But Saturday against the Knicks, the accumulation of all the previous aches and pains, summed it up.
“It’s a crucial time of the season, man,” Marvin Williams said. “We’re at a serious spot right now.”
Against the Knicks, the Jazz hoped to exorcise some demons. New York was without Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, both sidelined with knee injuries.
And while the Jazz were without Paul Millsap, early on, it didn’t look like it would matter. Mo Williams, DeMarre Carroll and Randy Foye all made 3-pointers in the opening minutes and the Jazz led 11-4 before the Knicks ran off 15 straight points. When Utah rallied to cut the Knicks’ lead to 31-19, New York went on an 18-2 run.
Things got out of hand quicker than a Novak 3-pointer.
OK, so what of those 3s?
The Knicks forward made five, including three during the slayer of a run that had the Jazz down 55-38 by halftime. Novak scored 20 points for the Knicks, while J.R. Smith led all scorers with 24.
“If it wasn’t a 3,” Marvin Williams said, “they were getting two free throws, and that’s very tough to stop.”
In basketball, you can either stop it or you can match it, and the Jazz did neither. They shot just 38.5 percent from the field, while the Knicks made more than half of their field goals.
A year ago, the Jazz got better late in the season. They pushed and fought until they reached the playoffs as the eighth seed. And while the players who were around for it remember those days, they aren’t sure how to replicate them.
“What needs to change?” Derrick Favors asked, repeating a question asked of him. He exhaled. “Hmm.”
He fidgeted and tied his left sneaker. His words came slowly.« Previous Page Next Page »