Game 34 vs. MEM: Barely squeaking by
So, that’s the first quarter recap. AK had his usual mix of ill-advised shots and pretty passes, but we really need to skip over the first minutes of the game. When the lineup of Fes, Elson, Hayward (CJ still ill), Price and Watson came in, the entire complexion of the game changed. It was suddenly hustle, highlights, and hooping.
Whereas Zach Randolph was having his way with us in the first, Fran was having none of Z-Bo. Then the stupid ref decided to throw Elson out at the end of the second–Eff the Ref–and it was a close game again the rest of the way. To quote shums in the game thread, “no starters were harmed in the making of this SWARM.” Fran and Fes on the court together wins, every single time. It’s just awkward, beautiful basketball.
3rd and 4th quarters with the starters in: more of the 1st quarter. Not to mention Deron didn’t get his first assist until a minute into the third. To Millsap’s credit, though, he came out much more aggressive in the second half, and had some nasty throwdowns to go along with his surefire jumpers.
3rd and 4th quarters with the 2nd unit in:
The best moment of the game came in the closing seconds not on a dunk by Gordon Hayward (who, by the way, was distracting Jazz fans all night long with the hickey on his neck*), but when the camera panned from the basket to the bench and we got to watch Fes’ reaction:
*BBJ points out that he possibly has hickeys all over his body.
During the fourth quarter, I honestly couldn’t believe the game was close. Rudy Gay wasn’t even playing, and yet the game was tied. It was disheartening. Somewhere in the happiness/relief that the night ended with a win, there’s also the feeling that the win kind of feels like a loss…and that it’s time for some change?
Random Notes, etc.
** Othyus Jeffers may not currently be in the league, but his legacy continues to live on in the NBA:
Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines of the Night
** Matty on Zach Randolph: He’s much more ineffective going to his right hand.
** Matty to Boler: If I had more room here, I’d show you somethin’.
** Matty on Ronnie P: I’d like to see him rub off on some other Jazz.
** Boler: Mayo penetrates, dump it down low! Matty: OJ able to find the open Randolph.
** Phil, post-game: You got Randolph inside, he’s a huge handful.
** Jerry, post-game: Their big guys just buried us inside. We didn’t fight them out. You gotta try to establish yourself, otherwise they’re going to come at you all night.