No grades from this game, even though I was thoroughly entertained. The only thing that needs to be remembered for posterity is the Jeremy Evans Block/Dunk/Steal end-to-end-to-end play shown above.
The boxscore shows that the Jazz missed a lot of free throws (20-31) and missed a lot of open shots (33-81) and probably only stayed in the game due to hitting eight threes (shoutout to John Hollinger). Randy Foye lead the team in scoring with with 17 in his return to Staples, and Enes Kanter again lead the team in rebounds with nine. Check the nice writeup by Kevin Arnovitz.
Even though the Clippers were fresh off a big trip to China, it looked like the Jazz were the jet-lagged team. Lots of fumbled catches, poor passes, silly turnovers, and defensive lapses. In other words, it was a very preseasony preseason game from an execution standpoint. What I liked, however, was the chippy vibe. It may have been a meaningless exhibition, but I liked the way Blake Griffin and Paul Millsap were going at each other like it was a playoff game. I’ve been saying for a minute that the Clippers are more unlikable than the Lakers, and Wednesday’s game seemed to show that the Jazz players feel similarly. With all the Griffin faces and complaining and whining, it’s remarkable that no one just walks up and slaps him, just to tell him to snap out of it.
That’s not to say I don’t enjoy watching Griffin and Chris Paul do their thing–I just don’t think anyone wants to watch Griffin transform his on-court persona into a horrible amalgamation of the worst parts of Tim Duncan’s incredulous stare, Kevin Garnett’s intimidation tactics and bullying, and Chris Paul’s victim playing and flopping. Come on, Blake. You’re better than this.
The only upside to his nonsense is the budding rivalry between the two teams. Luckily for us, the two teams meet again on Saturday in Salt Lake. Can’t wait.