Wow. Tuesday was a brutal night – for Jazz shooters, for fans hoping to watch their team play and, admittedly, for my math skills.
Jazz Utah took 90 shots, which is an extremely high number. My math skills have that part covered. But the ragtag collection of young and old missed their target SIXTY-ONE times, which is almost as many shots as L.A. took. (Error admission No. 1: My original story had an error in it. My brain’s calculator only goes as high as 51 missed shots, so that’s what I generously credited the Jazz with in this one.) Too bad TNT didn’t join the game in progress until after the Jazz’s only good part had ended – the beginning, which included a sweet and forgotten Devin Harris-to-Derrick Favors Lob City dunk.
I predicted on the radio (ESPN700 with Bill Riley) and on Twitter (@DJJazzyJody) on Monday that the Jazz could win 33 games this season. Clearly, I meant they might make 33 shots for the year. Only four more to go! Going .500 seemed reasonable, considering they do have some talent on the roster. It still could happen – the 33 shots part, that is.
The most fascinating stat of the night wasn’t the Jazz posting their lowest-ever season-opening score. It was, rather, what the team did with Paul Millsap on the court. The backup power forward led Utah with 27 minutes of playing time and 18 points. But get this: The Jazz outscored L.A. by three points in this 25-point blowout loss when Millsap played. Conversely, his starting replacement, Derrick Favors, had the worst plus/minus rating with a minus-26. Gordon Hayward was the only starter who didn’t end in the minus-20 range. He was minus-18.