If you missed the impressive display put on by the Utah Jazz last night against the Detroit Pistons, I feel bad for you (even if you’re not a Jazz fan). Watching Utah’s offense was something that would inspire basketball teams all around the globe, young to old, to play the game together as a team. The unselfish style of play that the Jazz showed against the Pistons, en route to a 35-assist night, was truly unbelievable. And not only did they share the ball, but they were very efficient as well. There were plenty of times where a player would receive a pass and fire it instantly, right through the net. Oh, it was poetry in motion.
To try and sum up this game and the current state of the Jazz as efficiently as the Jazz offense played last night, I am going to give you my Jazz Notes.
- Don’t look now, but the Jazz are a vastly improved road team. They now have a record of 17-14 on the road, which is 7th best in the NBA, and they have won 9 out of their last 11 away from ESA. As a team, they have seemed to grow leaps and bounds, and there is no more evidence of that than their road improvement. All of the league’s elite teams are capable of winning on the road because of strong mental toughness and team unity. Going into hostile environments and quieting crowds is not an easy thing to do, and it is reserved for teams that are ready to take that next step as a fully developed team. Based on their recent success on the road, the Utah Jazz have become one of those teams.
- As I mentioned earlier, the Jazz spread the wealth around last night, as they compiled 35 assists against the Pistons. The beneficiaries of those assists were spread out as well. Like their previous game against the Bulls, 7 Jazz players scored in double figures. No player scored more than 18, and anybody who played at least a shot clock’s worth of time scored at least 5 (Fes and Sunny D each played 23 seconds and did not score). The Jazz were led in scoring by D-Will, Memo, and ‘Sap, who all put up 18 points. Matthews and Korver each dropped in 14. Kirilenko and Boozer each chipped in with 11. Ronnie Price and CJ Miles rounded out the scoring with 6 and 5 points respectively. Is that balanced scoring or what?
- Although this game was basically a blowout in favor of the Jazz, they were surprisingly outscored in 3 out of 4 quarters. The 2nd quarter is where they did most of their damage, as they outscored Detroit 35-14 in that nearly flawless quarter. From that point on, the Jazz essentially put it in cruise control, as they let the Pistons back in the game a few times, but they shut the door on any hopes of a comeback with some runs of their own. For the Jazz to put a halt to the Pistons’ momentum on more than one occasion, it showed tremendous toughness, especially on the road and on the second game of a back-to-back.
- During the 2nd quarter, Ronnie Price had a magnificent and 1 dunk on Austin Daye, which led to a minor wrist injury (by the way, it was my play of the game). Price had X-rays, and they came back negative. In fact, the injury was so minor that Price returned to the game by the end of the 3rd quarter. If you missed the dunk, check it out HERE: (Insult to Injury).
- Carlos Boozer (11 pts. 12 reb.) and Deron Williams (18 pts. 12 asst.) each recorded a double-double. Boozer ranks 3rd in the NBA with 42 double-doubles on the season, and Williams ranks 7th with 33.
- Kyle Korver continued his superb play. He shot 6-8 from the field, including 2-3 from downtown. The Jazz ran a few plays for Korver, where he would come off of a screen and shoot it right away, ala Rip Hamilton or Reggie Miller, and I thought it was extremely successful. When Korver is hot, the offense can literally run through him without a problem. Actually, when he is on, I think the Jazz are at their best. His ability to stretch the defense opens things up for everybody, and because this offense has so many versatile weapons, they become nearly impossible for a defense to guard. Please stay hot, Kyle!
- The Jazz have won 10 straight games against the Pistons. Overall, Mehmet Okur is 10-1 against his former team.
- In their last 28 games, the Jazz have gone 23-5, and they have not lost consecutive games in that stretch.