No Superstar Necessary

12.09.07 10 years ago 37 Comments

Just like they did against the sans-Duncan Spurs the night before, the Jazz fell to a top-tier team that wasn’t relying on its signature star. Dirk Nowitzki played against Utah on Saturday, but he didn’t even score until well into the second quarter and ended up with 16 points. It was Josh Howard putting in serious work, dumping 47 on the Jazz and doing it against everyone Jerry Sloan threw at him: AK-47, Ronnie Brewer, Matt Harpring — everyone got buckets … The interior defense wasn’t so hot for Utah, either. Erick Dampier managed 21 points, partly due to some defensive breakdowns, partly because the Jazz were so busy trying to stop Dirk, Howard, Jason Terry and Devin Harris that Damp often slipped free for easy buckets … Coincidence that the night after Chris Paul put up 43 points, Deron Williams went for his and ended up with 41? … The Mavs gave 120 servicemen and women front row seats to the game. According to the announcers, that’s $200,000 worth of tickets. Very cool gesture … Maybe they were just tired (the sub-century score would be an indicator of that), but the Suns somehow dropped one to the Wolves. Playing their fourth game in five nights, the Suns couldn’t get a rebound when they needed one and couldn’t do anything with Al Jefferson (33 pts, 20 rebs), who played some solid D on Amare (16 pts) … At halftime of Knicks/Sixers, Clyde Frazier and Al Trautwig were going over the box score when Al said, “What about Jared Jeffries? He played 12 minutes and had one hoop and one rebound. Are you seeing some intangible that I’m not picking up on?” Clyde’s response: “Not really.” … The Knicks got slaughtered. The crowd was booing like crazy in the second half, and Mike Breen even added, “They deserve to get booed.” … Another maddening Knicks stat: 6-11 Eddy Curry pulled down 2 rebounds all night. 6-8 Reggie Evans grabbed 10 boards in the first quarter … How many of you had Celtics/Bulls as your preseason Eastern Conference Finals pick? Let’s just say yesterday’s game didn’t have that same playoff intensity. With the Bulls coming off a big road win in Detroit that could have got the ball rolling, the C’s were the last team they needed to see. (Where are the Sonics when you need them?) Boston’s big guns weren’t even killing, either — Rajon Rondo (18 pts, 7 rebs, 5 asts) and Big Baby (12 boards off the bench) were enough to get the job done … We’re out like Jared’s intangibles …

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