Orlando Summer League Game 3
The first 25 minutes of this one were hard to watch. I couldn’t see the game, for the chaotic revolving door of whistles and substitutions. The Jazz fell behind early (shooting 29% for the half), and were quickly down by 20+. Yatta still couldn’t hit FTs; Hayward was not feeling it; Dragicevic had flown home earlier in the day.
The bright spot in the early half was the Koof, who was playing as aggressive as we’ve ever seen him. He was taking the ball up strong, and even hit a hook shot. Koufos was both the Jazz’s leading scorer and rebounder at halftime with 8 & 3.
Just one minute into the third, Lance Stephenson bites Yatta on the head while Yatta was driving to the basket. Gaines comes out of the game and gets bandaged up, goes back in to take his FTs (1/2 as usual), and then leaves the game to get stitches. Lost in all this was the ref that got a little too excited:
Things got a little better for the Jazz midway through the third. The Koof connected on another hook shot and Hayward got fouled on the next possession as he slammed down a two-handed dunk (the dunk turned out to be his only FG of the night). He hit the FT to cut the lead to under 20 with 5 minutes left. Of course, that only lasted as long as it took the Pacers to get the ball to their end of the floor. Nevertheless, the Jazz managed to put together a 19-9 run, which included a sweet Jeffers-to-Evans and-1 dunk, to close the 3rd and cut the Pacers lead to 13.
The Jazz started the 4th with a 8-1 run, and a Jeffers breakaway dunk and a Koof double pump lay-in cut the Pacers lead down to 6. Tale as old as time: the Jazz get close enough to win it, but can’t get over the hump.
Box score look: I liked what I saw from Jeffers today. 11 points on 6 shots (including 5-6 on FTs), 4 boards, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block. The Koof ended playing 30 minutes and went for 19 & 7 with 5 TOs. He also somehow shot 20% better from the floor than the FT line, even though his points came from not just around the basket, but from hook shots and at least one mid-range jumper as well. With him, anything is an improvement at this point.
Final note: The Jazz coaching staff was attired in matching navy polo shirts today.