Phoenix 120 – Utah 111

March 15th, 2012 | by Jackson Rudd
Utah Jazz 111 Final

Recap | Box Score

120 Phoenix Suns
Josh Howard, SF 26 MIN | 3-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -18He was simply terrible tonight. In a game that was strictly defense-free, he went an apalling 3-12 from the field, played with no energy, and gave up points to whoever was willing to challenge him. I hate to pin the loss on one guy, but if you’re looking at the box score, how can’t you?
Paul Millsap, PF 34 MIN | 8-16 FG | 2-3 FT | 10 REB | 3 AST | 18 PTS | -24One of the greatest nostalgic elements of this year’s Jazz team are those nights when Paul Millsap is really hitting the boards hard and reminds us all of when he was a rookie and that was pretty much all he could do.
Al Jefferson, C 29 MIN | 8-18 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 18 PTS | -14You know, a 8-18 game is redeemable in most games, but tonight I really expected more. He could have dominated Robin Lopez whenever he wished to do so and used the match-up advantages he was getting all night to open up his teammates, but he was in black-hole mode and didn’t help his team at all beyond scoring. Oh, and his defense was terrible.
Raja Bell, SG 21 MIN | 3-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | -14This was the definition of a prototypical “Raja Bell pretty good game.” He didn’t have a lot of presence on the floor, though he made open jumpers and didn’t appear to derail the team by openly feuding with Ty Corbin… Which is a good night for him.
Devin Harris, PG 17 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 7 PTS | -10Devin Harris was playing well enough, but getting into foul trouble was not okay in a game when Earl Watson went down early. The Jazz needed a big game from Harris and he had to spend most of it riding the pine because of pointless reach-in fouls.
Jamaal Tinsley, PG 23 MIN | 5-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 8 AST | 11 PTS | -9What fascinates me about Jamaal is that 4 times out of 5, he’ll run the offense beautifully, and then the fifth time, he plays like he’s trying to pump his stats on NBA 2K12. Great game from him tonight though. He worked Sebastian Telfair over until the mid-4th quarter when it looked like he started to get a little worn out.
Earl Watson, PG 8 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 0 PTS | +10I’ve got nothing against Tinsley tonight, he was great, but Earl was ruling over the court for his 8 minutes. Grabbing 3 boards and 5 assists in 8 minutes compensated enough to make it endearing when he cranked that strikingly awkward, insecure-looking mid-range jumper.
C.J. Miles, SF 22 MIN | 3-6 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | +9C.J. Miles got 22 minutes tonight and Alec Burks got 0, which is really difficult to fathom. You know things are going rough for you when Matt Harpring gives you props for throwing the ball out of bounds instead of taking a bad shot. At least he only took 6 tonight.
Gordon Hayward, SG 28 MIN | 5-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | +5He looked really confident on offense tonight- he was pushing the ball, filling the lanes and doing everything you could ask him to do. I know I’m not alone when I wish he would kick into take-over mode in games like this, but I can’t complain about his line tonight.
Derrick Favors, FC 21 MIN | 6-8 FG | 2-4 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 14 PTS | +12It seems that Favors woke up at the beginning of this month, rolled out of bed, and said, “You know what? I would be better at basketball if I just stopped missing shots.” And that’s pretty much what he’s done. Against Phoenix’s second unit, he looked like a man among boys. He could do whatever he wanted in the post.
Enes Kanter, F 11 MIN | 4-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | +8One of the more interesting subplots of the season is that Kanter is developing a mid-range game before a legitimate post-up game. I’m choosing to ignore the fact that this is the result of him being the most frequently blocked post player I’ve ever seen and think it’s because the Jazz want more of an inside-out game with him and Favors. Regardless, he was showing some new stuff tonight and creating his own shot and it was very exciting.

Four Things We Saw

  1. Defense after the first quarter: F. Wow. The Jazz were playing a strict “open threes for everybody!” policy, and even better, anyone who wanted to penetrate were granted free passes through the key.
  2. 4 technicals getting handed out: D. Ty Corbin and Devin Harris got dinged for the Jazz, while Alvin Gentry and Shannon Brown got T’d up for the Suns. None of them seemed particularly worthy of technicals by themselves, so when you take the four of them put together? Very questionable.
  3. Jazz 3-point shooting: B. It is definitely on the rise. Utah shot 5 for 13 tonight, good for 38%. That puts them at 12 for 24 across the past two games, which is much better than anyone expects of them at this point.
  4. Larry H. Miller’s Honorary Coach Contest: A. I love everything about these commercials. I love that Ty Corbin has a stoic expression in the picture of him that they keep showing, I love that Ty is also trying to break the record for most unenthusiastic script-reading of all time, and most of all, I love that everyone knows that this is only happening now because fans were too afraid of Jerry Sloan to want to sit next to him.

Jackson Rudd

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