Playoffs R1G1 @ DEN: Good effort. Good effort.
KG threw two elbows with 40 seconds left in the BOS-MIA game and the amazingly professional NBA refs, with only minimal delay to the following game, were able to decide what to do with him (ejection) after only 26 minutes of deliberation and watching the replay 87 times.
By the time the broadcast of the Jazz game started, there were only 4 minutes left in the first quarter.
From the minutes that the NBA was kind enough to gift me with (I repeat, NBA Fail), the Jazz came out strong and playing within the offense. After 1+ month of slow starts, that was hugely encouraging to me. Even better, they were able to keep that up for the entire half.
Smart CJ was in the house tonight. He was aggressive going to the hole, and surpassed his season FTA total by halftime with 7 FTA&M. CJ scored 17 points in the half, which was significant because he became the first Jazzman in three years of Playoffs to be left open and hit shots. Memo was also having a great game, but painfully went down barely minutes into the second quarter (according to the post-game, Memo said he heard something pop. Uh-oh). With the assistance of Fes and the Koof, he hopped to the locker room on one foot/shoe and did not return.
After Memo left the game, the Jazz managed to stay close thanks to some great play by Millsap and Boozer (combined 34 points, 18 rebounds, 6 blocks). Following halftime, it was time for yet another blow to the Jazz. Just one minute in, CJ collided with Billups and went down hard.
He did return later on in the half, but didn’t do much damage.
After a completely invisible first half (apart from missed shots), Deron came out strong in the second and took over the third quarter. Whether he was scoring or dishing, he was in Ninja mode (why not all 48, DWill?) and stopped the Nuggets from gaining momentum and putting the game away then and there.
Unfortunately, our shorthanded boys ran out of gas in the 4th and were unable to stop Melo and JR from scoring at will. Just like the final score of the PHX score was no indication of how unclose the game was, however, the final score of this one was no indication of how close the game was–at least until the final minutes. While Melo scored a new Playoff career high, he only had 4 FTAs and didn’t take his first one until late in the 3rd. I know that that’s an individual game thing rather than an indicator of anything, but it was still an encouraging sign.
Those that read this blog regularly–all two of you–know that I’m always pissed and/or frustrated and/or pessimistic after losses, but all things considered, I’m happy about the way the Jazz held up for 38-40 minutes, and I sure enjoyed watching good ball.
Incidentally, K-Mart (aka “Herm” because he is both a dick and a p*ssy), is still feeling ashamed about the time he tried to pick a fight with the Mailman, and still grateful that Karl Malone let him live.