03 March 2008

Take that, Dirk

So the Jazz lost to New Orleans last week and I'm not quite sure how I feel about the loss. I mean, losing is bad and all, and being down 38-15 after one quarter is horrible, yes. Nine turnovers in the first quarter is also bad.

But then again, the Jazz fighting and clawing their way back to only a four-point deficit in the fourth quarter is definitely amazing.

So I'm a bit undecided.

Anyway, Utah played Dallas tonight. Dallas is another team that's right in the mix of things in the Western Conference... so this game was pretty important, because things are so tight in the conference right now that a four- or five-game skid could mean you're out of the playoffs in May.

The Jazz looked good. Deron had a monster game, recording 17 points, 20 assists and five rebounds. Not too shabby. Carlos went for 28 and seven, and Korver hit a couple huge 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and Millsap showed some nice moves in the post.

But I think the biggest positive of the game, and lately, has been Okur's play. 20 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocked shots on 7 of 10 shooting is a darn good line no matter who you are. But the impressive thing is the way he got his points. Mehmet has a problem remembering he's 6'11", and tends to sit back and shoot jumpers all day.

But lately, he's been driving to the hoop and scoring more inside. I like it.

Dirk threw Andrei to the ground as AK was going up for a layup in the first quarter. Kirilenko had to be helped off the floor and had to go to the hospital to get checked out. Luckily, he has no broken bones and should be fine.

I'm upset at Dirk, but I'll have to see the replay a few times to decide if the play was dirty or not. Jerry Sloan said the foul was "not that flagrant," and he's not one to sugarcoat stuff, so we'll see.

The Jazz currently lead the Northwest Division and would be the four-seed if the playoffs started today. The Rockets haven't lost since Yao went down, so maybe they'll be better off than I thought.

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