Utah Jazz report card: Good grades all around in walloping of Celtics

By Jonathan Ubri

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 25 2014 12:45 a.m. MST

The Utah Jazz big men led the team to a 110-98 win Monday night over a depleted Boston Celtics.

The Utah Jazz shot out of the gates with authority in the paint. Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter led the Jazz in scoring in the first quarter and didn’t let off the gas pedal for the remainder of the game. The Jazz scored 54 points in the paint as a team.

The Jazz big men made their presence known in the post early on. They made an impact not only on the offensive side of the ball, but also on the defensive end. The Jazz ended the half with six blocks on a great defensive effort and held the Celtics to a flimsy 38 percent shooting from the field. Jeremy Evans had a career-high four blocks, including a couple monster blocks early in the game.

The Celtics really felt the presence of Jazz center Derrick Favors as he scored 20 points and grabbed four rebounds in a great comeback game after missing several games due to injury. Favors received help from his fellow big man, Enes Kanter, as he also scored in double figures, notching 12 points and five rebounds.

Though Utah had a stellar performance from its centers, overall the team had an exceptional offensive night against the Boston Celtics. The Jazz shot an impressive 55 percent from the field and 76 percent from the free-throw line. Marvin Williams came up big in the win, finishing with 19 points and seven rebounds. Guard Alec Burks also had a phenomenal night, tallying 21 points and four assists.

Coach Tyrone Corbin and his team really needed this win after a disappointing loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. “We bounced back. I thought our execution on our offensive end for the most part was pretty good,” Corbin said. “To see the execution tonight after last ballgame was really good.”

Jazz fans had a lot to cheer for Monday at EnergySolutions Arena. The team executed well on both sides of the ball. The fact that Utah had its starting center back in the lineup gave the team the boost it had been looking for. The Jazz had it all — monster dunks, blocks, 3-pointers and slick passes. Overall, it was a great night for Utah Jazz basketball.

Guards

The Jazz guards bounced back from a mediocre performance against the Minnesota Timberwolves by having two guards score in double figures. Trey Burke and Alec Burks combined for a total of 33 points, six rebounds and seven assists. They made good decisions with the ball and showed Jazz fans that they can be trusted with the ball in their hands. Gordon Hayward also added eight points and 10 assists in Monday's win.

Grade: A

Forwards

The Jazz forwards made the Celtics' defense look like it was slower than molasses. The Jazz forwards found ways to score from 3-point land, from the mid-range and also in the paint. Marvin Williams had the hot hand when it came to the Jazz forwards. He totaled 19 points and seven rebounds. He hit threes when they mattered, slashed to the basket and finished strong. Richard Jefferson made his presence known by scoring 10 points and grabbing six rebounds.

Grade: A

Centers

The big men stole the show in Monday’s win over Boston. They played excellent around the rim, went to the free-throw line and sank their shots. Concerning his game Monday, Derrick Favors said, “I made a lot of open shots and I think I did a good job defensively to help my team win.” Having Favors back gave the Jazz the boost they’ve been waiting for, which helped them break a three-game losing streak.

Grade: A

Coaches

Coach Tyrone Corbin and his staff were faced with the decision of whether or not to play Derrick Favors for an extended amount of time or to limit his minutes. After receiving the OK from management, they allowed Favors to play a total of 29 minutes. At the end of the night, he felt good about his decision. “He felt fine,” said Corbin. “So it was good to get him back on the floor. He does so many good thing[s] for us on the defensive end,” he added. The coaching staff made some good choices that led to a good win.

Grade: B+

Boston Celtics overall

The Boston Celtics were missing some key players in Avery Bradley, Vitor Faverani and Keith Bogans. That being said, they struggled on both ends of the ball. They shot only 44 percent from the field and allowed the Jazz to shoot at a comfortable 55 percent. At one point in the game, Boston allowed the Jazz to go up by 18 points. It was evident that Utah was playing at a higher level than what the Celtics are used to seeing in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics have a couple days off until their next match and should have plenty of time to rethink things and recoup.

Grade: C-

Jonathan Ubri is a graduate of Brigham Young University–Idaho and works as a digital marketing strategist at Deseret Digital Media. Contact him at jubri@ksl.com

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