– Boy did the Utah Jazz find the wrong time to play the Houston Rockets. Aaron Brooks, Kevin Martin, and Luis Scola were all on top of their games last night, and they made the Jazz pay heavily. The three players shot a combined 29-56 from the field, which is over 50%, and it was that hot shooting that kept the Rockets in control of this game from early on. The Jazz had a few pushes, but they never really threatened Houston, as the home team was able to keep their distance.
– When you couple the Rockets’ top-notch performance with a tired Jazz squad, due to a back-to-back, you have a recipe for disaster. The Jazz were coming off of an emotional and physically draining game against the Thunder, and there was very little, if any, energy left in their tanks. The absence of AK from both of the games definitely hurt Utah, as he could have provided some form of relief for other players. But, if he didn’t feel that he was ready to go just yet, you have to trust that he knows what his capabilities are. However, if AK sat out as a precautionary measure, then I think that he made the wrong choice. Of course, being healthy for the playoffs is a key concern right now, but the Jazz cannot afford to lose games RIGHT NOW. In my opinion, if they don’t win the Northwest Division, their playoff run will not be too long.
– Although it was in garbage time, I was extremely pleased by the performance by Othyus Jeffers. The Chicago native showed the intensity that I had hoped he would when the Jazz signed him for the remainder of the season. And even though he was playing with the rest of the Utah bench, the Rockets still had most of their starters in the game. In just under 13 minutes, Jeffers had 6 points, 4 rebounds (3 offensive), and 1 steal. In addition, Jeffers displayed some tough defense on Kevin Martin. Watching Jeffers and Sundiata Gaines working together effectively was a lone bright spot in a terrible night of basketball if you’re a Jazz fan.
– Speaking of a terrible night, the Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks, and Phoenix Suns all won their games, and they all leap-frogged the Jazz in the Western Conference playoff positioning race. Because of this, the Jazz are going to need to get help from other teams in the last few games if they want a chance at getting that coveted number 2 spot.
– If there is one stat that captures Utah’s struggles last night, it would have to be the 26 turnovers that they had. Following a 1 turnover performance by Deron Williams, Utah’s star point guard had 7 turnovers against Houston, which caused the game to get out of hand. With Williams’ inability to control the ball, the Jazz never had a chance.
– Because of Utah’s loss to the Rockets, Rick Adelman (Rockets head coach) became the 11th coach in NBA history to record 900 wins as a head coach. Coincidentally, Don Nelson of the Golden State Warriors also set a milestone, as he passed Lenny Wilkens as the all-time leader in coaching wins (1,333).
– In a game made up of mostly Rockets highlights, the Utah Jazz have a highlight of their own to be very proud of. Check out Ronnie Price‘s dunk on Chase Budinger by CLICKING HERE.
Tags: Aaron Brooks Chase Budinger Dallas Mavericks Denver Nuggets Deron Williams Don Nelson Golden State Warriors Houston Rockets Kevin Martin Lenny Wilkens Luis Scola Othyus Jeffers Phoenix Suns Rick Adelman Ronnie Price Sundiata Gaines Utah Jazz