Utah Jazz lose by 31 in Maynor's debut
Orlando, Fla. » Eric Maynor must have felt right at home as he made his Jazz debut. After all, Monday night's game at times looked like Virginia Commonwealth against the Boston Celtics on the court at the RDV Sportsplex.
Maynor totaled nine points and four assists in what he described as his "first NBA game with an NBA jersey on" and was the saving grace as the Jazz were flattened 87-56 by Boston to open their five-game run in the Orlando summer league.
After hosting the Rocky Mountain Revue for so many years, the Jazz's first game in Orlando proved to be the fourth-worst loss suffered by a team in the league's history.
"It's our first time playing with each other in a real game," Maynor said. "Once I got going a little bit, I was good. Just trying to get comfortable with the system."
Maynor had his share of highlights early, driving for a layup and getting into the lane for a handful of floaters that didn't fall. He stripped Lester Hudson in the first quarter and raced the other way for a layup, then deflected a pass back on defense.
As much as Maynor, the Jazz's first-round draft pick out of VCU, showed a command of the position, the Jazz struggled throughout the first half. They were outscored 23-6 in the second quarter and shot 22.6 percent while committing 13 turnovers in the half.
Whatever scoring punch Kosta Koufos could have provided was sorely missed. Koufos, the Jazz's 2008 first-round draft pick, will sit out this week's games in Orlando after dislocating the ring finger on his left hand 31/2 weeks ago.
As the Jazz closed the first half Monday on the wrong end of a 9-0 run, Maynor missed a three-pointer at the buzzer and stared at the scoreboard for a second, absorbing the Celtics' 44-19 lead, before heading to the locker room.
"It's a growing process for him," Jazz assistant coach Tyrone Corbin said, "so it's really good that he's getting a chance to play now and we'll see how he makes adjustments [today]."
Maynor had a strong third quarter, working a pick-and-roll with James Augustine to get the former Illinois center to the foul line. He followed by pushing the ball on the break, getting into the lane and dropping a pass to Goran Suton for a layup.
Although he was admittedly "nervous as I don't know what to get out there," Maynor clearly settled in. The only quarter the Jazz won was the third (24-18), with Maynor serving up an alley-oop dunk to Derrick Brown with 4:36 left that turned into a three-point play.
"He's learning a different system," Corbin said, "and it's going to take him a while, but he's doing a good job of, first of all, pushing the ball up the floor and giving us a few more seconds on the 24-second clock to get into our sets."
Added Corbin: "He didn't finish a lot of shots tonight [4-for-9] but he did a pretty good job of being patient and seeing where the gaps were, getting in the lanes and being able to get a shot or make a good pass within the interior."
Suton, the Jazz's second-round pick, finished with four points and three rebounds. He missed a pair of three-pointers, a surprise shot coming from the former Michigan State center, but did hit a turnaround over Nick Fazekas in the third quarter.
Josh Duncan, a 6-foot-9 forward who went undrafted out of Xavier and played in France last season, led the Jazz with 12 points, 10 in the second half.
The environment, meanwhile, at the Magic's practice facility couldn't have been more different for those who remember the days of packed crowds at Salt Lake Community College for the Revue, which was canceled this summer due to a lack of teams.
Not only is the Orlando league closed to the public, with only team personnel and media members in attendance, the Magic do not even have a public-address announcer calling out baskets, fouls or substitutions.
"It's an adjustment because we've had a couple days of training camp," Corbin said, "and you're expecting a game and it's not really like a real game, but it is a game with officials."