Friday, February 20, 2009

Dethroning the Champs

Well, for one night at least. Our Jazz earned a gritty 90-85 victory last night against the best that the Eastern Conference has to offer. The game was not a thing of beauty - two of the roughest teams in the league and the refs were letting them go. But it is an important win for the Jazz as they have reestablished their home court dominance by taking down the two best teams in the NBA in the last three games.

From my viewpoint, the key to the game last night (other than Kevin Garnett playing zero minutes in the second half) was the much-maligned Matt Harpring. The guy is basically immobile, and has a contract that is going to absolutely kill us next year, but last night he provided a toughness that no one else wearing white seemed to possess. The first quarter was an absolute beat down as the Celtics intimidated the Jazz and physically outmanned them at every position other than point guard. Then, Harpring came off the bench, knocked some teeth, and was more aggressive than Pierce. I don't think the Jazz win last night if Harpring is hurt. He pulled down a crucial rebound with a minute to go - a rebound that not Memo, Boozer, and certainly not Collins would have snagged. So kudos to Harpring, and kudos to Sloan for sticking with the old guy during crunch time.

Next up: two home games against good, but not great, opponents before the Jazz head out on the road to see what type of team we really are working with.


Pasty Gangsta said...

I don't know what the opposite of a silver lining is, but there are a few things I noticed last night during our great victory that concerned me.

1) Millsap got manhandled by bigger, stronger opponents and didn't utilize his quickness at all.

2) Collins is getting way too many minutes at this time of the year against a big-time opponent.

Orlando said...

I agree, Pasty: Millsap did not look like Boozer's heir apparent last night. He is a great rebounder, but against a bigger opponent, he was virtually worthless on the offensive end.

Here is the other concern I have, and have had for four years with this team: our only quality shooters play the point guard and center position. Korver is a total waste of space these days.

Pasty Gangsta said...

OH, I forgot about that. Korver was TERRIBLE last night. If he's not hitting threes, we've got to get him out of the game. His minutes should go to AK, Brewer, Miles, whoever. He brings nothing when he's bricking 3s.

Did you notice he also passed the ball to AK and had him get fouled at the end of the game? Maddening.

The Golden Griff said...

I echo your sentiments regarding Collins who should never see the light of day. Korver also drove me nuts during the game. He couldn't hit the broadside of a barn, and his only FG was a layup. But when I looked at the box score, he was +11, second only to Harpring (who Crotty rightfully pointed out was a beast last night) at +12. So as furious as I was last night to see him on the court late in the 4th, I'll defer to the intangibles that Korver brings and Sloan recognizes.

Orlando said...

Plus/minus is a hugely misleading stat. It basically just says who was on the floor when the team did well. Korver played cirutally the same minutes that Harpring did last night. Basically, he rode his coattails.

My regard for Korver's game has diminished every time I've watched him play.

Pasty Gangsta said...

But your regard for his dashing visage has only increased exponentially.