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Report card: Utah Jazz suffer embarrassing loss to Minnesota Timberwolves — again

By Bobby Macey

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 22 2014 8:55 a.m. MST

The Utah Jazz suffered an embarrassing 112-97 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night. The last time these two teams met, the Timberwolves helped the Utah Jazz set franchise records. Unfortunately, those records didn’t reflect positively on the Jazz organization. The Jazz set a franchise low record for shooting percentage, 28.8, on Saturday. Tuesday, the Jazz hoped for revenge against the Timberwolves but that hope died early in the game.

The Jazz scared their fan base once again, suffered a poor shooting percentage and had a low-scoring first quarter. In fact, to show how rough the first quarter was, rookie Rudy Gobert checked in with four minutes and change left and finished out the quarter. It should, however, be mentioned that Jazz center Derrick Favors missed Tuesday’s game with a sore hip. The Timberwolves led 34-16 at the end of the first quarter.

The Jazz showed glimpses of greatness while in transition, just enough to get fans excited, but then failed to execute in a half-court setting and turned the ball over eight times in the first half. The Timberwolves led 54-39 at halftime.

Perhaps Tuesday’s game was best summed up from a random Jazz fan at EnergySolutions Arena, “Bear is the only one on the Jazz who showed up tonight.”

Guards: With the exception of Alec Burks, the Jazz guards looked lethargic and unmotivated. The guards didn’t seem invested mentally and part of that could have been caused from early foul trouble. Even rookie point guard Trey Burke only contributed nine points and five assists for the Jazz. Grade: C+

Forwards: Gordon Hayward had to represent all of the Jazz forwards in Tuesday’s game. He put the team on his back and contributed 27 points, five assists and five rebounds. Marvin Williams got into foul trouble early on while guarding NBA All-Star Kevin Love. Williams played limited minutes in the second half. Grade: C

Centers: With the injury of Derrick Favors, the Jazz relied heavily on Enes Kanter, former dunk champion Jeremy Evans and rookie Rudy Gobert. The Jazz big men had trouble handling passes from the guards and got dominated in the paint by Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Love. Grade: C-

Coach: Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin threw in the white towel early in Tuesday’s loss. His lineup and substitutions didn’t show much vigor or energy. Granted, the referees seemed uninterested anytime he argued a call or stood up for his players. Corbin merely recognized early on that this game was beyond his control. Grade: C

Minnesota Timberwolves: As a basketball fan, it’s an honor to watch somebody like Kevin Love score 19 points, grab 13 rebounds and put out 10 assists. The man makes the game look easy and natural. The rest of the Minnesota team complemented Love by scoring quick points in the paint and forcing Jazz turnovers. If the Timberwolves would have been more entertaining to watch with some high-flying dunks, they would have received a higher grade. Grade: A-

Bobby Macey is a social media guru and marketing/PR specialist by day. By night, he's a writer for Deseretnews.com covering the Utah Jazz. Follow him on Twitter @Bobmacey

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