MVP (Most Valuable Player):
Gordon Hayward had a breakout game, going for 23 points on 8-12 shooting to go along with 5 assists in 35 minutes. He also continued his trend of picking up the toughest defensive assignment, doing a great job on Rudy Gay for most of the night.
After struggling with slow starts, the Jazz first team finally got out to a strong start with plenty of energy from the starters. It was encouraging to see a little extra step, especially considering it was the first night of their first back-to-back-to-back on the road. The halftime lead was the first for the Jazz this season on the road.
After visiting the National Civil Rights Museum the day before, the Jazz played with new purpose and energy.
That was not easy on the eyes.
The Memphis Tams went defunct for reasons that probably included poor jersey design. The throwback jerseys and Tam O’Shanter hats in the crowd made for a fun atmosphere but haven’t been good luck for the Grizz. (See the picture at the bottom of this post for more Tam O’Shanter goodness. I also love the cardigans that teams are wearing on retro nights.)
|Gordon Hayward, SG
35 MIN | 8-12 FG | 5-5 FT | 1 REB | 5 AST | 23 PTS | +9
Hayward took a nasty fall after a fast break dunk but somehow shook it off played his best overall game of the season. He’s at his best when he isn’t thinking and just plays. When he puts it all together it’s easy to start seeing glimpses of his muse Manu Ginobili. On this night Hayward was truly The Butler, too, setting up his teammates with 5 assists.
|Paul Millsap, PF
35 MIN | 7-11 FG | 2-3 FT | 8 REB | 4 AST | 16 PTS | +12
Another quietly brilliant game from Millsap.
|Al Jefferson, C
34 MIN | 10-17 FG | 1-1 FT | 15 REB | 4 AST | 21 PTS | +8
A season high in rebounds, some excellent passing, and getting buckets in signature fashion all made for a great night from Jefferson.
|Raja Bell, SG
26 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-1 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 10 PTS | +6
Bell seemed to hit shots at pivotal moments
|Devin Harris, PG
28 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 3 AST | 9 PTS | +5
Brought nice energy to start the game but faded in the second half. Still, I liked the effort enough in the beginning I’m giving out an A+, just because I enjoyed the win that much.
|Derrick Favors, FC
16 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | +1
It was a rough night for Favors. Other than a nice connection with Al Jefferson for a dunk and a strong finish on a baseline move, there were too many moments where Favors looked completely lost on the low block. He has a lot of potential, but before people get carried away with All-Star talk, he needs to have a few games where he’s al least the best Jazz player on the floor. This wasn’t one.
|Enes Kanter, F
12 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-1 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -1
At this point in his young career, Kanter is a rebounding specialist. As soon as he learns to beast around the rim and finish with any kind of authority, his game will improve dramatically. There were too many moments when his soft attempts at lay-ups were either blocked, contested, or simply missed. Dunk that ball, young man!
|Earl Watson, PG
20 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 5 AST | 0 PTS | +5
I’m giving Watson the benefit of the doubt because he’s still playing through injuries and probably shouldn’t even be dressing to play yet.
|C.J. Miles, SF
15 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 6 PTS | +4
This game was a microcosm of CJ’s career. Just when you think he’s washed up, he surprises with a solid fourth quarter performance.
|Josh Howard, SF
15 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | 0
The disturbing descent into #LOLHoward territory isn’t a trend any of us want to see continue.
|Alec Burks, G
5 MIN | 0-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 PTS | +1
Finally, after four consecutive DNPs, Burks made a quick guest appearance. Understandably, he looked rusty. Here’s hoping Coach Corbin can find ways for Burks and Jeremy Evans to get into the games, if even for a brief stint.