1. With five outgoing players, five players qualify
The Jazz had a whole gamut of players competing for tonight's game: Ricky Rubio was suffering from thigh pain, Dante Exum had had knee surgery, Kyle Korver had a knee ache, Jae Crowder had a quad contusion, and Derrick Favors had back spasms This training did not play together this season, but to be honest, I think it would be a very good team.
So I asked Quin Snyder who he would count on to play some of the roles these guys play.
"Everyone, I think it's part of what we want to feel as a group, it does not come down to one guy in the same way, and when everyone is healthy, you have to guys be what they are. "
I think the Jazz did it tonight. These five players were absent, but five players – Donovan Mitchell, Joe Ingles, Raul Neto, Georges Niang and Grayson Allen – have passed their usual level to win the team.
We will start with Mitchell. Of course, 29 points is not really unusual for him: it's his 19th performance with 29 points or more this season. But this is the first of those 19 games in which he has made less than 20 shots. This is the game in which he had the best turn-turn assist ratio: 6 assists for one lost game. He had a 3-point shot, which was 4-7, then the other seven scored meant he had a nice line.
Joe Ingles equaled his highest point of the season with 27 points and he did it by taking only 13 shots ranging from 10 to 13 in total and 6-8 in the bottom. He also had eight assists, although five players were rewarded. But I was very impressed by the variety of shots he made tonight – it was like he was playing at HORSE or Around The World. He hit three points from the corner and from the top. He did layups with a high-the-glass bow, and checked out the faithful setting of a fake pass on the to-do list. He hit a pull-up three of the high selection and roll, and hit the setbacks going to his right. It was just a complete performance.
Raul Neto did not shoot particularly well, he only scored 3-9, but he played more minutes than before, with 21, his third highest total of the year. He also collected four assists, but I thought he was the most consistent defensive option at his guard post tonight; this could help explain why the Jazz outscored the Suns by 19 points in 21 minutes.
Neto's minus was only overtaken by Georges Niang, who was +23. It's great for Niang's net score, which was not brilliant this year. But he was lucky enough to finish a close game tonight because he dominated Thabo Sefolosha, and his 3 to 5 deep shots really helped too. I asked him what it meant for him to finish part of the NBA and in record time.
"It was great," said Niang, while teammate Royce O'Neale chanted his name. "The coaching staff trusts me to close a match, especially when these games are so important to the playoffs."
2. Grayson Allen played well!
But we are going to dedicate an entire point of the triple team to the game of Grayson Allen, who had his best game of the season with a career-high 14 points in 18 minutes.
He was good! His arguments were obtained by two tricks: spot in the corner and do three (an important skill, of course), then run at full speed, shoot the defender on the back and look open. He made the last time three times, reaching the edge once for an easy pose, then hitting two floats from 5 to 10 feet:
But the most impressive game was this block, where he also showed his athleticism:
Head coach Quin Snyder and I were noticed: for the first time, Allen was not a defensive shipwreck.
"I thought he had done a good job on the defensive. He really started and competed, "Quin Snyder said. "His experience in the D-League has really helped."
Part of that could be due to his defensive missions – he spent a lot of time on Jimmer Fredette, who is quite sporty. Anyway, do not let us impress and play smart defense are things we have not really seen from Allen.
Allen has always been very disappointed by the season: the list of players from the modern age who entered the league at 23 and who had very bad rookie seasons before becoming contributors is really very short. But I'm more optimistic than two weeks ago, when this game and its 30 points in the playoffs of SLC Stars proved promising.
Do you know this old story about Nick Van Exel and "1-2-3 Cancun?" Otherwise, in the 1998 Western Conference Finals, the Jazz swept the Lakers, n? Is not it? Alleged, in the middle of this series, while the Lakers were down, Van Exel left a group of teams saying "1-2-3 Cancun" rather than "1-2-3 Lakers" "Or" 1-2-3 defense "or whatever the team was doing normally The involvement: Van Exel was thinking more about his travels than about the upcoming games.
Perhaps an appropriate joy in this game would have been "1-2-3-4-5-6-7 Cancun". Not because either team was not really trying: I even think the Suns did their best. But Jazz was called so often on this trip – seven – that I thought it was sort of a trick played by Quin Snyder.
Seven is a ton of travel: it is the maximum of all the teams of all the games of the season. Before tonight, the maximum was six trips called, which the Bucks and Wolves have managed. But they did it early in the season, while referees are the toughest in this area. Getting seven at the end of the season is legitimately impressive.
Rudy Gobert had four. He just dragged his pivot foot several times, sometimes almost imperceptibly, which Gobert probably did more often than he had asked. For some reason, tonight the referees had eagle eyes and called him.
Before tonight, Gobert had only made seven trips all season and, while he was fourth in the pre-match leader's travel list, he was now leading the way. Here is the complete list:
|Royce O 'Neale||6|