|Paul Millsap, PF 38 MIN | 8-15 FG | 0-2 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 17 PTS | 0
Is there any trait of this Jazz team more perplexing than Millsap’s buzzer-beating three-point stroke? It just doesn’t make any sense. He’s a 21.4% shooter from beyond the arc this year, and yet everyone still expects him to make threes at the buzzer… and he does. It blows my mind.
|DeMarre Carroll, F 22 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -1
Carroll seems to experience bouts of unadulterated energy followed by stretches in which it would be difficult to remember that he is still on the floor if not for his unmistakable dreads. Tonight provided more of the first, and his defense early on was notably effective.
|Al Jefferson, C 37 MIN | 10-17 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 4 AST | 20 PTS | 0
Al was on fire for awhile and was largely responsible for the big third quarter. His defense was characteristically suspect, but he was distributing the ball on offense and his jumper was falling.
|Devin Harris, PG 36 MIN | 7-16 FG | 4-6 FT | 1 REB | 6 AST | 20 PTS | +2
When the game was tied at 82 with almost 8 minutes remaining, Harris went on a three-possession stretch of taking really questionable shots that he couldn’t get to drop- one was even on a fast break. While he played his heart out for the rest of the game, that stretch really killed Utah’s chance to pull away late.
|Gordon Hayward, SG 37 MIN | 4-10 FG | 7-7 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 17 PTS | -5
I feel like people should be talking more about how bizarre it is that in both of his first two seasons, Hayward started without any consistent ability to shoot from range and finished both seasons as a hesitance-free . Is this normal? Has anyone seen this before? What are we supposed to expect at the beginning of next season?
|Jamaal Tinsley, PG 12 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 2 PTS | -7
Tinsley is fun to watch, but once the shine wears off, it is clear that he gambles on defense all the time. That is probably because it seems like it is really hard for him to stick his man on defense for longer stretches of playing time. His fourth quarter stretch was so short in part because his defensive lapses were causing mismatches that were getting Memphis some easy buckets.
|Blake Ahearn, PG 5 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | 0
Ahearn’s first minutes back in the NBA showed him playing with a surprising level of comfort. His fast-break assist to Burks had a high level of difficulty and he made it look effortless. That said, if I had told you this morning that Blake Ahearn would take the final shot tonight, you probably would have thought, “That can’t be good.” You would have been correct.
|Derrick Favors, FC 28 MIN | 4-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 14 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | -5
Derrick Favors put up a mean line tonight, but it didn’t do justice to what a force he was on defense. It is hard to complain when Jefferson and Millsap are your starters, but Derrick Favors is indisputably a starting-caliber player at this point.
|Alec Burks, G 13 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -4
I’m not sure what Burks is doing to inspire the coaching staff to only keep him in for 13 minutes, but I wish he would get through it. He has a tool set that no one else on the Jazz can replicate, so it hurts the team when he can’t stay on the floor. The Harris-Tinsley backcourt is interesting, but it isn’t actually effective.
|Enes Kanter, F 11 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -5
For someone who makes rebounding his claim to fame as a rookie, you hope for him to, you know, actually get rebounds. Still, his jump-hook to start the fourth quarter was beautiful and he guarded Gasol as tightly as anyone could expect.