Game 35 vs. DET: Squeaking by
It wasn’t exactly a slow start, but it wasn’t anything to write home about either. The Jazz are now 7-28 in first quarters this season (i.e. they have only won the first quarter 7 out of 35 games so far).
The second quarter kicked off with a lineup of Watson, Price, CJ, AK (at the 4) and Fes…and the Jazz were off and running. This unit was as good as the Jazz have looked all season. All high percentage shots, dunks, running, pushing the ball, high-energy, fast-paced. In just 4+ minutes, a 3-point deficit after one was a 9-point lead. Then the starters came in (with Gordon in place of AK) around the 5:40 mark, it was back to missed jumpers, and…tie game.
Aside: Recapping has gotten so trite. It’s like watching Jazz games is bad behavior and my punishment is writing lines.
3rd: Balanced scoring: Al with 8; Sap with 7; Deron with 8. Dunkphobia and missed layups galore. Quarter ends with the Pistons up 1.
4th: CJ was completely gassed (he’s still recovering from the flu); no one can get anything going; Jazz shoot FTs; figurative nail-biting and lots of cursing and disgruntledness that this game is even close; Jazz squeak by on a huge, huge Raja 3 (at least, the refs said it was a 3); game.
Final thought: I liked what Jerry did with the lineups tonight. It was probably necessitated by injuries and/or foul trouble, but he was mixing and matching and no one lineup was on the floor for too long. This could be a really good thing.
Can’t remember which SWARM/second-unit player said it, the gist of his comment was that the second unit plays with much more energy because they’re basically cramming 48 minutes into 5-10 minute stints. When they’re on the floor, they’re playing all-out. Maybe the solution to our woes is playing everyone/every unit in shorter stints. This keeps the starters off the court for long periods of time, which is a good thing (as @my_lo pointed out tonight, the game slows down considerably when Deron is on the court), and keeps energy levels high.
Post-Game Quotage (KFAN audio)
** [How do you change the first quarter mindset?] Deron: (sighs) I don’t know. We try, we talked about it, you know, and…I don’t know. I really don’t have an answer. We just gotta do it.
** Raja calls Deron “Willy.” Jerry calls Deron “DWill.”
** CJ: [The second unit] just come out with raw energy, we’re an up and down team with Earl and Ronnie Price [who] pressure the ball to get us running, myself, and Fes runs well for a big guy, and with AK playing at the four when he comes back in–we’re just basically playing basketball. There’s not many plays called, I don’t know if Coach likes it, but you can’t argue with the end result because of the way we play. We’re active defensively, and we get a lot of layups and open shots.
** Al: I’d rather lose every first quarter game that we play this year if you tell me we gon’ win every fourth quarter.*
** Raja: I’d rather be a first quarter team than a fourth quarter team.*
** TMac has either grown up, or forgot to pretend that he doesn’t know how to pronounce “Deron.” ;)
*See any problems here???? This could be the moment we discovered what ails us. Mandatory team therapy session tomorrow.
Random Stuff, etc.
** WTF Jazz. You let TMac–TMac!?–get a triple double on you. SMH. (one rebound shy actually, but like that makes a difference.)
** The people have spoken, but Masha is having none of it. AK, post-game: “People want a mohawk, but my wife likes this, so I’m going to stick with this one.” Matty: “Masha, bring back the mohawk!”