Let’s let Earl Watson’s words after the game serve as the balm to heal after a tough, tough loss. It’s your team, Earl.
On the technical foul and scuffle with Nowitzki:
“…apparently it’s the second one that counts. Next time I’ll try to be first.”
If he’s encouraged by the fight shown by the team:
“I’m not into moral victories, man. I’m into wins and losses; I don’t care about stats, I don’t care about anything but winning and losing. You couldn’t pay me enough money to be happy to lose, so…
On whether he was standing up for Favors:
“Yeah, a little bit of that, a little bit of believing he would do the same thing. We move forward–it’s a tough loss…it’s pretty bad.”
On whether he was trying to set an example for the younger players:
“I’m not trying to show anybody anything. I am who I am, and whether it’s good or bad, I’m just going to be myself. My teammates are like my brothers. I love all my teammates, I love my team. It’s like protecting your house, you know. We’ve all gotta be respectful. Be respectful; if not–whatever happens, happens.”
Was it as good a crowd as he’s seen here?
“The crowd was good, the crowd is always good here. I wish we could have sent them home with a win. It would have been big for us, momentum-wise.”
On what separates the top teams from the rest:
“Belief. Belief is strong. Once we start believing we can be as good as we can be, which is great. You don’t get to be second in the West by accident, and you know, when you get it you want to maintain it, when you get it, you want to be first. And once we get that mantra as a team, we’re going to be strong. Belief is stronger than reality.
|Paul Millsap, PF
40 MIN | 6-16 FG | 4-4 FT | 13 REB | 2 AST | 16 PTS | +1
Solid play from Millsap, but seemed to be spooked by the long arms of Haywood and Nowitzki. The Mavs cause all kinds of problems for the Jazz, so it was good to see them fight through the first-half deficit and make an exciting game of it.
|Gordon Hayward, SG
27 MIN | 4-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 9 PTS | -5
Not a great game from Hayward, but his breakaway dunks seemed to exorcise a few demons and got the team rolling. It’s fun to see him attack the basket with confidence. Hopefully we see more of that and less of the “pick-and-nothing” guy who forces the offense to restart.
|Al Jefferson, C
32 MIN | 8-18 FG | 6-8 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 22 PTS | 0
Had a few moments of brilliance and several more where he kicked the ball out and got it back several times in the same possession as he improved is position, but also spent several other possessions reverting to his tendency to burn the entire shot clock and throw up his famous “wheazy.” TM @allthatamar
|Raja Bell, SG
26 MIN | 2-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | -1
Another feisty night from Raja, which seems to rubbing off on the team in a good way. Even though there were moments when in looked like the Jazz were spending too much time complaining and losing focus, the rough-and-tumble
|Devin Harris, PG
24 MIN | 0-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 1 PTS | -3
Just a terrible game all the way around for Harris. His overthrown pass to Hayward on a breakaway and his airballed 3-pointer were horrible moments to come up empty against his old team. Corbin was clearly kicking himself after the game for not riding Earl down the stretch.
|Earl Watson, PG
24 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 5 PTS | 0
Tough to tell from his line that Earl was the heart and soul of the team on the night. His scuffle with Nowitzki set the tone.
|C.J. Miles, SF
22 MIN | 5-11 FG | 6-6 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 17 PTS | +5
Another strong game from CJ Miles. He seems to be getting comfortable with his role and is making the most of his moments. Probably should have been awarded an extra 10-15 points for the spectacular crossover and dunk in traffic that he pulled off in the first half. One of the most ferocious dunks of the year.
|Derrick Favors, FC
10 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | 0
The ejection for Favors was a tough break for Favors. Didn’t deserve the foul call, definitely deserved a technical for his reaction, didn’t deserve to get thrown out. Rules are rules, but it seemed like a stretch to accuse him of throwing the ball in the stands, if that’s what the referees decided.
|Alec Burks, G
22 MIN | 3-6 FG | 3-3 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | -2
I tweeted during the game that Burks is the Jazz’s version of JR Smith, in all the right ways. I’m talking about the fearlessness and the sparkpluggedness. His confidence sometimes gets him in trouble, such as when he took a play off to complain about a call, but it serves this team well because he’s never afraid to take a shot or make something happen.
Five Things We Saw
- Referee Matt Boland gets an F for mishandling the Nowitzki stuff. The rule cited for the automatic ejection was that the ball was thrown either toward an official or toward the crowd. Neither seemed to be the case from my perspective. Probably deserved a technical, but definitely not an ejection.
- Dirk Nowitzki gets a T.
- The crowd gets an A.
- Roddy Beaubois gets an A, and a spot in the shine of no-name players who have career nights against the Jazz.
- If Enes Kanter puts the ball on the floor in the paint one more time…