Posted by: David J. Smith on December 1st, 2012The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
Okay, so that title is deceiving. Utah was not necessarily Thunderstruck. It just gave me a chance to use Kevin Durant’s film somehow. The Jazz, while struggling in the middle quarters, made a game of it and were competitive down to the final minutes.
Here was my post from last night. While there were less than pleasing things, there were positives to take from it. But I’m not going to go in-depth on moral victories and whether or not they mean much. Instead, some observations from this weeks games:
- Although Utah lost, they avoided the early swoon that has been plaguing them this season. Without the slow start, it made it easier to stay with OKC early on. Against lesser teams, that would have given the Jazz a good chance of winning. They also played a better road game than they have of late. We’ll see how to fare tonight in the second of a back-to-back, facing the Rockets.
- DeMarre Carroll did his best out there. While Durant still managed 25 points, you have to admire DMC’s hustle and attitude.
- Earl Watson was simply fantastic in the fourth quarter. He has played with a spry energy since coming back. Now that Mo Williams is hopefully in better condition, Tyrone Corbin will have a hard choice to make. Jamaal Tinsley has played well, while Earl brings a defensive intensity. You could go by match-ups, but it’s important to solidify on one primary back-up for rotation and expectation’s sake.
- Crossing my fingers that both Marvin Williams and Derrick Favors can recover quickly. Marvin’s thud on the court the other night was horrible to see/hear. And he was playing a “Marv”elous game to that point.
- Gordon Hayward’s shot is simply off. It appears that he is rushing things. I have faith in him, though. His shooting was subpar the starts of the past two seasons, only for him to heat up as the year progressed. Let’s hope that’s the case this season, as well.
- Alec Burks had his moments. There is a lot to learn, but his athleticism was apparent. He’s one I’ll be watching eagerly tonight. With two big pieces out, how will he respond?
- Eric Maynor doesn’t look good, which is a shame. Prior to last season’s injury, I thought he was heading to be a potential starter/great bench guy.
- Russell Westbrook is such a talent. He plays 100 mph and as has been said, I suppose you take the bad with the good, with the latter outdoing the former.
- Kevin Martin looks rejuvenated in a Thunder uniform.
- OKC’s selfless, offensive execution reminded me of those great NBA Finals Jazz squads. Led by John Stockton and Karl Malone, everyone knew their roles. The stars starred, the role players rolled. Jerry Sloan set the tone. We made the extra passes, had a fantastic inside/outside attack, had instant offense of the bench in Antoine Carr, and perimeter shooting in Stockton, Jeff Hornacek, Bryon Russell, and Howard Eisley. Assist totals were high and subsequently, so were out shooting percentages. Just great memories.
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