The Jazz.

So for those of you who don’t have the time to read every little article that was written about last nights game, here you go.  I’ve put together some of the more interesting quotes from players from both teams.  One of my favorite places to read about a previous game is on the opponents news sites and blogs.  You can kind of get in a bubble of Jazz if all of your sources of information are only following the Jazz.  It’s interesting to get the other sides perspective on a game.  Some things that didn’t stand out to you as a Jazz fan might be a huge topic on the other side.  So here are a few quotes from one of the Sacramento News sites about the Kings:

Tyrke Evans:  “C.J. (Miles)  came in and put a spark for them. He made just about every shot he took… They (Jazz) play aggressive. They swipe at everything. We drove, and they try to get the ball out of our hands. We need to do the same thing, play the way they play.”

Luther Head: “The plays the Jazz ran, the plays we ran, man, it’s like they knew each other, like they were on the same page. And we weren’t.”

Ailene Voisin, reporter for Sacramento Bee: “Jerry Sloan’s teams historically destroy opponents with execution. The players and generations change, but the system stays the same. Newcomer Al Jefferson, for instance, the former Boston and Minnesota big man who has been known to have sticky palms, contributed three of Utah’s 20 assists.
As well as reading other teams posts and blogs, I enjoy some of the comments from our own players and reporters:
Deron Williams:
(on the second-unit’s spark and identity)
They’ve been instrumental in a lot of our wins. The first group’s still sluggish to start games and that group gets out an runs. They run, they get after people defensively. It’s something we need to get that first group to do.

(Second unit having more players who have been on the court together before)
I think that’s a big part of it; that’s a key of it. And Earl’s a fast learner; he’s picked it up great. That’s a lot of what it is. They’ve come together. They know what their objective is: to get after people defensively; to execute; to run; to get out and run and they do it.

(Potential on having Earl Watson and Ronnie Price being interchangeable)
Definitely. I’ve been out there with Earl. I’ve been out there with Ronnie. I know to expect that at times. I welcome playing with those guys.

(Second-unit’s fast pace)
I would like to get that going in the first group. That’s what that whole thing with ‘running through’ was about. That’s what they do. They get out and run; they run through; they get layups; they get dunks.

(His shot not falling)
It sucks.

(Tired legs)
A lot of it is just my legs, man. I’ve got a lot of things going on. I’ve got to get in the gym; shoot some extra shots. I’m not used to missing these shots that I’m missing. I’m missing layups; I’m missing shots.

(Feeling a lack of lift)
Yeah. I have not lift. I’ve airballed, like, four times in the last three games.

(Need rest or work in the gym to strengthen things)
We haven’t had a day off — haven’t had many days off. The schedule’s been pretty bad.

(Feeling about where Jazz are at right now)
There’s positive and negatives with everything. We can look back at some of the games and wish we could’ve had ’em. At the same time, some of the games we won, a couple bounces go the other way and we have a worse record. So, we have a lot of room to improve, which is I think the best thing. We still haven’t played a full, great game where everybody’s clicking, where everybody’s on the same page. We’re still searching for that.

With the new players being integrated into the system, and the lack of continuity on the offensive end so far, I’ve noticed Sloan has been playing D-Will a lot more than normal, and it’s starting to show.  Not only has their schedule been brutal, but Williams is playing more minutes than he’s used to in the past.  So the fact the Ronnie Price and Earl Watson are starting to gel together is a huge deal.  Williams was actually able to take off quite a bit of time last night, while  Pri-Wats were running the show.  Very good to see.

“It has taken 15 contests for Watson to find his touch with his new squad. But after igniting a 15-5 second-quarter run versus the Kings — which followed a six-assists-in-16-minutes performance Saturday during a win over Portland — the small, speedy guard has begun to carve out an identity in the Jazz’s second unit.

“My confidence is definitely building. That’s an exciting thing,” Watson said. “But at the same time, it’s a progression that I have to be patient about. Because the minutes are shorter, so I can’t expect it to come all at once.”

A very troubling trend that is showing up is the Jazz’s lack of rebounding.  They have been getting absolutely destroyed on the boards the past few games.  Currently they are ranked 29th in the league in Defensive Rebounding, where in the past few years they were never lower than 5th.

“Our rebounding is … really going downhill,” Sloan said.

Enjoy this link for the game recap video on ESPN.

For more interesting reads, or to see my sources, click on the links below.