With no Deron Williams and still without CJ Miles and Kyle Korver, I have to admit that I didn’t expect the Jazz to come up with one of their most exciting games of the year.
Little Eric Maynor had a breakout game with 24 points and even got a little post-game pep talk from LeBron, who was clearly impressed with the rookie’s effort. The Jazz actually had started two rookies, with Wesley Matthews continuing to impress. Both Maynor and Matthews were on the floor in crunch time as the Jazz very nearly pulled off the upset against the Cavs.
The game ended oddly as Andrei Kirilenko missed wildly on a long three taken off an in-bounds play more than 20 seconds left on the shot clock. I’m not much of a wins and losses kind of guy — all I ask for is that, to paraphrase ‘Sheed, both teams play hard. This game was probably the best I’ve ever felt after a Jazz loss. Other than a few strange plays down the stretch and a poor first quarter, the Jazz showed me something and it was encouraging to see. Hopefully we’ll get more of the same tonight against the Raptors.