Game 15 vs. SAC: Second Unit Domination
All right, fine. Relatively speaking, this slow start was not as bad a slow start as we’ve seen in the past few weeks. While there was the usual gamut of suspect jumpers, the Jazz played closer to the rim than they have in recent games and had 0 turnovers in the first quarter. Although Deron and Sap combined for 2-13 in the first, AK went 3-3 on two dunks and a pretty, incredible putback shot rather than his usual three-point attempts and/or flailing layups.
And then, Jerry subbed out all of the starters and put in a completely different second unit to start the second. Who needs continuity? I cannot put into words how much I adore the second lineup of Watson, Price, CJ, Elson, and Fes (dubbed Spark & Spunk, 3.J. Miles, and the Euro Twin Towers by @djjazzyjody). They can’t score (CJ aside*), but they sure do hustle. They make my heart sing, and they make everything groovy. With this lineup in, the Kings shot 4-22 in the second quarter and the Jazz went from being down 2 to up 11.
*CJ put up 13 points on 5-7 shooting, 3 boards, 3 assists, and 2 blocks in the second quarter.
almost totally did not want to see the starters come back in. The starters played much better in the third than in the first as usual, and mid-way through the fourth quarter the only question that remained was how many minutes Hayward and Evans would get. Our sad little puppies were sitting on the bench looking so glum that I had to laugh:
Tip to horn, though, this was the best Jazz game of the season so far. The starters didn’t suck, and the subs were FAAAAAAAAAAAN-tastic. I haven’t felt this happy watching a Jazz game in a long, long time. There have been moments of excitement and thrilling comebacks this season, but not sustained happiness. Now, Jazzmen, think y’all can string two of these together?
** Kings head coach Paul Westphal said before the game that AK is the Jazz’s unsung hero because he not only guards his man, but two or three other guys as well. :)
** Did anyone else notice there was a non-Deron ninja on the floor tonight?
AK, let me remind you of something you said on Media Day. “No ponytail,” you said. FYI, you’ve reached ponytail territory. (Though I have to say, I’m curious to see how AK would look with a Louis Amundson pulled-back ponytail. I don’t think it’d look half bad.)
** Coach Phil said in the post-game that they’re going to try to work Memo in at practice tomorrow. Memo’s return might be–finally–around the corner!
** The Matt Harpring Fun with the Telestrator Show:
** Finally, put DeMarcus Cousins on the list of NBA players I have respect for:
Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines of the Night
** The Trib’s Brian T. Smith:
** Matty, on Millsap shot replay: Unconventional shot, those legs spread out, spread eagled!
** Matty, again: Earl Watson gets some, he finally gets on the scoreboard!