Five things to know after Utah’s win over Toronto

When the first half was 2:28, Rudy Gay came off the bench and headed for the goal. After taking off his jacket and sweating, Gay checked in to the game when a loud cheer from the Utah devotees poured down on him.

What followed in 18 minutes of his action was nothing short of dazzling. He finished with 20 points (7/8 shot), 5 rebounds, 2 assists and a +14 rating.

“One thing I did well today? I didn’t hold the ball. That’s a big thing for this team. … When we did that, we were hard to beat,” Gay said when asked about his performance.

Gay wasn’t the only star, with seven players scoring twice as much, giving Utah a 119-103 win ahead of Thursday night’s visit to Toronto.

Here are five things you need to know after you win:

1.) Welcome back, Rudy Gay
After exactly a month of waiting, Gay made his Jazz debut a special track.

His ability to create space in the floor (5/6 from depth) as part of Utah’s second unit opened things up for the rest of the team. Joe Ingles was able to be effective when fouling with more space, allowing the ball to move continuously without any sticky spots – a highlight of the Jazz.

Gay had two games last season for Spurs, where he scored more than 20 points, but both fell short of the effect he played on Thursday night. While he doesn’t always shoot 87.5% off the floor, his versatility to mount it on both sides of the field gives Utah another legitimate weapon to attack and defense.

“Honestly, it’s been one of the hardest seasons and the start of a season I’ve been in,” Gay said. “I’m 35, going to have foot surgery, basically have to teach myself how to walk. You have to be a little bit crazy. … You have to be a little different. And I’m a little bit different.”

Entering his 16th season in the league, Gay has proven he’s more than capable of playing a vital role on a team in search of its first championship – and it’s a terrifying thought when Consider one of the deepest teams in the league only going deeper and more talented. .

2.) Mike Conley dominates without a shot
Conley understands that with so many talented scorers surrounding him, he doesn’t need to hit 10-15 shots to dominate a basketball game.

The 15-year veteran knows he is capable of taking over games even with very few shots. Through his leadership, passing and defense skills, Conley can impact the game just as Donovan Mitchell does when he scores 40 points on a given night.

Conley proved it against Toronto.

Although he finished with five points in a 2-v-4 shoot (1 in 2 from deep), he created seven assists, won two robberies and had one block. Most impressive, however, was that Conley decided the tempo and attack for the Jazz, had many “hockey” assists and finished with the season’s highest +33 rating.

“Honestly, Mike Conley dominated the game,” Snyder said of his all-star point guard. “It says a lot about the person he is as a player as he takes four shots and dominates the game. We have a lot of contributors, but Mike, on my mind. , the way he played was unselfish and facilitated.… Plus 33 jumps out.”

After battling injury late last season and in the knockout stages, the Jazz want to prioritize Conley’s health this season – he’s sidelined two of Utah’s 15 games. While never an advocate of not competing, Conley is proving that a little respite will eventually pay dividends for Utah.

3.) Joe Ingles near Notches Triple-Double
One of the game’s best sharks, Ingles took on the role of de facto backup point guard for Conley when he got up and running with the second unit.

Even then, the year’s sixth runner-up has had a slow start to the season as his points, rebounds and assists have all dropped from last time around. While there were discussions about why that was, Ingles didn’t mind them, knowing he was doing what was necessary to help the Jazz win.

But on Thursday night during the game against the Raptors, Ingles returned to his old ways and became the leader of the second unit.

With Gay and Jordan Clarkson combining to shoot 9 to 17 from outside the arc, Ingles has more room to work than ever before this season, and it showed. He impressed from the bench, finishing with a nearly 10-point double, eight assists and seven rebounds.

“I think it almost forces us to play the way we want to play to a certain extent,” Ingles said of Toronto’s defence. “I think we’re at our best playing like this. I think no matter how much coverage the other teams play, tonight with what they’re doing obviously makes it very easy for us. do what you’ve done.”

Ingles did his greatest damage by hitting the defensive glass (six rebounds), which allowed him to quickly get the ball to the floor and exploit mistakes in Jazz’s favor. He was able to control Utah’s foul as the Jazz overcame Toronto 47-20 on the bench.

4.) Utah looks like its old self on offense
It’s impressive for a player to hit the 50-40-90 mark during a regular season – but it’s also impressive for a team to hit those points in a single game.

That’s what Jazz did at Vivint Arena on Thursday night.

Utah hit 55% (44 for 80) from the floor, 41.3% (19 for 46) from three-point territory and 92.3% (12 to 13) from the free throw into the Raptors’ net, a finding that was effective. made them very dangerous in the past.

The Jazz produced the highest 34 assists of the season tonight, with five players each scoring three or more goals. With Toronto working hard to seize the catch-and-roll, it forced Utah to react quickly and swing the ball through the box to find the opener.

“Just read the defense.… I think the big highlight tonight is, you know, finding people to open up and share the ball,” Royce O’Neale said after the game. “That made it difficult for us to defend with the ball moving around like that. One thing that was unique to us was that nobody really cared about who scored, everybody was unselfish, And that’s what we’ll continue to do.”

Leading the way was O’Neale’s 16 points when shooting 4/6 from three-point territory, seven players finished with double points. Rudy Gobert added another brace with 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Donovan Mitchell added 20 points and four steals. Jordan Clarkson and Hassan Whiteside combined for 23 points from the bench, helping the second team succeed.

5.) Jazz End Five-Game Homestand
Ten games have taken place during the season, and Utah is yet to play in close quarters this year. Then the Jazz returned to the comfortable confines of the Vivint Arena for a five-game house, looking to establish rhythm at both ends of the field.

“A lot of us have had our ups and downs, we can’t have a complete game that we’re happy about,” Conley said before the block began. “I think finding consistency and a good place to do it is staying at home for a long time, doing a routine that you’re used to. It’s a little easier because you’re familiar with it. everything a little more.”

The Homestand did its job well, as Utah went 3-2 in that time to improve to 10-5 during the season. Most importantly, though, the Jazz have found their rhythm at both ends of the field – especially in their two most recent wins over Philadelphia and Toronto.

Utah shoots over 50% from the floor and over 40% from outside the arc, averaging 30.5 assists and 51 rebounds per game.

The Jazz hit the road again for the first time in 13 days against Sacramento on Saturday. This is the third time this season – the second in California – that Jazz will perform the kings. Five things to know after Utah’s win over Toronto

James Brien

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