my inner “Jazz are weak” side Steve Luhm…
Watching the Jazz’s 100-93 loss at Atlanta on television, I once again had to laugh about their reputation as a physical team, which always seems to be discussed when opposing players and coaches are asked about Utah.
When he played, coach Jerry Sloan was tougher than a cheap steak.
When he played, Karl Malone was as physical and intimidating as any player in league history.
When he played, John Stockton was a tough and physical as possible for a 175-pound point guard.
Those days are long gone, however, and this team is not physical or intimidating. In fact, the Jazz’s lack of physical toughness is the one thing they lack that other top-tier teams possess.
As Luhm brought up…
— With 9:47 left in the second quarter, Zaza Pachulia drove to the basket and, while attempting to create some space for a layup, he hit Paul Millsap square in the face with an elbow.
— With 6:05 left in the third quarter, Deron Williams drove to the basket and had his layup blocked by Al Horford, who kicked his leg out on the play and hit Williams in the sternum with a karate-like shot.
— At the end of the third quarter, Ronnie Brewer beat the clock with a layup. Atlanta’s Josh Smith was trailing the play but caught up with Brewer as he released the shot. Smith ran through Brewer and landed on top of him as time expired. Brewer crashed to the floor and cut his lip.
Yeah… ‘physical’ doesn’t begin to describe the Jazz.
The Jazz are off again tonight, before looking to start a new winning streak with a back-to-back in Miami (tomorrow) and Orlando (Sunday).