The Jazz, continuing their recent trend, play well at the beginning, sucked in the middle, and woke up in the end, overcoming injuries galore to hold off the Bucks, 105-94. It wasn’t easy though. Andrew Bogut had 16 points and 20 boards (!), putting to end (at least for a day) the thought that the Jazz had the advantage inside. He was 6-13 from the field and 4-6 from the line, and you have to think that if Luke Ridnour wasn’t too busy clanking three 3-pointers, he might’ve looked for Bogut more. Considering that Bogut was totally dominating the revolving door that the Jazz call interior defense, you think the Bucks would’ve considered it. Richard Jefferson had 25, and Charlie Bell & Ramon Sessions each had 15 for the Bucks. So yeah, the Jazz got lucky that Bogut didn’t get the ball more, and got lucky that Michael Redd wasn’t playing.
The Jazz actually roared out of the gate against the probably fatigued Bucks, jumping ahead 26-16 after one. But the Bucks mounted a major comeback, jumping ahead by 2 at the half, and keeping that lead after 3. The Jazz finally woke up after that, outscoring the Bucks 31-18 in the final quarter. The Jazz did have one familiar face back in action, but it didn’t end very well.
Player Notes Below
Ronnie Price: He finally showed up. Price stayed away from the long range shots that he so often takes (0-0), made over 50% of his shots (7-13), dropped down 6 assists (to just 1 turnover) while picking up 2 boards and 2 steals… and he played the entire 2nd half (and 40 minutes in all)! Where has this play been all season? I guess he realized this is his time to impress, with the other 2 PGs both out (at least for 1 game).
Ronnie Brewer: A relatively quiet 26 minutes that ended with a 5-11 shooting performance (1-2 from long range) and 12 points. He did have 2 rebounds, and 2 steals to counter his 2 turnovers.
CJ Miles: Another huge game for CJ. He finished the game 8-16 (after missing a couple of shots late that he probably shouldn’t have taken), and went 7-8 from the line to improve his 64% shooting from the line this season. He threw in 2 assists & 1 rebound. Of course, I’m guessing he was responsible on D for Richard Jefferson. That 25 points doesn’t look very good. Luckily CJ had 25 of his own to cancel that out. And he was 2-4 from long range. He’s really come on as of late (offensively, at least). Now for that defense…
Carlos Boozer: He went 9-17 from the field, which is good. He went 2-6 from the line, which isn’t. 20 points, 11 boards, 4 fouls. Nice, but his defense really wasn’t there on Bogut when the team needed him.
Mehmet Okur: He’s back! At least, he’s back physically. I don’t know if it was the fatigue or what, but he finished 0-3 from the field (1 point) in 20 points, picking up 3 fouls and 5 boards. And Bogut, again. It seems like he tried to rush back… something that might not have been necessary.
Andrei Kirilenko: He was just 3-6 from the field (0-0 from long range), but ended up with 16 points. Huge kudos to his 10-12 FT shooting… and Jeff Hornacek, who has obviously helped him a ton with his shooting. No more cringing (too much) when AK shoots a jumper. He finished 1 block & 2 assists short of a 5×5, netting 7 boards, 3 assists, 5 steals & 4 blocks to go along with his 16 points. No question that he’s been the team MVP so far.
Paul Millsap: He tried to keep up with AK. He really did. But unfortunately for him, it’s AK. ‘Sap only got 8 points (on 3-4 shooting). He matched AK with 7 boards, 3 assists & 2 TOs. Instead of 5 steals & 4 blocks though, he ended up with 5 blocks (!) and 5 fouls (not good). He only went to the line twice, meaning that the team still isn’t complaining to the league about how often he gets hammered by opponents. 5 blocks though! That’s half of the Jazz total, and 4 more than the entire Bucks team!
Kyle Korver: He’s really been struggling this season. That probably explains his decline in minutes (just 15 last night). He did go 1-1 from the field (a 2-pointer) and 3-3 from the line, finishing with 5 points & 2 assists. Yeah… a real quiet night for him.
Matt Harpring: He sucks. He did score 2 points though, and somehow managed an assist & a steal. He’s still done though.
Kosta Koufos: He didn’t get nearly enough time, especially given the struggles of Okur. He finished with just 1 rebound and 1 foul in 8 minutes. Oh, and a +/- of +7. Just FYI.
Morris Almond: He was the first player off of the bench for the Jazz! And after that 6 minute stretch, he didn’t see the court again. He finished with a +/- of +9, and 1 board. That’s it.
The Jazz finished the night shooting 51%, to 44% for the Bucks. And they went 3-6 from long range (6-16 for the Bucks), and shot 78% from the FT line (in 36 attempts). The Bucks committed only 27 fouls (to the 36 they committed the night before in Denver). The Jazz did lose the battle of the boards though, 41-37 (and 12-6 offensively). On the plus side, the defense of the Jazz resulted in 11 steals & 10 blocks (to 2 and 1 for the Bucks). And the most important stat… the Jazz had more points at the end.
Up next… a road date tomorrow night in San Antonio. That’s not looking good. The Spurs are coming off of a home loss to the Nuggets yesterday. The Jazz haven’t won in San Antonio since the invention of sliced bread (slight exaggeration). The Jazz can’t win on the road, as they proved last week. The Spurs will be without Tony Parker & Manu Ginobili. The Jazz could be without Brevin Knight, Deron Williams, Booze (injured yesterday, extent not yet known), Kyle Korver (he’s been hurting all season) and Jarron Collins (No Knees will be available tomorrow, but not for the 2nd part of the back-to-back, in Memphis). The game tomorrow could end up being a very, very ugly game. Luckily, I’ve got myself You Don’t Mess With The Zohan, Vantage Point & Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy to watch… should I be able to finish studying for my test (yeah right). I wonder if the game is going to be on KJZZ? I’m guessing no.