped on the court to play basketball” (so in sum, jitters and not ready).
Ugh. How can you be not ready after a freaking week? And even if you’re not, why would you admit such a thing? The Jazz don’t have their “soft” reputation for nothing [in Utah; outside of Utah, the team seems to still have--among
those that don't watch any Jazz games national sportswriters--a reputation for being physical and tough defensively. That is solely because Jerry's our coach].
Boozer was also quoted in the same article as calling KK2 “Costco.” OMG. I love that. I actually love something that came out of Carlos Boozer’s mouth. Miracles do happen. Maybe the Jazz can win this series…
…buuuuuuut, then again…
And finally…a note to LA: Only douchebags wear shades indoors.
*What was the front page of nba.com showing? Two none-too-attractive people: