Game 62 – Second Half
It wasn’t just the Jazz that was playing disjointed, uninspired ball. I couldn’t get into the swing of things because I couldn’t find a good video feed, Yahoo GameChannel wasn’t working, and ESPN Gamecast was refusing to update on its own. But enough about me.
The Jazz managed to cut the abysmal 19-point hole of suckitude they dug down to 10 by halftime.
Then, DWill decided that it was Ninja Time. He and Ronnie B took over the show in the 3rd, and between them scored 20 of the Jazz’s 22 points during a seven-minute span. Unfortunately, there was no Jazz capitalization on the Nuggets’ foul trouble* largely due to Boozer deciding that it was a good time to start playing for the Nuggets. During the same seven-minute span, he got busy turning the ball over, missing shots, and committing shooting and loose ball fouls.
With 36 seconds left in the quarter, the game was tied. CJ hit back-to-back 3s (which were the Jazz’s first two 3s of the game) sandwiched around a JR Smith layup and we went into the 4th with the Jazz holding on to a tenuous 4-point lead.
The Jazz never lost the lead in the 4th, but it was never a comfortable lead. AK and Memo both hit big 3s despite having poor shooting nights and then iced the win with 2 FTs each.
DWill had as many assists (11) as all the Nuggets put together (thanks to JR Smith for bringing that to my attention).
When they’re playing transition ball, and especially if it’s in front of the Utah crowd, the Jazz might be the most exciting team to watch in the League. You saw how Chris Paul carved up the Mavericks the other night, but Deron might even have him beat in terms of always making the right decision on the break; whether it’s feeding Ronnie Brewer and C.J. Miles for highlight dunks, hitting the shooters when they’re open, rewarding the big men or getting his own buckets, Deron rarely makes a bad call…
It was the largest comeback in a home game in a decade, but ultimately, if the Jazz can’t control the way they come out on the floor and stay focused for 48–especially on D–they’re going fishing/back to Miami while other teams are still playing for the big gold prize.
One of the coaches–I’m thinking Ty Corbin since he works with the Jazz’s big men–needs to take Boozer out back behind the shed and…not let him leave until he demonstrates a working understanding of what a loose ball foul is. Three of Boozer’s five fouls in this game (including two in the 4th when the Jazz were in the penalty) were loose ball fouls. I don’t know if anything about the Jazz makes me see red as much as Boozer’s loosey goosey accumulation of loose ball fouls, game after game after game.
Next up: 3 a.m. game at Toronto. sigh.
*The Jazz had 15 FTAs in the first six minutes of the third quarter, but it evened out over the course of the game as the Jazz only had a +1 FT advantage (38-37) overall and Denver took 24 of the game’s final 32 foul shots. The game, which was the second-longest in NBA history, dragged on for 2:41 due to foul after foul after foul being called–58 in all. (source)