November 10, 2009 -
Word has officially gotten out. The Jazz can’t play against a zone. Oh, and there’s no such thing as a safe lead for them. At least they managed to hang on for the victory this time, albeit just barely.
The Jazz led by as much as 21 points early in the 3rd quarter and held a 14-point advantage heading into the 4th, but once again blew their seemingly safe margin and almost choked away the game. New York rookie, Toney Douglas, missed a shot at the buzzer that would have forced overtime, and the Jazz held on to win 95-93.
Game ball goes to: Andrei Kirilenko. His 5 3-pointers were the only thing that kept the Jazz alive against the Knicks’ zone. If he doesn’t hit those shots, the Jazz lose. Andrei finished the game with 23 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, and a block.
Stat of the game: Utah had 19 turnovers against New York but only gave up 16 points as a result of those. The Knicks only coughed up 10 turnovers, but the Jazz managed to convert those into 16 points.
Highlight: Carlos Boozer had another nice outing, scoring 23 points on 10 of 14 shooting, and grabbing 14 rebounds. If he can keep doing this, he may actually develop some trade value…
Lowlight: Deron Williams and Ronnie Price were both injured in the game. Price sprained his big toe in the 2nd quarter and did not return. Williams hurt his back in the 2nd quarter and said he would have sat out had Price not already been injured. Deron was clearly in pain and only made 2 of 10 shots for 5 points. He did, however, dish out a season-high 16 assists. I hope he can play on Wednesday in Boston.
Other items of note:
- The Knicks played a zone defensealmost exclusively beginning part way through the 1st quarter. The Jazz shot 67% (8 of 12) prior to the zone, but only shot 42% from that point on. If I’m an opposing coach, I would play little else until the Jazz prove they can handle. So far, all they’ve managed to prove it something most of us already knew: this team desperately needs more shooters.
- Paul Millsap’s struggles continued, as he only managed 4 points on 1 of 5 shooting in 24 minutes of play. I'm not exactly sure what's wrong with Sap. Tought to say how much Boozer's unexpected presence is effecting him. I just hope he snaps out of it soon.
- Despite the frustration of another blown lead, this win was particularly sweet. My two favorite teams this season are the Jazz and whoever is playing the Knicks. Every New York loss brings the Jazz one step closer to a high lottery pick in next summer’s draft!