Game 48 vs. POR: The Euros Are Coming! The Euros Are Coming!
If not for the dare-not-hope Jazz fan side of me, I should have known 100 seconds into the game that it was going to be a good night for us. On the Jazz’s third posession, Memo got the board on one end and flew–and by “flew,” I mean flew–to the basket and threw it down with authority.
Whether it was due to the Turkish fans sitting behind the Jazz bench, his teammates making an effort to get him involved early, or both, Memo could not have been more Moneyman tonight. He was 11-13 from the field and also collected 8 boards.
Meanwhile, my own personal slice of Jazz Heaven, AK, continued breaking opponents. With the way he’s played recently, I simply have no more superlatives left to describe him. He was absolutely phenomenal, and tonight, like many previous nights, he was omnipresent on the court. Despite getting [called for] his third foul just 4 minutes into the second quarter, AK did it all, once again (22 points on 8-9 shooting, 6 boards, 8 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks).
I also have to give it up to Jerry. As many have noted lately, Jerry is playing the part of masterful puppeteer to perfection. He’s known to be a stickler for set rotations, but he’s getting everyone involved, and riding the hot hand. Whereas Memo didn’t get into the fourth quarter in the last two games, he played the final six minutes tonight.
By the end, and especially watching AK throwing up circus shots that went in and slamming dunks down like there was no tomorrow, I was just sitting there laughing. There was nothing else to do. We’re getting rock-solid, highlight-filled, Hustle Mania, team wins. What more can a fan ask for?*
*Actually, I’m kind of sad no one (Getty, AP, SLTrib, DesNews) uploaded a picture of AK sitting on Bayless.
Bayless went up for a dunk in the 4th, got blocked by AK, and wrapped his arm around AK as he fell to the ground (I know AK has been playing incredible, but Jerryd took his mancrush a little too far if you ask me). AK landed on top of Bayless and glared at him for a moment before getting up. If anyone wants to send me a screencap, I’d be ever so grateful.
Final note–I think Deron is growing out his beard and transplanting it onto his head. His famous bald spot has completely disappeared: