Game 23 of 82: Utah Jazz vs. Portland Trail Blazers (4-19)
[Insert .gifs of Nicolas Batum dagger and Damian Lillard overkill dagger that I couldn’t be bothered to make.]
** Tyrone Corbin:
IMO, Corbin could’ve started Andris Biedrins or Rudy Gobert instead of Jeremy Evans. I know the Jazz are short-handed with injuries to Marvin Williams and Derrick Favors, but Corbin already tried this and it was disastrous. He started Evans against LaMarcus Aldridge in the Jazz’s second pre-season game, which isn’t even good match-up on paper. LMA had a field day, and Evans said after the game that it “crushed me mentally.” Same thing with our last game against Portland; LMA killed Evans. Evans is deserving of playing time, but these games probably did not do much for his confidence.
** Gordon Hayward on what was learned from the back-to-back losses to Portland and Sacramento
Well, I mean, it’s just the experience. You can’t teach those, and hopefully we learn next time when we’re up three, the only thing that will hurt is a three, so we can’t let that happen.
** Trey Burke on missing Derrick Favors
Miss him a lot. You know, he’s definitely an inside presence for us, not only on defensive end, but also offense. And you know, he’s a guy that we can go to, you know, late in the shot clock. A guy who can get a bucket, you know, down low. So his presence is definitely missed.
The best part of this game may have been Trey Burke’s mom trying to start a chant for Rudy Gobert. So, so awesome :) Oh, and Trey’s dad probably also struck a chord with Jazz fans with his tweets.
** Tyrone Corbin, asked what was the biggest difference defensively tonight
When you say biggest difference, what’s your question?
How were you able to defend them more successfully tonight?
Well, I thought that we were able to stay out of rotations for the most part. [LaMarcus] Aldridge is a load, and then Damian [Lillard] is a load coming off the pick and roll. Mo [Williams] is kind of tough to defend on the pick and roll. But I thought our guys did a better job on the ball.
** Corbin, asked for his thoughts on performance on transition tonight
I thought it was better. I mean, they had a couple there, I think we gave up 11 fast break points. I thought for the most part we contained them…For the most part, I thought we were better tonight.
How about on the offensive end with transition?
Offensive end of transition? What other transition was there?
Fast break points?
Yeah well, you know, we didn’t get many, we didn’t see a lot of, I think we had six for the game. But you know, for us, you know, we wanna try and take advantage of opportunities there. We just didn’t get a lot…We wanna to push the pace, but we don’t wanna make mistakes, and we had a couple early, and we just didn’t get the score.
Sad Alec Burks sadly shaking his head, H/T @5kl
** Richard Jefferson on the game
Coach is doing a good job putting us in position. We’re just making a lot of young mistakes. We’re making a lot of inexperience mistakes. And you know, coach keeps pushing. Guys keep pushing guys. And we’re getting better. You know, obviously, you know, you want to have a better showing than you, than the last time we played against the guys, but that was an outlier. That’s one of those games where it’s like, they would’ve beat anybody in the NBA by 20 points that night.
** RJ on Alec Burks
I’m proud of Alex.* He’s really stepped up…He’s been working with our coach, Johnnie Bryant, quite a bit, just working on his game. He’s in the gym constantly. I try and get him with my 9 a.m. shooting group that we have, and you know, just to show him, you know, he’s only 22 years old. And I know he’s been in the league a few years, but still, it’s something that, you know, he has to continue to work hard and he’ll become more consistent. But his confidence is at an all-time high, and he needs to keep playing that way for us.
* People calling Alec Burks “Alex”: Richard Jefferson
** Trey Burke, post-game
We have to continue to learn. You know, we have to continue to get better…The only thing we can do from here on out is get better.
** Burke on the third quarter collapse
I think we came out a little complacent, just like [in] Portland. You know, we, it’s not a conscious thing. You know, we don’t mean to come out complacent. But you know, we have to come out with a sense of urgency…Unfortunately, they were the team that made the first punch, and it was hard to dig ourselves out that hole.
** Enes Kanter on the third quarter collapse
For some reason, we just need to, you know, keep focus in third quarter too. Some reason, it just doesn’t focus, I guess, you know?
** Kanter on the dagger(s)
You play good “D” for, like, 22, 23 seconds, and then they hit the, like, the crazy shots. You know, it was tough, but you know, it’s basketball. You know, can’t do nothing about it. We just have to learn how to close the games.
** Alec Burks on the third quarter collapse
They just went to the player, their star player again. They made star plays, you know? That’s all that happened.
** Burks on Richard Jefferson
He been on me about getting in there [to early shootarounds/practices] more. But you know, just, you learn from him. You learn a lot from an All-Star like that, you know? Just learning the little things he learned…It’s helping me a lot. (KALL, 1280, Utah Jazz)
Meanwhile, if you were wondering why Brandon Rush didn’t play, you weren’t alone. So was Brandon Rush.
(Rush later deleted the first tweet.)
** Enes Kanter on donating 200-plus toys to Toys for Tots
I’m a Turkey Klaus today!
** Enes Kanter
[American] kids really likes Christmas, so I just wanna give, you know, like a gift and just get them toys…Christmas is really special for them, and it’s a special day for them, and it’s a really good feeling to put a smile on their face.
** Kanter on which toy is his favorite
My favorite is probably this one, SpongeBob. You know, it’s always been my favorite…I used to watch it, like, almost everyday.
** Kanter, asked if he’s Muslim, right?
Yes, I am Muslim, yes…Not religion, we just have to be helping everybody. You know, I mean, you know, for Americans, ’cause it’s something really important. And ’cause, I’m thinking about, like, if somebody did something for, in my religion, in, on my, like, special days, I’ll be so happy. So I’m just doing something for them.
Random Stuff, etc.
** Announced attendance: 17,555. So, 1,005 more than the last game.
** The Millsap pink grandma went from not having a jersey in the first game of this season to having a new (and unindentified) pink jersey by the 16th game of the season. Perhaps due to the pain (and cost) of losing Paul Millsap, she decided to go custom and avoid future pain (and cost)?
** Trey Burke had 0 points and 4 “assits” at one point in the second half (H/T @5kl).
** Wesley Matthews (and Damian Lillard) went over to the Jazz bench to shake hands with all the coaches (even the new ones Wes doesn’t even know) at the end of the game.
Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines of the Night (UDQM)
** Brandon Rush (H/T @5kl):
** Gordon Hayward on Damian Lillard: He’s such a good shooter, you have to respect that. And you know, then you get up on him and he’s able to take it to the hole and he finishes pretty well.
** Trey Burke: If a guy does get going, you know, obviously that mindset, that competitive mindset comes out, you wanna go back at him.
** Matt Harpring on Richard Jefferson foul replay: He does hit it. There’s no question about it.
** Craig Bolerjack: Down goes Alec. Harpring: Right now, he has a one-track mind.
** Harpring on Burks: It’s amazing how he contorts his body and how he can finish at the rim. (H/T @seanp33)
** Harpring: Two-handed, kiss the rim baby. (H/T @seanp33)
** Boler: Kanter rides the back of Aldridge. Aldridge on a pump, turn around, tough shot, falls away, rims out. Lopez, over the back of Evans. Harpring: He’s just bigger than Evans. At 7 feet, Lopez is a monster down low.
** Boler: Jeremy Evans pops the rim and fills up the lane!
** Boler: Aldridge wants the ball. Slides inside, behind the back to Matthews.