So it goes in the NBA: The Jazz win big on Wednesday in Salt Lake over the Memphis Grizzlies, and then turn around and lose to the same team on the road on Friday.
Ignoring the horrible CJ Miles oh-fer, punctuated by his miss on the final play, I saw a few things I liked. The most important being the emergence of a nasty Booze, even if it did happen to be directed toward a guy half his size:
The physical defense from Utah caused a confrontation with 1:21 left in the game, when Boozer fouled Conley hard when the Memphis guard drove to the basket. Conley was on the court trying to recover, and Randolph was jawing at Boozer about the foul. Later, Randolph said he was protecting his teammate. “You foul one of my players hard, I’ve got to say something to you,” Randolph said.
Conley hit one of the two ensuing free throws to tie the game at 87, and the Jazz wouldn’t lead again, although Utah tied it at 89 on Brewer’s dunk before Mayo’s game-winning jumper.
“Utah is one of the most physical teams in the league,” Conley said, shifting his sore body. “They scratch, they claw, they foul, they do a lot of dirty stuff. But that’s they way they play, so you get used to it.”
Apparently Mike Conley thinks Harpring is still on the team. The current version of the Jazz hasn’t scratched or clawed anything in months, let alone play dirty. They’d ruin their tuxedos! Anyway, it was nice to see that Jazz get nasty again. I don’t mind watching losses when they come with effort, and tonight I saw some effort.