Playoffs R1G5 @ DEN: It’s on the Jazz
With Nene going down in the first half (hope he’s OK), the Jazz had an opportunity to take advantage and end Round 1.
The flip side, however, is that we were asking the Jazz to beat the same team four times in a row, and I don’t know if they have the focus or maturity to do that to any team in the league, much less a good and sporadically tough team like Denver. While we saw the Jazz playing some of their best basketball of the season in Games 2-4, some of it was the Nuggets beating themselves, and they weren’t going to keep missing shots forever.
The first quarter was not pretty–neither team could get into a flow, and turnovers played too big a role in the Jazz’s performance yet again (Boozer and Fes combined for five in the first alone). By the end of the quarter, however, it seemed that the Jazz had found their rhythm and they played well and kept it close through the second.
Unfortunately, the Jazz’s second half started the same way as the first, which, combined with the Nuggets hitting on 9-10 to start the third, was a recipe for disaster. Our guys just never found their groove again and decided to stop defending the perimeter while the Nuggets embarked on a FT line parade.
The box score never tells the whole story, but you can tell a lot from it. Our starters’ 1:15 Steals:Turnovers ratio is telling, as is Matthews, Fes, Boozer, and CJ combining for 4 assists. Add on Korver going 0-6 from the floor, and well, there’s your game summary.
It would have said a lot about the team (and I would have had to reform my opinion of them) had they come out aggressive and prepared to press foot to tattooed throat. At the end of the day, I’m reminded that many of them are kids in their early 20s who are only just starting to understand what it takes to win consistently. *SIGH.*