Postgame: Jazz 105, Nuggets 103
The Jazz won their second home game in a row by two points, overcoming a 16-point deficit to topple the Denver Nuggets in a chippy game in which the Jazz revealed two personality. At once, they were lethargic and lousy on defense. In the second half, they were inpenetrable in the post.
A few thoughts from ESA...
• Jamaal Tinsley has been superlative as a two-game replacement for Mo Williams, who expects to return to the Jazz on Wednesday. On Monday, Tinsley finished with 6 assists, his fewest in a start, but was tremendous offensive: He scored 15 points, including three 3-pointers. He opened the season just 1-of-14 from 3, but in his last two games has shot 7-of-12. Strange times indeed.
• Kosta Koufos. Jazz fans watching this guy probably aren't aware he once played for the Jazz his game has evolved that dramatically in just two years. On Monday, it was a gentle 7 points, 9 boards from the former first round pick. But, goodness, there were some flashes, weren't there?
• Tyrone Corbin closed the game with an unexpected lineup: Tinsley, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Al Jefferson and DeMarre Carroll. No second-guessing the coach, the group won the Jazz the game. But the biggest omission was that of Paul Millsap. The Jazz's most consistent player over the last many seasons has been benched in fourth quarters twice in the last three games. Corbin insisted nothing should be read into that, but how can you not wonder? Millsap is in the last year of his contract and will be free to sign wherever he pleases in the postseason. Presumably, he will pick a team that trusts him in the crunchtime.
"It's just the defense where it was," Corbin said. "The guys were playing well together. Paul is still who he was for this team, and the flow was going good so we stayed where we were."
• I didn't do Derrick Favors' performance justice in my game story. It may have been his best performance of the season. 19 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks, 7 of 9 on free throws. No wonder Millsap's minutes are suffering.
• Six technical fouls in this game were the highlight of the young season, at least if you're into theatrics. Jamaal Tinsley, Al Jefferson, Andre Iguodala, Kenneth Faried and Ty Corbin all get T'd up. Corbin was white hot after a foul call on Derrick Favors in the fourth quarter, and had to be restrained by Greg Miller the Jazz CEO who sits courtside.