Jazz Hold Off Warriors in OT Thriller
Jazz (5) vs. Warriors (8): Jazz 127, Warriors 117 (OT)(Game 2)
- Yeah, this series is bringing the goods. Another back-n-forth offensive juggernaut. The Jazz did it mostly with their precise execution to get close-in looks & putbacks, while the Warriors did it by chucking up no-conscience long-bombs. Only reason the Warriors were even in this game was the 3pt. line. G-State made 15 3pt., including 6 to get back into the game in the 3rd. 40 of their 90 shot attempts were 3pts.
- I think the Jazz have to start getting G.S. off the 3pt line. Treat them sort of like Phoenix, just get them off the line at all costs. Force them into the 2pt area. They thrive on easy extra points, and they love the extra point per possession they get from 3pts. Really in their heart of hearts, the Warriors just want to outscore you, and don't really want to extend themselves on defense. Plus, they make it harder on themselves by giving up so many extra possesions by getting smushed on their def. glass. Also, Utah has the luxury of encouraging drivers into the lane because they having Kirilenko lurking around to snuff them out. And you have to foul G-State, it might not hurt too bad since the Warriors don't shoot free throws that well.
- Utah totally owned the boards again--the Jazz got 60 rebounds to 32 for G-State. Jeezum Crow, +28 on the boards. We mentioned there would be glaring disparity in our series preview, but this is sort of out of hand--the Warriors are now a combined -46 rebs. for 2 games. Like we said before, you want to play downsized, this is what usually happens. The Jazz got 19 off. rebs while the Warriors got 19 def. rebs; a 50% def. reb. pct. is not advisable. Jazz could not take full advantage of the extra possessions accrued from their 19 off. rebs. because they turned the ball over too much--23 to 14 G-State TOs. The Jazz did the same thing in Game 1 (21 TOs).
- Jazz did a good job getting looks in the painted area. Some were off the flex cuts, some off Booze post-ups, some off of Deron's drives and some off of putbacks from all the off. rebs. The Jazz ended with 58 pts in the painted area. Though the Jazz forced some bad shots late in the 4th, they got back to better ball movement in OT and got some good looks.
-AK is back, I'd say the MVP of the game. Did a little bit of everything: hitting jumpers, feeding the post, finishing in the lane, and of course, being a general menace on the defensive end changing/blocking shots. He even did a solid job running the point guard for half a quarter after Dee Brown's severe chiropractic adjustment. AK's varied stat line--20 pts, 9 rebs, 5 assts, 6 blks, & numerous altered shots. His passing is underrated, made some sweet feeds tonite.
- Boozer was too much beef to handle in the lane. The Warriors have no choice but to send multiple guys at him, but it still can't stop 'Los from getting 30 on 9/14, 13 boards & drawing fouls in the process (12/14). Okur also had another big nite with 23 pts mostly on perimeter jumpers (4/7 on 3pts.) Memo is definitely taking advantage of his size advantage in this series by grabbing 18 rebs tonite (4 off) after 11 rebs in Game 1; Memo only averaged 7 rpg this year.
- Fisher brought more than just a mini-emotional lift, his defense on Baron was big, and he forced a big Baron TO in the final minute of regulation. Not to mention a game-clinching 3pt in OT. Deron was sidetracked by early foul trouble, but managed to find his groove in the 2nd half, and caused problems with his dribble penetration (17 & 14 assts), including the game-tying pull-up to send the game into OT.
- Sort of curious why Nellie did not go to more pure zone looks. Utah was getting great opportunities in the lane all game and they were making good paint-entry passes. Thought when they went zone in Game 1 they were sometimes succesful mucking up the passing lanes which are key to the Jazz offense. The Warriors did help their defensive play by getting 13 steals, but they only managed 13 fast break points, probably not enough for Nellie's liking.
- Baron & JRich continue to be the most devastating 1-2 punch in the playoffs. Baron is on an absolute tear--he's now shooting 54% overall & 43.5% from 3pt. Compare that to his season numbers--44% overall & 30% from 3pt, then look at his career numbers--41% overall & 32% from 3pt. Baron was a force of nature again tonite with 36 on 13/22 (4/9 3pts), 7 assts, & 4 stls. JRich did his damage with his outside jumper. He was 5/10 from 3pt and he was hitting pull-ups as well, including a clutch step-back 3pt late in the 4th. Harrington seems to have regained his groove, put up 17 & 3stls.
- It won't be easy but the Warriors have to find a way to get the board margin closer, at least within 5-6 rebs. Also I think they need to stick with the straight zone more often. The Jazz moved in the paint too easy tonite, and they entered the ball too easy. In general, the Jazz are not a good 3pt. shooting unit, and with the quickness G-State puts out there, they can cover a lot of ground to get out on shooters. The Jazz have to cut down on the turnovers, and try to change their gameplan to make the Warriors take mostly 2-pointers & foul shots; just get them off the 3pt line at all costs.