In my last post, I mentioned 6 reasons why the Utah Jazz were dominating the Denver Nuggets through 4 games in the series. At the top of that list, due to importance, was the lack of point production from JR Smith in games 2-4. And, of course, just as I had suspected, JR Smith was the difference for the Nuggets in Game 5 as they cruised to a 116-102 victory.
Sure, you can say that the Nuggets got some production from all over in Game 5, and JR Smith was only the 4th leading scorer for the Nugs, but you have to admit that Mr. Smith’s points hurt more than anybody else’s.
Just look at his numbers: 17 points on 5-9 from the field and 4-5 from downtown. 4-5 from downtown! Those 3-balls kill you when you are a road team, especially when your opposition is nailing them in the 4th quarter. Smith accounted for both of Denver’s 3-point field goals in the 4th, and each of them came at a big time. In fact, the second one that he hit nearly made me break my remote. Looking back, I can definitively say that it was that shot that truly put the Nuggets comfortably ahead for good.
Even though this game leaves a terrible taste in my mouth, I have to look at the bright side. That is, that even though the Jazz couldn’t close out the series tonight, they will still have an opportunity to close it out at HOME on Friday night.
Obviously, you never want a team to hang around in a series, especially a team like the Nuggets. However, to be up 3-2 in the series and heading to ESA is something that the Jazz should be very thankful for right now. In fact, there is no possible better situation to be in, while heading into a Game 6.
Don’t forget, this team was counted out by so many people once Memo and AK went down with injuries. And believe me, if I told you on Sunday, April 18th (when Memo was ruled out for the season) that the Jazz would have a chance to win the series in Game 6 on their home-court, most of you would have taken that gladly. You would have probably asked me what kind of meds I was taking first, but you would have been thrilled with the proposition nonetheless.
So remember, at this point in time, you may be frustrated that the Jazz blew an enormous opportunity, but you need to remember the bigger picture. Think about where they are, and think about where they could have been. Does it make you feel any better?
Probably not, but it was worth a try. (If it did make you feel better, great!)
Well, at least we can close out the series on our home floor in front of a packed crowd at ESA, right?
Still not making you feel any better?
Oh, I know what can cheer you guys up. How about the possibility of Nene missing the rest of the series?