By The Sarge
Frequent commenter, Madden trick-play specialist and longtime friend of The Association, The Sarge (or Encyclopedia Bri-Danica from the public access airwaves) took some time off from a business trip to Salt Lake City of all places and went to Friday night's Utah Jazz - Denver Nuggets game. Here's his report:
I want to thank Craig and Brett for letting me write about last night's game. This is my first trip to the Energy Solution Arena. First I want to talk about the arena before I talk about the fantastic game I saw from the fifth row last night:
First Impression: I will say that the arena is constructed very well and the fans are right on top of the court. The energy was fantastic, but it was a little overkill. Every time the Jazz made a basket the whole arena stood up and cheered like it was the NBA finals.
Banner Crazy: The Utah Jazz still have the banners for being the Midwest DIVISION champs. They have a banner for the year Karl Malone won the MVP as well as a banner for John Stockton being the all time assist Leader. I have a question what happens when someone else gets that honor; will they keep the banner up or take it down?? I almost forgot to mention the retired numbers. The one I think was somewhat funny was Jeff Hornacek, did he do anything but shoot???
Arena Entertainment?: The pre-game and time out antics are very Utah-ish as well. First the Mascot drives a motorcycle onto the court and revs the engine to get the crowd into frenzy. During timeouts I have never seen so many basketballs and little squishy balls get sot into the seats, but the funniest was the halftime show. Since Utah is all about Family values and having 5+ kids per family, 4 brothers faced off against each other (seriously!). The 2 teams had to stack YELLOW PAGES at half court; the winning brother combination had at least 15 yellow pages stacked at center court. The announcer made 1 final announcement; he mentioned that there was 4 other siblings’ in the family as well for a total of 8 kids. GOOD GRIEF…..
The Kirlenko T-Shirt Toss: Speaking of some time out antics, the show must go on sort to speak. Right before halftime Andre Kirlenko went down with what turned out to be an ankle sprain. As he lay on the floor in a heap, the fans were treated to some free merchandise, which was a little strange to me. The players who were on the floor were all concerned about Andre and as he hopped off of the floor a ball almost hit him as it got sent to the upper deck.
Now for the game: I was impressed about all of the offense that both teams showed but the Nuggets in my eyes have more talent than the Jazz do and neither team will go anywhere in the west because they do not play defense. Utah didn’t win the game, rather Denver lost the game by missing easy shots and not rebounding on the defensive end in the 4th quarter.
George Karl called both of his star players by their nicknames A.I. and MELO. I thought that was a little strange. They worked well together and scored at will. They totaled 70 points between them and Camby added 21. What happened to the rest of the team?
Melo was always smiling all the time during the game both at the referees and at the fans but he is an amazing talent he makes moves so easily and freely. In my eyes if they play just a little defense they can make some noise in the West, but not until then.
Now for the Jazz; do you know who the fans adore? Rookie guard Ronnie Brewer, who had an unbelievable dunk on a rebound which sparked the Jazz comeback. Carlos Boozer had 25 points and 19 rebounds, he was an animal and he is a BIG man up close. The Jazz hit every free throw down the stretch to seal the victory in a very inspiring game. TNT missed out on not having this game as a national televised game in my opinion.
Travel with the Jazz: One last thing about the Jazz, you can but tickets to travel with the team to go to Denver to watch them play the same Nuggets. You get to watch them practice and have dinner with the coaching staff which I think is pretty cool. Also you get to visit the Fox Sports Net studios and watch the game from the Fox Sports net studios. Plus which is the most important you get to meet the players at the practice and have them sign autographs.
If you want to watch the jazz I would recommend coming to the game because you are right on top of the action and the fans are really into the game.