The Utah Jazz have a win! In a week that was filled with a lot of frustration, and more of the same general awfulness, there were also a fair share of bright spots including Utah’s first win of the season. Let’s break down the week that was.
Monday, November 11. Nuggets 100 – 81 Jazz
Utah barely scores 80 points, while their opposition hits triple digits? Sounds about right. This result was hugely disappointing for the Jazz who were hoping that being at home against another poor team would end their winless drought. However, if you’re looking for any bright spots (which is all a Jazz fan can do these days), the game was actually kept quite close until the fourth quarter. Hayward scored 22 points for Utah on 8-for-16 shooting, but was only 1-for-5 from 3 with only two assists and an alarming seven turnovers. Favors was the MVP for Utah with 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting, with 13 rebounds and 3 blocked shots.
Wednesday, November 13. Jazz 111 – 105 Pelicans
There it is! You’re not reading that wrong, the Jazz scored more points than the other team throughout an entire four quarters! Joking aside, this game was about as fun as you could have watching one of the worst teams in the league win. Tuesday, the day before the game, Utah cut Jamaal Tinsley, who was signed at the very beginning of the season to serve as a stopgap until Trey Burke was able to return from injury. Tinsley proceeded to play terrible basketball, bad enough for Utah to waive him. That meant that going into Wednesday’s game, Utah had one point guard on the roster, John Lucas III, who hadn’t really been any better than Tinsley to start the season. Enter Diante Garrett. Garrett was signed from the D-League and made it to Utah in time to watch some film. As a sign of Utah’s serious problems at the PG position, the D-League signing who knew zero of Utah’s plays, proceeded to dramatically outplay Lucas and play PG through crunch time to help the Jazz secure their first win. Though Garrett was instrumental, Hayward assumed his usual role and put the team on his shoulders for 27 points and 10 assists.
Friday, November 15. Spurs 91 – 82 Jazz
As expected, the worst team in the league, Utah, lost to one of the best teams in the league, the San Antonio Spurs. On the bright side, this was a game that Utah actually controlled much of. Going in the fourth quarter Utah was still in position to win the game, but it’s a nearly impossible task to out execute the Spurs. Derrick Favors was again shining for Utah, scoring 20 points with 18 rebounds and three blocked shots. Another “wow” game from Favors who will need to have a few of these every once in a while to offset the nights where he looks mediocre at best.
Saturday, November 16. Warriors 102 – 88 Jazz
Another away game, another loss for Utah in which they were handled easily. Derrick Favors was again the star for Utah, scoring 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Utah will get another crack at the Warriors as each team will travel back to Salt Lake City for round two on Monday. The result will likely be similar, but Jazz fans will hope their team will be more competitive to signal progress.
Derrick Favors: Not much else needs to be said about Favor’s week. However, it will be interesting to watch his +/- going forward. Derrick currently owns the worse +/- on the league’s worst team. +/- can be effected by a variety of factors unrelated to the player in question, but it’s certainly intriguing.
Singin’ the Blues
Alec Burks: Final judgement of Burks needs to be reserved until he isn’t being forced into PG duties for Utah with Trey Burke out. However, he’s been shooting the ball terribly. On the season, he is only about 37 percent from the field, 23 percent from 3 and about 70 percent from the free throw line. At 30 minutes a night, those stats would be condemning for any team.