The Jazz took jab after jab from the Pacers and were right there before being knocked out down the stretch 95-86. This was a hard one to watch. Jazz played really well the entire game and wanted to see them pull it out, but knowing a loss in the long run is probably better for the team. This was a "best of both worlds" game for the Jazz. Hopefully they were able to learn a bit from the Pacers, how to be a gritty hard nosed team. Lets recap.....
- The Jazz defense and execution early was fantastic!
- Jazz had a number of deflections in the first half. Very active in the passing lanes.
- Ty called a time out at the 2:19 mark in the first, Jazz were up 5 at the time but were slipping. Well called timeout, gave the guys a quick breather.
- Jazz win the first quarter 23-17
- Brandon Rush checked in during the 2nd quarter, hit his first jumper from the elbow. Good for his confidence.
- Team rebounding in the first half was really good.
- Lance Stephenson has really improved, but is still throwing up garbage that is going in???
- Rudy Gobert got some run in the 2nd and there was some definite rust. Paired with Kanter and looked a little bit lost.
- Alec Burks had a really good first half, and a strong game over all.
- This play stood out....Jazz on defense, 5 minute mark of the 2nd quarter, ball is above the 3 pt line on the left side, Jazz over play defensively not allowing Stephenson to go right. Tries to go right 3 times stopped every time, completely disrupts Indiana offense. The end up with a forced shot and miss. Fantastic team defense.
- Jazz close out the 2nd quarter rough...lead at half 48-47.
- Jazz transition offense made all the difference in the world. Indiana is not good in transition. Bigs don't get up and down the floor well.
- 3rd quarter the Jazz looked tired, but continued to battle.
- All the minutes that Richard Jefferson logged early in the season have taken their toll, he just doesn't have any legs right now.
- Kanter played the way he is expected to. Had a really good game, finished with 20 pts 10 rebs.
- Derrick Favors is going to be a steal at 11 million a year. His development is really taking off. Played like a MAN tonight.
- Favors got "jobbed" on his 4th and 5th foul calls. He clearly blocked Hibbert under the basket got called for his 4th. The 5th was a box out on Hibbert, should have been a no call.
All together there are a lot of positives to be take from this game. The Jazz took everything the Pacers had and gave some back to them, they played tough. Two things came to mind as I was watching this game, one: the talent disparity is not as bad as many Jazz fans think. I think the first of the season not having a legit point guard made the talent that this team does have look really bad. Now with Trey back its almost a completely different team. If you look at the numbers for all the players and the efficiency numbers, they have increased remarkably. Two, the Jazz may win a lot more games than people think or may want. The Eastern Conference is so bad. Luckily, the Jazz play in the west and will have to battle the majority of the season. If they were in the Eastern Conference, I would say the Jazz are making the playoffs. Jazz are back at it Friday night in Portland. Not getting any easier...