For years, the Jazz have tried to play everybody in sight and keep people happy. Just look at them now.
In Friday's playoff victory over the Lakers, Karl Malone played all 48 minutes for the first time in his career. Four others worked at least 43 minutes each - leaving a total of 12 minutes to the Jazz bench.The available side of the bench consists of rookie guards Bart Kofoed and Eddie Hughes, starting forward Marc Iavaroni and, in this case, rookie forward Scott Roth. For the first time this season, Coach Frank Layden kept veterans Rickey Green, Mel Turpin and kelly Tripucka in their warmups the whole game.
Hughes, who only two months ago was working in Colorado Springs and playing pickup basketball, received the call ahead of Green for Stockton's only rest, a little more than two minutes of the first quarter.
Layden told him, "Just pretend it's a big high school or college game."
Said Hughes, "I guess that was his way of relaxing me. It's good to hear that from the coach."
- The Jazz were hardly a model of offensive success in the fourth quarter when they scored on two of 12 possessions and their lead dwindled from 13 to four. Thurl Bailey attributed that to the other guys. "They're the Lakers, man," he said. "You can't expect to keep a lead like that on a great team. We have to expect them to make a run, but we retaliated."
- Jazz center Mark Eaton finished a distant second to Chicago's Michael Jordan in voting for the NBA defensive Player of the Year. Jordan received 37 votes from an 80-member media panel to nine for Eaton, seven for Houston's Akeem Olajuwon and six for San Antonio's Alvin Robertson. Jazz guards Bobby Hansen and John Stockton were among 16 players who received at least one vote.
Eaton, who won his fourth NBA shotblocking title in five years, tied with New York's Patrick Ewing for second place behind Olajuwon as the center on the NBA All-Defensive team as voted by the league's coaches earlier this week.
Jordan became the first player to lead the NBA in scoring (35.0) and steals - Because the Jazz had not reached the second round of the playoffs since 1985, a reminder: The travel format is 2-2-1-1, not 2-3-2 like the NBA Finals. Game 4 is Sunday afternoon in the Salt Palace, Game 5 is Tuesday night in the Forum and Game 6 - do we have to say "if neccessary?" - would be Thursday in the Salt Palace and Game 7 next Saturday back at the Forum . . . Public address announcer Dan Roberts was so excited in team introductions that he said the game paired ". . . the Jazz and our Los Angeles Lakers."
Illegal defenses? Each team was warned once, that's all . . . Entering Friday's game, the Jazz were prominent in NBA playoff statistics. John Stockton was first (12.8) in assists and tied for seventh (2.5) in steals, Karl Malone was third (30.7), Thurl Bailey sixth (26.0) in scoring, Bobby Hansen was second (.667) in three-point shooting and Mark Eaton (3.5) was first and Bailey (2.5) fifth in blocked shots . . .