It’s always great to get a win when your team plays less than perfect. That was indeed the case last night for the Utah Jazz, as they didn’t get typical offensive performances out of Deron Williams or Paul Millsap, who usually lead the charge for this Utah offense. When that is the case, it is imperative for other people to step up their games. That’s where CJ Miles and Al Jefferson came in. Miles dropped in 20 points off the bench (13 pts in the 2nd quarter) and Jefferson scored 19 points and grabbed 8 rebounds.
Of course, had the Jazz played against a quality team, they would have had a very tough time pulling out the victory with a performance like that from their top guns. But the fact is that they played the Sacramento Kings, and they didn’t need to do more than they did to earn their 10th victory of this young NBA season.
Speaking of wins, the Jazz have really bounced back well from their early 0-2 start that had many people wondering about them. In their last 13 games the Jazz are 10-3, and they have truly showed some signs of growth as a new group of players. This doesn’t surprise me too much because I feel that as long as Deron Williams, or any amazing point guard for that matter, is orchestrating the show that Jerry Sloan has written, the Jazz will be just fine. Sloan’s impressive coaching has led him to 1,200 career regular season victories (congratulations!), and 1,106 of those victories have come with the Utah Jazz. Unfortunately, for Sloan, he has yet to win a Coach Of The Year Award for his efforts (go figure).
Despite the lack of hardware for Sloan (and yes, that includes the lack of an NBA Championship), his players are always well-prepared to handle the challenges that lie ahead of them. Whether they need a 20-point performance off the bench from CJ Miles against the Sacramento Kings, or they need a 46-point outburst by Paul Millsap against the Miami Heat, they seem to answer the bell somehow and someway. When you see players who are willing to work extra hard on certain nights, even though they don’t normally have to, that’s when you know that you are well-liked as a coach (because your players are willing to give it their all for you). And when you have logged as many games as Jerry Sloan has as a coach, there’s no doubt that he is doing something right.
LT’S JAZZ NOTES
- The Jazz held the Kings to just 35% shooting.
- The Jazz had just 1 turnover in the first half and 7 total in the game.
- 4 out of 5 starters scored in double figures, but the team was led in scoring by CJ Miles who came off the bench.
- Jerry Sloan is 4th on the all-time regular season wins for coaches list. He will pass Pat Riley with 11 more wins.
- Kyrylo Fesenko had the biggest +/- margin with a +13. Go Fes!