All of a sudden, the Utah Jazz have guards, some would even call them point guards, that can score points and make a difference. Randy Foye had his best game of the season with a rare shooting night, while Mo Williams continued his late-season heroics, as the two are suddenly pushing a team that looked on the verge of an embarrassing collapse back into the NBA postseason picture.
Well, not just the picture – Utah are 8th in the West, winning the tiebreaker with the Los Angeles Lakers for the final spot (both teams are at 38-36). The Jazz beat the Brooklyn Nets 116-107 by mixing up the outside-inside game very well, probably better than they have all season, while going back to their biggest advantage: home court.
Foye scored 26 points (Second best night of the season) with a fantastic 8-9 from beyond the arc. He didn’t do anything else – just catch and shoot, without missing, or hardly at all. The Jazz in general, or at least the important players, were seeing the basket wide, big and clear on a very bad defensive effort from the Brooklyn Nets, a team that hasn’t done very well against the Western Conference this season (13-17).
Mo Williams scored 20 points, making it 48 in the last couple of games, while Al Jefferson represented the inside delegation with 20 of his own, combing back to life as well with perfect timing. The Jazz shot 55.6% from the field and had surprising scoring help from the bench in the form of Derrick Favors (13 points) and Marvin Williams with 14.
The Jazz won’t have home court advantage, even if they make the postseason. But a 27-9 home record this year, which was much better before their month long slip, means that playing in Salt Lake City is not a pleasant ordeal. Deron Williams got another rude welcoming from the home fans, seeing him as the direct culprit for Jerry Sloan stepping away from the basketball team, becoming nothing more than a viewer from the side.
Five of their remaining eight games are at home, meaning the Jazz are probably in the best position out of the three teams (Lakers & Mavs) fighting for that final ticket to make it into the playoffs.