Utah Jazz report card: Another mediocre road performance leads to loss at Houston
Pat Sullivan, Associated Press
The Jazz continue to be mediocre, as another poor performance led to a 100-93 loss at Houston on Wednesday night.
GUARDS: Mo Williams and Randy Foye were again collectively poor, combining for 5-of-17 shooting. Williams has shot just 35 percent in his eight games back from injury.
Alec Burks tallied 11 points and four rebounds in 24 minutes — more time than either Williams or Foye.
Williams' and Foye's performances were worse on the defensive end, where Rocket guards Jeremy Lin and James Harden combined for 53 points. GRADE: D.
FORWARDS: Paul Millsap (16 points on 6-of-10 shooting) and Gordon Hayward (27 points, eight rebounds) starred. Hayward has averaged more than 20 points per game in his three games back in a starting role. Millsap's opponent, Donatas Motiejunas, struggled in shooting just 2 of 8. Why, then, did Millsap play just half the game? Derrick Favors (five points, two turnovers, 23 minutes) didn't exactly dominate. GRADE: B-.
CENTERS: Funny that Al Jefferson (18 points on 9-of-19 shooting, 11 rebounds) was quite average in 43 minutes. It begs the question: Why didn't backup Enes Kanter see more than five minutes? (Or why didn't Favors see more time, making room for the hot-handed Millsap to play more at power forward?)Those questions are especially reverent when you consider that Big Al is still trying to find his niche due to ankle problems.
Houston center Omar Asik was more physical than Jefferson, grabbing 12 rebounds in 35 minutes. GRADE: C.
BENCH: The Rocket reserves edged the Jazz bench 23-21. Marvin Williams was a non-factor in 21 minutes. Burks was the highlight off the bench for Utah. GRADE: B-.
OVERALL: The Jazz have now lost seven straight road games for the first time in six years. Is anyone surprised, after suspect defensive play and questionable rotations from coach Tyrone Corbin yet again? The Jazz let Houston shoot 32 free throws, and it's tiring to see Corbin continue to allocate the same amount of minutes to players — or be disproportional with them when it isn't clear why. Matt Harpring was right when he said that the Jazz didn't appear to possess the "passion" and "desire" they should have had against a team that was just two games ahead of them in the Western Conference playoff race. GRADE: C-.
Rhett Wilkinson studies at Utah State University and is the co-founder of Aggie BluePrint, USU's first student magazine. A two-time Deseret News intern, he now works as an intern for Deseret Book's LDS Living. firstname.lastname@example.org or @wilklogan
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