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Jazz 111, Pacers 89: Desperately Seeking a Stop

In an effort to preserve a couple of hours of sleep, I decided that instead of recapping the game really late after the game or really early in the morning, I'd just keep a running recap while watching. So, whenever the basketball spririt within moved me while watching the game, I tapped out the thought on the spot. It didn't take long for my mood to sour, but I slogged through the beating until the game went final. Enjoy.

First Quarter
Jamaal Tinsley is suited and booted in blue and gold tonight. A fine sight indeed.

Just took a couple of possessions for Tins to make an impact, penetrating and scoring on a nice spin move over Deron Williams.

Pacers first unit is really pushing the ball with Tinsley out there, and it is not just Tinsley pushing it, but he has set the pace.

Jermaine O'Neal picked up his second foul with 6:41 left in the first. I wonder how many of his fouls are committed against players he's not guarding. As the last line of defense, he often is stuck helping after dribble penetration is not stopped out front.

Bench arrives to help at 6:24 with Pacers down 16-9. Surprisingly, Dunleavy is pulled and Murphy stays in. Murph is clankin' like crazy so far. Andre Owens, Quisy, and Kareem Rush replace J.O., Dun, and Tins.

Owens coughs up a horrible turnover and fouls at the other end giving Boozer the and 1. Jazz on 17-5 run and the Pacers can't make a shot. Meanwhile, 5:45 left in first, Jazz have made all 10 of their free throws.

Tins and Dun return immediately as O'B hunts for a combination that will click against the Jazz.

Tinsley quickly scores four and assists on a Dun layup. But, Pacers can't stop Jazz at the other end.

Man, Boozer has a lot of ass and he knows how to use it. He frees room for a little fade away 12-footer. Lethal.

David Harrison spent nearly made it 20 seconds before picking up his first foul. Leads to another two for the Jazz.

The Pacers' pace has picked up but turnovers are mounting. Everyone forgot how to run with JT. Seven donations with 1:40 left in the first.

Have the Jazz missed? Oh, it just seems like they've made every shot.

Thanks for playing, David. Harrison is frustrated and now just running guys over. He has four fouls and should not see the floor again tonight.

A worse start I cannot remember. Pacers down 40-19 after one.

Second Quarter
Ack! The Jazz were 15-16 from the line in the first quarter. O'B can't continue to accept this free throw deficit. Either that or he needs to begin implementing some brazen free throw defense techniques.

Clark Kellog mentions that if this was a fight they would've stopped it.

J.O. hasn't been practicing because of his leg, AGAIN. It shows.

Pacers continue to get out-hustled and out-muscled on the glass. Jazz are flaunting a 25-point lead. Forget everything else, the Pacers need to keep pace right now to avoid fully embarrassing themselves with the final score. Whoops, another junior high turnover leads to a Jazz 3-ball. O'B calls a T.0. Pacers down 50-22 with 8:09 left in the half and O'B appears ready to trade the full roster. Oh, I'm sorry, that's me.

Tinsley and Dunleavy are doing all they can. Dun must love having Tins back out there. Someone else has to join the party! Whoa, Tins with a sweet feed to a streaking Foster for the dunk and the foul. At least the blue and gold are keeping pace now.

J.O. finally hits a nice turnaround, but tweaks his ankle. He stays in and hits another shot. A stop or two and we might have some hope.
Granger is getting it going a bit with a 3-ball and a few trips to the line. Lead down to 22. Man, that's a depressing little statement.

J.O.'s left hand must not be legal in Utah because both point-blank port-side finishes he's attempted bounced out. At least the Pacers are showing some fight.

Lead down to 17 with 1:30 left, but neither team scored the rest of the way, 67-50 at the half. The Pacers finished the final 8 minutes of the half with a 28-17 run and shot 58% for the second quarter. If they can keep dropping buckets, there's still a chance.

Third Quarter
Mel Mel opens the half with a nice take to the hoop. Stop. Murph jumper for two and we have a ball game at 13.

That was fun. Back-to-back Boozer buckets pushes the lead back to 17. O'B not playin', calls as quick T.O. knowing the start of this half is critical.

Come on! Danny carries the ball without much pressure on him. A couple of forced passes from Tins lead to turnovers. Gotta tighten up the Y-ball mistakes.

The Pacers defense requires all five guys working in unison, communicating and rotating to help and recover. I'd be happy trying it with four guys. 3? It just takes one whiff on the rotation to offer up an easy bucket or a foul. The Pacers resemble some freakish combination of Adam Dunn and Dave Kingman in the realm of defensive rotation whiffage.

The Pacers have 23 turnovers which have lead to 27 Jazz points at 2:00 minutes left in the third. The lead is back to hovering around 21 points and the sloppy play leaves little hope for a comeback.

Pacers don't score over the final four minutes. Their work is done here. Jazz are cruising with their starters resting as the third quarter ends with the Pacers down 90-66.

Fourth Quarter
Pacers try to make one more push with four starters in against the Jazz reserves. Uh, oh, the lead is going the wrong way. Tinsley shuts it down. Hopefully he can walk in the morning.

I'm surprised Travis Diener hasn't played, yet. He finished pretty well against the Lakers. I realize the Jazz guards present a defensive nightmare, but the Pacers could use a shot of offense. It's not like the defense could be any worse.

Pacers down 30 with 8 minutes to go, so the starters head to the bench. Now they can start thinking about playing the Suns tomorrow night. Lovely.

The Pacers effort tonight is nicely summed up when Kareem Rush grabs a rebound off a missed free throw and then dribbles it off Ike Diogu's heel, launching the ball out of bounds.

Five minutes left and I'm not listening but, really, there's nothing worth noting on the court anymore.

Game Over: Utah wins 111-89.

With the Pacers sitting in no man's land, my thoughts turn to Jermaine O'Neal. J.O. finished the game shooting 4 of 10 from the floor for 9 points with 4 rebounds. What are we going to do about J.O., people? He's obviously hurting, but that seems to be the norm now. Scraping together a win or two in the next week will be a challenge and if the non-max production continues from the max player, the Pacers will have to consider moving him for spare parts in return.