Game 2 – Three good quarters this time
So, we lost. Our boys actually put up a good fight, but in the end, they were just too undersized and overmatched. DWilly entered crazy ninja mode in the 2nd half, and maybe could have won the game if he hadn’t been hampered by his teammates. Unfortunately, he got no help from anyone in navy and seemingly ran out of gas towards the end, going something like 0-6 to close the game.
Carlos did not have a great game offensively, jacking up way too many bad jumpers in the 4th, and was an abject failure on defense. Time after time and time and time again, Gasol spun around him and went to the hoop like he wasn’t even there. And half the time, Carlos didn’t even notice that Gasol was gone until the caveman had already scored.
The Lakers offense was en fuego, no question about that. But their bigs got away with roasting marshmallows, telling ghost stories, and singing “Kumbaya” in the paint the entire night, and there were also suspect sequences like this:
All us fans were screaming our heads off for Fess, but his number was never called. Surprisingly though, Price’s did. Ronnie P came in for DWill in the 2nd half instead of Brev Brev, but like Brev Brev, gave us nothing. That’ll perhaps quiet that contingent. AK, meanwhile, was benched in the second half and only played 16 minutes (though he had quite a decent first half with 1 block, 2 steals, and 0 3-point attempts). [Speaking of 3s, DWill took 10 (and made 6). That's got to be some kind of Jazz record right under Jerry Sloan, right?] Anyway, the point is that changes were made, and that perhaps bodes well for Fess getting some minutes in Game 3. Baby steps…
Disagreements over who should and shouldn’t be playing aside, I still believe in Jerry and his system. He can’t make the players have heart. He can’t make them get along. He can’t make them play defense if they refuse to. Looking at the big picture, he did an amazing, amazing job getting us this far this year with all the injuries, distractions (cough*Boozer*cough), and sadness. And if our season was derailed by locker room problems, that’s not his fault. I really believe that if the players actually execute Jerry’s offense the way he draws it up, we’d be a lot different team.
Maybe these are the bad years. The losing years. The training wheel years. And maybe a few years down the line, Jerry’s way will have helped the guys mature faster and developed their in-game decision making skills. (If some Jazz fans can tell themselves that Jerry ordered the Jazz to play like crap to lull the Lakers into a false sense of security, I can tell myself this.)
Keys to Game 3:
1) Playing time for Fess. No more of that countering 7’0″ with 6’8″ (if that) futility.
2) Making fouls count. If you’re going to foul them, hit them hard. Channel Jerry. No more of that ticky-tack crap you’re all so fond of.
3) DWilly for 48. No more of that backup point guard nonsense. Period.
In the toaster, but not yet toast.