Jazz 96 – Clippers 105

March 31st, 2012 | by Jackson Rudd
Utah Jazz 96 Final
Recap | Box Score
105 Los Angeles Clippers
Paul Millsap, PF 30 MIN | 6-14 FG | 6-6 FT | 9 REB | 5 AST | 18 PTS | -1

For Paul Millsap’s sake, let’s disregard his defensive performance for the moment and just agree that an 18-9-5 game is very respectable and that this game would have been a lot uglier if he didn’t keep the offense churning.

C.J. Miles, SF 26 MIN | 4-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | -7

He gets bonus points just because his back-to-back threes with two minutes left in the game made the score look much better. Besides, when is the last time you saw a Jazz player make back-to-back threes?

Al Jefferson, C 37 MIN | 13-22 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 26 PTS | -2

Black Hole Warning: 26 points on 21 shots without a single free throw. He only got 3 rebounds against DeAndre Jordan’s 10, but in his defense, there weren’t a ton of rebounds to go around since L.A. was shooting 56% from the field. Oh wait, that’s not in his defense at all.

Devin Harris, PG 30 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 5 PTS | -7

Okay, Chris Paul is good, but Chris Paul isn’t THAT good. Getting outscored by 20 by your counterpart is never a good sign.

Gordon Hayward, SG 37 MIN | 4-12 FG | 6-9 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 14 PTS | -4

Pretty run-of-the-mill post-All-Star game from Gordy. Little did we know that his slick steal and fast-break and-one at the beginning of the first quarter would be the high water mark for the Jazz.

Earl Watson, PG 18 MIN | 1-3 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | -2

‘That awkward moment when you realize that Jamaal Tinsley is better equipped to lead the bench than the fan-favorite backup point guard.’

DeMarre Carroll, F 11 MIN | 0-3 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 1 PTS | -5

Remember when the Jazz signed Carroll and his field goal percentage was something outrageous, like 70% or so? I suppose it was doomed to not last. He’s still a braided ball of energy all the same and even though he might be making some mistakes, he certainly isn’t being outworked on the floor.

Derrick Favors, FC 18 MIN | 1-3 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 5 PTS | -8

What do you do the night after you set the franchise record for most field goal attempts without a make (at 13)? You only take three shots, that’s what. Favors did look a little bit more timid tonight but he was still crashing the boards hard.

Alec Burks, G 22 MIN | 1-7 FG | 1-3 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 3 PTS | -2

After the hot streak he has been on the past few games, a rough shooting night was inevitable. At least he got his money’s worth from his one field goal with a crazy-fast slash to the hoop in transition.

Enes Kanter, F 11 MIN | 3-3 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | -7

Kanter continues to climb over his rookie wall with his second 3-3 game in the last three outings. Do you realize what that means? That means that no one blocked his shot in the entire 11 minutes he was on the floor! For Enes, that in and of itself is worthy of an A-.

Three Things We Saw

  1. The Clippers may very well be the most talented non-Contender I have ever witnessed. I know that Vinny Del Negro is catching a lot of flak these days for the Clippers ups and downs, but I can’t imagine he’s the one responsible for teaching half of their players to fall over themselves in epileptic seizures anytime a player comes within 3 feet of them in the hopes of drawing a foul. The Spurs have had a well-established rep for flopping, especially if you go back a few years, but at least they always had the toughness to back it up (and the Europeans to allow the rest of us to rationalize it). The Clippers give me the impression that they are doing everything they can to avoid having to play tough defense or make hustle plays by trying to get a whistle whenever things get hard.
  2. This really deserves to be an entire post all its own, but can you imagine a more ill-fitting parallel than that between second-year Blake Griffin and second-year Karl Malone? It appears that sometimes the numbers do, in fact, lie.
  3. My favorite broadcasting moment of the night (well, besides Harpring’s thinly veiled disdain for everything the Clippers stood for, even drawing parallels between Griffin’s flopping ballet and fake soccer injuries in the World Cup) came when Matt Harpring glowingly talked up a 20-foot jumper that Hayward missed in the first quarter. Hayward had just curled off of a screen and missed the open catch-and-shoot opportunity, and Harpring spent the next couple of possessions talking about what a great shot it was and how much Hayward will grow to love those shots, as if the entire audience didn’t remember that those catch-and-shoot jumpers off of screens single-handedly extended Harpring’s career by three years.

Jackson Rudd

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