Yes, it is time to exact some revenge on The Jazz. The only thing that makes this less sweet is that their team entered the post season with low-ish expectations so there is only so much heart-crushing, gut-punching, misery-inducing damage to be inflicted. Maybe next year we can make it hurt worse.
I think a series sweep would be a fine way to let them know just how much better we are than they are right now. Having said that, they are not going to be an easy out. The Jazz are well coached, play very hard, have smart players, defend like crazy, and have Donovan Mitchell who is quickly becoming my favorite player from last year's draft; although, De'Aaron Fox and Zach Collins aren't out of the race yet. Utah should lock him up to an extension as early as possible.
It's a little weird to say, but I think we got lucky that Rubio is likely out for the series. His absence weakens them on both ends of the floor. I believe if he were playing we'd have a real series on our hands that would likely go 6 or 7 games. James Harden can't go beast mode every game.
For those who didn't see the game last night it was another Harden gem. The only negative to take away from the game is that once we pulled the starters they came roaring back and we had to sub James back into the game. The good news is he went back to work and quickly put the Jazz down for good.
I said that was the only negative, but there is a little more. We got nothing from our bench. They shot 2-15 (2-5 from deep) combined. It was mostly Gordon and Mbah a Moute who got minutes with Ryan Anderson coming in 3rd with 9 minutes...no one else really contributed despite Nene looking pretty good early in the game. He finished with 4 minutes played.
Capela logged 36 minutes and put up a 16 & 12 with a block and a steal which probably should have been closer to 22 & 12 with 2 blocks if a few bunnies roll in and the refs don't call goal tending. Capela is quietly one of the top centers in the NBA. (Praise Morey!) He has the best footwork of any center in the league I have seen this year. For a guy his size he moves effortlessly--something most bigs can't do. There are others out there who are going to catch, and maybe even surpass, Capela, but right now he is leading the way for another breed of center: Jarrett Allen, Thon Maker, and Mo Bamba to name a few. I think what makes him uniquely special is his ability to guard out on the perimeter--even against quick guards. I wonder if he practices guarding Harden? That would make sense...after that, just about everyone else would be easy.
CP3 had a ho-hum game by his standards, but he was in command of the floor when he was out there. He even played decent post defense against Gobert a couple of times....not sure if that was intentional or not
I assume Quin Snyder is going to game plan to stop Harden and make someone else beat them. I don't know...I think I might try to stick to everyone else like glue and just try to force Harden to make his shots. He's streaky and, ultimately, is just above average shooting from deep. With a little luck you hope to steal 4 games if Harden goes cold for an extended stretch. Of course, that's why we have CP3...
Looking forward to the next game