Don’t you hate it when a team like the Jazz give you some hope and then snatch it away and then step on your neck? That’s what they did against the Raptors, last night. Late in the first, when the Raptors were down by something like 86 points, I figured I would just be content with watching how certain players played, since I didn’t have much hope the Raptors would be in this game. Then they turned on their defense and played like they have for the majority of the first three games.
Right on cue, though, the Jazz played like good teams do, in the fourth, and showed why they’re a playoff team and the Raptors aren’t.
Still, there were some definite things to happy about in this game, if you’re a Raptor fan. A certain player played a very good game, apart from being picked apart by one of the best low post scorers in the game.
The defense, in spurts, was excellent. Of course, it was in spurts horrendous, too, which is why Utah scored 125 points on 56.5% shooting.
In my What To Watch For pregame segment, I said I would be looking at 4 things.
HOW DID DeROZAN PLAY?
As I said, DeRozan ran into a much tougher defense than he has so far this season, and he responded well. After getting his first couple of shots rejected, he continued to be aggressive and ended up scoring 16 points on 6-10 shooting. That’s the good news. The bad news is that when Utah was running away in the fourth, the only way I could tell DeRozan was on the floor was too look for him. He completely disappeared. And do you remember those things I said that were unforgivable things? Well, at one point, the Raptors were playing excellent defense and had the Jazz late in the shotclock when DeRozan fouled CJ Miles to send him to the line. The foul wasn’t really that bad, as he attempted to take a charge, but still, it was a stupid mistake.
And then stepping on the sideline with 1.6 seconds left was something that might cause me to slap him, if I was his coach. Can you imagine the look Jerry Sloan would have given him if he were on the Jazz?
HOW STRONG IS THE SG POSITION FOR THE JAZZ?
I’d say not bad. Raja Bell looks like he’s still got a couple of good years left and CJ Miles had a great shooting night. Still, I think they still should have re-signed Matthews.
CAN GORDON HAYWARD PLAY?
I have no idea. He played 8 minutes and he’ll probably struggle to get minutes at first on this veteran team.
IS PAUL MILLSAP THE REAL DEAL?
He certainly played well, and he’s such an active player, but I have to say I was surprised that he scored 21 points. Although, if you play with Deron Williams and run the floor, like Millsap does, you’re going to get some buckets.
One last comment on the game. I know Weems had a career night, scoring wise, shot a good percentage and got to the line a lot, but I have to say I was shocked to see he got an assist because I don’t remember him passing the ball once. Seriously.
I’m too tired and am going to bed. Just do yourself a favour and sign up.