02-01-2014, 09:24 PM
NBA Legend and Hall of Famer
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Midvale, Utah, U.S.A.
Re: Jerry Sloan steps down, leaves Utah Jazz! Era is over!
On the night when the Miller family and Jazz organization raised Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan's banner to rafters they were playing against arguably their biggest current rivals, the Golden State Warriors, coached by ex-Jazz player Mark Jackson.
Their biggest rivals? I'd say Denver.
A big-time shot by Diante Garrett sent the Jazz into halftime up seven and the emotion started pouring into EnergySolutions Arena. Halftime featured former Jazz players from Karl Malone and John Stockton to Howard Eisley and current coach Tyrone Corbin honoring Sloan. The team looked like it was honoring Sloan, but in the end the team couldn't win one for the former coach.
Sloan has a bunch of old reliable quotes that he used when games didn't go in his favor. He always said the Jazz couldn't "jackpot around," "can't play in tuxedos" and "no one is going to feel sorry for us."
Can't jackpot around
This idea is all about effort. Anyone who has listened to Corbin talk after games a common theme in Utah's losses is effort. The Jazz had the Warriors, were on the second night of a back-to-back, on the ropes.
The Jazz weathered the early run and Garrett sparked the Jazz to that big lead at halftime and the Jazz held on to much of that lead into the fourth quarter.
Then in the fourth the Warriors picked up their energy and outscored the Jazz 29-19 in the fourth. The short-handed Jazz were up nine when Rudy Gobert hit a pair of free throws. When Andrew Bogut and Steph Curry returned to the game the Warriors picked up their energy.
Golden State executed its offense at the end of the game, while the Jazz turned the ball over and forced bad shots.
Gordon Hayward and Trey Burke had horrible games. Their poor play might not have been about their energy, but they were certainly jackpotting around.
“Yeah it was pretty awful, especially for me,” Hayward said. “Good thing we have one tomorrow to try and get this out of our memory.”
Hayward turned the ball over eight times and scored eight points. In the entire month of January previous to this game he had 15 total turnovers. He's averaged 2.8 turnovers per game this season and just 1.6 in his career.
Better get rid of him!
Burke couldn't stay on the court and fouled out for the first time in his career. His 22 minutes are the fourth-fewest of his career as a starter. While Burke was on the Warriors outscored the Jazz by 29 points.
The Warriors scored 24 points off 19 turnovers.
Can't play in a tuxedo
The difference in this game was offensive rebounds, especially in the fourth quarter. The Jazz had six offensive rebounds in the game, while the Warriors had seven in the last 10 minutes of the game.
It's often said that rebounding is about desire and work. The Jazz needed to get inside scrap, fight and be in position to limit Curry's chances, which they didn't do. Curry got extra shots off turnovers and offensive rebounds to allow him to shoot 26 times and score 44 points.
The seven offensive rebounds lead to six points (the Jazz lost by five points).
The Jazz started playing “hero ball” at the end of the game instead of relying on teammates, setting hard screens and getting good looks. Case in point was Burke taking a 29-foot 3-pointer with 22 seconds left and the Jazz down five.
A hard drive and lay up by the Jazz would have cut the lead to three, maybe get a foul and it goes to two. Then the Jazz can at least extend the game, while it might have been a long shot to make up those points at least the Jazz would have had a shot.
They won't feel sorry for us
Yes, the Jazz were without Derrick Favors and Marvin Williams, and Jeremy Evans was injured early on after a very good first half. Add in an ailing Burke and Richard Jefferson and the Jazz were missing a lot of talent.
Could the Jazz have turned this game around with Favors? Well, his ability to guard the pick-and-roll could have turned the tide. His defensive rebounding ability could have stopped some offensive rebounds in the fourth. While not using newly signed Malcolm Thomas for 11 minutes could have been big.
Kanter and Favors might not have been able to play together against the smaller lineup that the Warriors were using, but Williams would have replaced Evans to guard the smaller Harrison Barnes and create a different matchup. Williams' ability to spread the floor has allowed Burke to play better by allowing him to open up the floor.
“I'm proud of the effort and focus,” Corbin said.
Gobert came in and played an admirable, if not spectacular at times game. He length disrupted the Warriors offense when the attacked, but his offensive deficiencies also hurt the Jazz. He is still young and is working on his game, but the signs were there.
Alec Burks was easily the best player for the Jazz, and that is starting to happen more and more. He scored 26 points on 14 shots. His ability to get to the rim with spectacular finishes makes him deadly with the ball in his hands.
“It was tough, we were down a few players, Derrick, Marvin and Jeremy got hurt, but we fought hard, just they won the game tonight,” Burks said.
Garrett might have been the next best player. His length helped while defending Curry and he was shooting very well. He scored 13 points in his 26 minutes and the Jazz outscored the Warriors by 24 points while he was on the court.
The Warriors were without David Lee and won't feel bad about beating the Jazz who were less than 100 percent. The Jazz had their shot and fell short.
For a while it seemed like the Jazz would get a victory to cap off one of the greatest nights Jazz fans had seen in years. They were in control of a better team for most of the night. It looked like a fairy tale ending for the night, but unfortunately for the Jazz sports don't follow the feel-good plot.