Game 68 vs. Philly: Jazz win a game
Changes were afoot in Jazzland due to, well, feet and things attached to them. In addition to the usual MASH unit [Francisco (ankle) / Ronnie P (toe) / Millsap (knee) / Memo (back)], Gordon (“forefoot”) was out and Raja (toe) was a game-time decision. Raja played, but by the end of the game we had lost Devin (hamstring*).
*Side Note: When they announced on the broadcast that Devin Harris had strained his hamstring, Matty talked about how hamstring injuries are an early-season injury because they usually occur when guys are not yet warmed up for playing. I laughed as visions of Carlos Boozer in street clothes danced in my head.
CJ got the start instead of Raja while Derrick Favors got the start for Millsap, and the Jazz actually got off to a good start. By halftime, we had a 20-point lead but I don’t think anyone expected us to be able to put the game away and get the young guys mucho playing time in the 4th. The third quarter kicked off an 11-1 76ers run, and the 4th quarter was a mess. Earl fell down and lost the ball late in the 4th, and Philly got its first lead of the game with 1:03 left in the quarter. CJ drove inside and tied the game with 9 seconds left, which was more than enough time for the Sixers to get a good shot. Fortunately, Iggy missed on the other end.
This win was definitely a team effort. CJ got off to a hot start in the first quarter, and the young guys (Jeremy, Favors, and Fes) gave the Jazz some great minutes in the 2nd. Big Al carried the Jazz in the 4th, and AK* was huge in overtime (a trey, the tip dunk gif’ed above, and FTs to ice the game) despite getting clawed in the face.
When Boler or Matty said that AK was bleeding from the eye, I naturally assumed they were making a joke I didn’t understand. Turns out AK did have a huge scratch below his right eye that made his face look kind of like raw meat.
*Speaking of AK: He’d clearly spent time with someone with scissors in the past day or two but that someone applied said scissors only to his bangs. Incredibly, his hair is even more ridiculous now.
As for defense, things weren’t great but the boys at least moved in the right direction for one night:
Random Stuff, etc.
** Pretty cool of Doug Collins to get up from his seat and go over to help Jeremy Evans up when he fell in front of the Sixers’ bench.
** There was talk post-game about how the Jazz now have a chance to put together a 2-game win streak for the first time since January 14. I’m more concerned about when the Jazz will get their next solid win. We’ve only won 8 of our last 28 since January 14, and only one of those games was by more than 8 points. We won those 8 by an average margin of just 6 points. Of the 20 we lost, 10 were by more than 10 points and 4 were by more than 20.
** Does this remind you of anyone?
** CJ, Devin, and Al took 59 of the Jazz’s 86 shots (69%) while playing 48% of all Jazz minutes available. CJ and Al took 55% of all Jazz shots by themselves. I know we’re shorthanded and not exactly stacked with scorers, but I’m not sure such an uneven shot distribution is a good thing.
** Your [when applicable] heads on sticks update:
** Matty: Big Al’s too quick for him so he’s going to slough off.
** Boler: Nice penetration! One bounce, two bounce. I love the penetration.
** Matty: I don’t know if I’m talented enough to do this upside down.
** Boler: How about that penetration? When the point guard penetrates, Matt, anything can happen.
** Boler: He was able to open the backdoor…Jodie Meeks buries it from the corner.
** Matty: Favors got up quickly, watch how quickly he gets up.