Six straight games baby!
I gotta say, watching the Jazz lay down the hurt against Denver in the third quarter tonight was a thing of beauty. That was easily the most exciting Jazz basketball I’ve watched all year. Everything was clicking – the offense, the defense, Big Al’s post-up game … and then Devin Harris morphed into Deron Williams and straight-up jack-hammered the sickest dunk of the year (for Utah fans anyway). After that play I was speechless, my hair (or what’s left of it) protruding in every direction atop my head after enduring far too many uncontrollable bursts of madness.
That third quarter of play was (as Chris Traeger would say) “lit-er-ally breathtaking.” An absolute thing of beauty (at one point, the Jazz were on something like a 48-16 run … yeah, I forgot to take notes, that’s how good the game was). In fact, after the third quarter ended, I felt numb as though I’d just watched Saving Private Ryan for the first time.
Yeah, it was that good.
So good in fact that nothing post-third quarter even came close to arousing my senses. Hell, Karl Malone and John Stockton could’ve rode in on Bear’s motorcycle, announced their return to basketball amidst fireworks, fireballs and AC/DC music and I wouldn’t have cared less. Larry H. Miller’s spirit could’ve appeared at mid-court for a stirring pre-fourth quarter speech and I probably would’ve slurred the word, “Peanuts,” and thrown my remote at the TV.
Yeah, it was that good.
Instead of summarizing the game to death like I typically do, I’m going to let the following video reenact the events that transpired on March 23, 2012. (If you have to ask which character represents Utah, then you obviously didn’t watch the game.)
What I will say is this: Utah proved tonight that they can take a punch – and then hit back twice as hard. Denver attempted to run the (supposedly tired) Jazz off the court, and succeeded for about a quarter and a half before Utah uncorked another tank of gas (stashed away under the bench between Scott Layden and Jeff Hornacek), fueled up and beat the Nuggets at their own game. Midway through the third quarter, it was Denver who looked gassed, bewildered and searching for answers.
In an attempt to gather some sort of momentum, Denver guard Afflalo uncharacteristically whacked Gordy with his elbow and immediately made his way to the exit. The Jazz responded in kind, pushing the ball harder and faster than I’ve seen them do all year (retaliating for their boy – I love this team’s camaraderie). Big Al sprinted the floor and played the two-man game with just about everyone to resounding success; Milsap, in a subtle 14-point performance, save for his monster dunk early in the game, swished jumpers like he was playing a pickup game in his backyard. Gordy continued to show versatility with 15 points, seven assists, two steals, and three blocks – he is a real hero. A real human being.
I could talk about the whole lineup – Harris, you magnificent man; CJ, looking good; Burks, the Man with No Fear; Favors … I want to adopt you – as even Watson and oft-played forward Jeremy Evans managed to sneak in a few alley-oops during the fourth quarter, but I have to get this post in quick.
What a game. What a night. What week. The Jazz’s playoff hopes are looking really good right about now. (This coming from a guy who had all but lost hope a few weeks ago and had taken to fixing his NBA 2K12 in a pathetic attempt to win the Jazz a ring.)