When you have a weird, inconsistent team that doesn’t well on the road, that’s the thought that is running through Jazz fans’ heads after a solid win against a struggling Bobcats team.
You never know which Jazz team is going to show up when this team hits the road. The defense particularly suffers when the Jazz enter a hostile environment.
Same guys?At home Jazz are 4th best FG% defense and 5th best against the 3 on the road the Jazz are 28th in FG% def and 29th def 3 pt fg
— David Locke (@Lockedonsports) January 9, 2013
Whatever Charlotte may be, tonight it was not a hostile environment.
Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson led the charge in the first half, heading to the locker room with a combined 27 points and a 19-point lead.
ALL of CHA’s best players are guards & forwards…their bigs are awful…they were 7-7 using a smaller lineup…and yet: Dunlap goes big…smh
— Tim (@TheWagofMutombo) January 10, 2013
If teams are going to let the two best players on the Jazz toy with them all game, I’m sure the players and coaching staff are not going to complain about that.
Things changed in this game when Alec Burks was given the reigns as the team’s backup point guard and got the second unit running in the second quarter. For whatever reason, Earl Watson could not get things rolling with the bench guys tonight, and Ty threw Randy Foye back into the game, taking Watson out. The Jazz were down two when Earl checked out, and by halftime Alec & Co. had stretched the lead to 19 and pretty much buried the Bobcats.
I know we all love Earl, but if there is dead weight on this team, it’s him. If Burks is in, let him bring the ball up…
— Braeden Jensen (@CanadianBraeden) January 10, 2013
Sometimes the truth hurts. I love Earl Watson as much as the next guy, and he really endeared himself to fans last year by leading the Jazz through some tough times and standing up for his teammates when he needed to. This team is deeper, more skilled, and one year older than last year, and with Alec Burks and DeMarre Carroll playing well alongside a rejuvenated Jamaal Tinsley, there isn’t much reason to give Earl a ton of burn.
Gordon Hayward continues to come into his own. He’s shooting from deep at an insane rate since the beginning of December, and his numbers in the early part of January are unreal. I’m willing to overlook the fact that he didn’t hit a two-pointer because if he’s shooting 80% from three, I’d rather just have him shoot those anyway. The confidence that he is playing with is allowing him to not only lead the bench unit, but is showing the coaching staff and his teammates that he is ready to be a leader among the veterans of this team. It’s not going unnoticed among his teammates.
Jazz PF Paul Millsap gives a lot of credit to @gordonhayward: “G’s done a great job for us. He’s been the glue guy for us lately.”
— Bill Oram (@tribjazz) January 10, 2013
Gordon “Elmer’s” Hayward has been holding this Jazz team together with his play. A lot of talk lately has circled around a nickname for Gordon, though none of them seem to have hit the spot, at least not for me. Recently, @My_Lo has introduced “The Vanilla Cobra,” and we’ve heard “G-Time” and other monikers. Even Thurl “Big T” Bailey weighed in on the issue on Twitter:
Okay, after a great @gordonhayward performance vs Dallas Mavericks on Monday he deserved his own moniker….I’m dubbing him The “Boy Wonder”
— Thurl Bailey (@bigTbailey) January 10, 2013
Later in the evening, he referred to Hayward as Commissioner Gordon. We can do better guys. Hayward deserves better. Throw some ideas into the comments section below, and let’s see what we can come up with. Something legendary is brewing.
Game Notes & Observations
- Enes Kanter had a rough game, going 1-6 from the floor and turning the ball over twice. You’d like to see him go out and attack a team with weak big men and show off a bit, but it just wasn’t there tonight. Looking forward to him battling with Zaza in Atlanta on Friday.
- DeMarre Carroll shot well from the floor, and his hustle continues to make a difference, but he was the only starter with a negative +/-, coming in at -4 for the game.
- Al Jefferson and Randy Foye led the team with 32 minutes apiece, and also led the team with a +24 and +23 +/-, respectively.
- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist makes me drool.
- Jeremy Evans and Kevin Murphy got some garbage time burn, but it was very late in the game before Ty decided it was safely in hand. They each notched three minutes, and contributed to the fact that Charlotte got this game within ten and made it look a lot closer than it was to those who watched it.
- Gordon Hayward is shooting 68% from three in five January games, going 13-19. Keep it up!
Also, more of this please:
Jazz broke the huddle with “Defense”to begin early morning practice before the flight to Charlotte. Will have interviews posted later.
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) January 8, 2013