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Physical Jazz make impression

Published December 30, 2011 11:14 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

This blog is pretty sure that this quote wasn't said by the Los Angeles Lakers or the Denver Nuggets earlier in the week.

"We had pretty good control of the game and then the physicality of the game changed. I thought they started knocking us around; some loose balls and stuff. I thought that was the difference, just their physicality and their size."

Those are the words of Doug Collins, the Sixers head coach.

And, yes, the Jazz, finally, were physical on Friday night, for the first time this season. Two nights after Denver scored lay-in after lay-in on free-flowing drives to the basket, the Jazz decided to make people pay for entering the lane.

The transformation started in the second quarter when Josh Howard laid Thaddeous Young on his back. Then there was Jeremy Evans blocking two shots in five minutes of action. And finally, there was Lou Williams driving for the potential game-tying bucket, only to be contested by Derrick Favors at the rim.

The Jazz, for one night, resembled a playoff team, at least defensively. And, they won the game because of it, finally holding an opponent to less than 100 points in the process.

"It was tough," Collins said. "They played Favors. They played Millsap. Kanter's big - it was tough."

A few more coaches may have similar thinking before the season ends.

Tony Jones