Game 7 @MIA: Paul Millsap is way hotter than the Heat
[I was originally going to post this under "Unintentional Dirty Arenas of the Night" and question whether the "8" should be a "9," but I want to do this instead.]
I’m going to do separate recaps for the two halves, so you might want to skip ahead to the second part if you don’t want me killing your buzz.
It was yet another one of our maddening, insanifying slow starts. The Heat went on a 15-0 run to make it 7-22, and we were throwing up jump shots as if we were getting paid by the brick. Matty repeatedly pointed out that no Jazzmen were going after rebounds, which was doubly maddening because Deron had said just a few days ago that the guards need to do a better job of rebounding. The slow start was triple maddening, because Deron had said a few days ago that he knows the team plays better when he plays better, and he wasn’t doing anything about it. Sap had seven in the first quarter and AK had four, and it took 11:52 for a third player to score thanks to all the disgusting jumpers.
It looked to be another blowout where the lead would be 20 at halftime, the Jazz would get close enough around the end of the third to give us hope, but never get close enough to win. In other words, the Jazz were there simply to fertilize and water the flower of HYPE.
It was actually a positive sign that we got the lead to under 20 at the half, and our FG% into the 3s (31%). That’s how horrid things were, and a loss seems not inevitable, but deserved. Losses don’t upset me; lack of effort upsets me. The Jazz seem to think that they can not play at all in the first half and still win by turning it on in the second, and this pisses me off. When they came out to play in the second half, Matty said, “This is how you want to start a game.” Why don’t the Jazz know this, or seem to care? I hate to say this and it hurts me to say this, but a lot of this is on Deron.
I was so hating the Jazz for the first three quarters that I stopped paying attention to the score. It was 75-62 at the end of three, and the 4th started off with a missed three by Deron. Somehow, some way, I looked up (well not really because I wasn’t in the arena) and the game was tied when Ronnie P hit a three with 7 minutes left. The Jazz then managed to score only six points in the next five minutes (AK was blocked, Ronnie P was called for a flagrant, Deron was called for an offensive foul, CJ missed a three, was called for a shooting foul on the other end, and then had a TO) and the Heat built up a 7-point lead.
AK hit a no-no-no-no-YES three with 2:11 left to bring the Jazz within 4, and this was the shot that breathed new life into the game (no homer).
If I told you that the Jazz–this year’s Jazz, sans Korver and Wesley–would not only come back from 22 down, and down 8 with 28 seconds left would hit four threes to force OT, would you believe me?
Thanks to a bunch of foul shots that were presented to the Heat on a
silver black-and-white striped platter, the Jazz were down 8 with 28 seconds left. Millsap had been on fire all night and hitting shots from all over the floor (inside the arc, of course). Deron passed it to Millsap for three out of the timeout, and he hit it. Unbelievable! Miami calls TO, and when play resumes and the Jazz get possession, Deron hits a 3. Heat FTs, 101-96.
Deron gives it to Millsap again. MILLSAP AGAIN! UNBELIEVABLE! Jazz are now down 2 with 12 seconds left. Heat FTs. Deron gives it to Millsap again. MILLSAP FOR A THIRD TIME! UN-FREAKING-INSANE-BELIEVABLE!!!!!! At this point, with 4 seconds left and the Jazz down 1, we’re dealt a heavy blow when Deron is called for an inbounds foul (great job, refs) and fouls out. Raja comes in to foul, Wade makes 1 of 2 FTs, and Jerry calls time. With 2 seconds left, CJ hoists up a three that bounces off the rim, but Sap is there. He barely catches the ball before throwing it up, and miracle of miracles IT GOES IN. Overtime.
The Jazz scored 7 of their 12 points in OT at the line, while Wade scored all 10 of the Heat’s points. Interestingly enough, although Sap is clearly the hot hand, the Jazz go to Fes the first several possessions. Fes makes a layup, misses a jumper, and hits 1 of 2 FTs on the third possession. The Jazz take their first lead in OT (and keep it) on an everything-is-a-blur-by-now-I-can’t-process AK three. Fes takes himself out of the game with 24 seconds left and the Jazz up by 1 (though Jerry probably would have anyway if he hadn’t done so), and AK makes 2 FTs with 20 seconds left and Elson hits 2 more with nanoseconds left to take the game. And I’m…I’m just…I’m…
** “I don’t care who they are. I don’t care how good they are. Jazz will win this game.” –Booner, pre-game / Speaking of Booner, he’s joined Twitter at the behest of David Locke. I had to LOL at his first tweet.
** Fes played in the 4th instead of Big Al. Fes did well and it was great to see him getting some PT, but that Jerry did not put Al back into the game after Fes came in tells you all you need to know about how Al played.
** “Millsap” was the #2 trending topic on Twitter after the game:
** A big fat F–k You to Lebron. Ronnie P fouled James Jones going after the ball in the 4th, and Jones ended up on the ground. Ronnie immediately went over to Jones with an arm extended to help Jones up, and the bitch that is Lebron pushed him out of the way. Asshat.
** Carlos Boozer is rolling around in his grave.
** Would ya look at that…Grumpy is actually smiling.
**Fouls: Jazz 32 / Heat 20. Free Throws: Jazz 21 / Heat 47. Disgusting.
** Mansap with a new career high of 46. And oh, HOW. HE. DID. IT. (Brian T. Smith tweeted after the game, “Millsap has been draining 3s during summer workouts and at practice. Williams asks him to take them in games, but he won’t.”)
** Best stat of the night: Millsap had a total of two career three pointers before this game.
** CJ and Deron both mentioned “Raj’s” halftime speech, during which he told the team, “We can’t control whether we make shots or get calls, all we can control is how hard we play and how tough we are.” Veteran leadership FTW. (This is exactly what I wanted from Raja. I couldn’t be happier.)
** [Boler] I was expecting a chest pump (after the putback to force overtime), but you just stood there and said, “It’s in.”
[Matty] We need more out of you. We need more. We need chest bumps, we need you flying on people…
[Millsap] The game wasn’t over. The game wasn’t over, we went into overtime. / (This is what I love about Millsap. All he does is do his job. He doesn’t talk. He just works.)
** Millsap: Every year, [my goal is to] try to get better and grow, and I think I’m on course with that. Hopefully I can continue to get better, through the help of God, I can accomplish some things.
** Deron: God is good.
** [What does this (win) say about the heart and resolve of the team?] Jerry: Well, where was it to start with? (Me: Exactly!!!)
** Jerry on playing the 4th and OT with Fes and Elson instead of Al: I just thought that we were doing a little bit better job defensively; Al struggled a little bit with his shooting. It wasn’t anything personal or anything like that; we hadn’t had an argument or anything like that. That’s what people think we do, is sit and argue all day. I’m too old to do that.
** [Does Millsap have the green light on the 3-point line now?] Jerry: He will from now on. He [can] probably coach. / Jerry also said that Sap shoots the 3 very well in practice, and that he’s never told Sap that he can’t shoot them.
Finally, we have our very own Quote Machine, Kyrylo Fesenko, with the Quotes of the Night:
** [What happened tonight?] Fes: I was just pissed by the way the Miami players, like their faces were “OK, we’re winning and that’s how it’s supposed to be.” That pissed me off. Nobody take us as a weak team so I just came to the game and tried to do my best.
** [Boler: Paul Millsap tonight, career night.] Fes: Second, Kyrylo tonight, career night. (After everyone, including Fes, stops laughing) That’s my best game.
Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines of the Night:
** Either Matty or Boler: I don’t think you can let someone lay it in in your face without contesting the shot.
** David Locke: AK sneaks behind and goes high and hard! (thanks to neds)
** Boler (talking about pizza): So saucy.
** Boler: Right down the middle she goes!
** Patrick Kinahan: I am a blowhard, and even I’m coming up short. Thurl: (pause) You ARE coming up short.