Utah Jazz report card: J.R. Smith's 20 bench points leads Knicks over Jazz, 90-83
Tom Smart, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — The Jazz let a golden opportunity to move back into the playoff picture slip away Monday night with a 90-83 loss to the Knicks. J.R. Smith led the Knicks with 20 points off the bench and the Jazz struggled to find any type of offensive flow all night.
GUARDS: Mo Williams had one of his nights where every shot looked good and he felt like he had to be the one to make the big shot. On several occasions when the Jazz had momentum and a chance to tie the game, Williams felt inclined to take ill-advised shots early in the clock. His final stat line of nine points, six rebounds and five assists wasn't terrible, but his ability to get the Jazz into their offense was subpar. Randy Foye hit a pair of 3-pointers early in the game and then disappeared the rest of the night. Foye finished with six points and one assist. GRADE: C-.
FORWARDS: Gordon Hayward was the only bright spot for the Jazz as he finished with 17 points, four blocks, two rebounds and two assists. Paul Millsap scored 12 points and pulled down five rebounds in his 29 minutes, but he could have taken more advantage of the near non-existent New York frontcourt. GRADE: B.
CENTERS: Al Jefferson made Kenyon Martin, Chris Copeland and Kurt Thomas look like All-Stars. His usual defensive weaknesses were made known, but what was more disconcerting was his low production on offense. Jefferson finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds in 31 minutes. It was the Mo Williams and Al Jefferson show through much of the second half and neither player could connect on the big shots. GRADE: C.
BENCH: Marvin Williams continues to garner the most minutes off the bench and his finished with 10 points and six rebounds in 28 minutes. Derrick Favors had a difficult night as he finished with seven points on 1-of-7 shooting from the floor and 5-of-12 shooting from the free-throw line. Favors did pull down 13 boards and dish out two assists amid his offensive struggles. Head coach Tyrone Corbin seems to have at least solidified his rotation as DeMarre Carroll, Jeremy Evans and Jamaal Tinsley did not see the court for the second consecutive game. GRADE: C.
OVERALL: The Jazz had no business losing to the team with the oldest average age in the NBA — specially since that same team played without three of its best players in Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler. Despite those factors, the Jazz found a way to lose at home on a night when they could have moved back into the playoff picture thanks to the Los Angeles Lakers losing on the road to Phoenix. There was no flow to the offense for Utah and somehow the Knicks outscored the Jazz in the paint 34-22 despite missing Chandler. GRADE: C-.
Tyler Huskinson is a freelance journalist who loves to cover sports. You can reach him at email@example.com or follow him on twitter @TDHuskiSports.
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