REPORT CARD – Wolves @ Jazz

My Criteria – Grades are based on performance relative to my expectations. A bad game by KLove is way better than anything Rashad McCants ever did (and I wrote that sentence before the game even started, sadly), but I’m grading them against what I feel is their normal impact on a game. Aside from that…no curve, no tolerance for being overly serious, and no mercy.

Also, I’m a fan of advanced stats, but I’m not really going to get into them for the purpose of this Report Card. It’s just not worth it in a one game sample. I’m going to treat this like a tenured public school teacher. I know the numbers are available and valuable, but I can’t be bothered to look them up, so I’m just gonna grade from the hip and run out the clock until my retirement.

Ricky Rubio: A-
Got some of his shot mojo back tonight. This game could have been a major wrong turn down Confidence Alley, but the Unicorn nailed it. Came out firing when necessary, the shot came around, and got to the line when needed. Still impacting the game in huge ways with steals, defense, and assists. He only gets the minus from looking a little tired in the 2nd half after logging heavy minutes on the tail end of a back 2 back, and not actually shooting a rainbow out of his arse.

Luke Ridnour: Turd Sandwich with semi-redeeming 2nd half
Needs to stop pretending he’s Ricky when he’s our primary ballhandler. Dribbles himself in circles with his head down, then doesn’t understand why no one is open when he looks up. A few more pull up long 2’s with 21 on the shot clock is not with the Force Luke! Terrible D tonight… got absolutely owned by Earl Watson…which may make trading him difficult without Earl’s permission. In his defense, hit a few big 3’s that kept us in the game in the 2nd half. I actually like Luke, but he had a bad night.

Wes Johnson: 1st half = A+ / Did he play in the 2nd half?
Great start for Wes. Took it hard to the cup for an And 1. Hit an open 3. Was hitting the glass hard, and getting into passing lanes to create a few steals. Then "Evil Wes" (who is good) was kidnapped by "Actual Wes" at HT. Actual Wes took his Evil Good doppelganger back to the Bizarro universe where he belongs, and he was not heard from again. Funny stat: even with just one good half, it was Wes’ best game of the year.

PS - Can anyone Photoshop a crappy, fake goatee on a Wes picture to support this ridiculousness?

Kevin Love: D
Yes, even the best are allowed to have bad games. I get the pleasure of grading one of my favorite players on his worst night of the season. And bad he was. Not to make excuses, but he looked tired. He got owned by Paul Millsap tonight. Didn’t close on him at all. Got outworked on the glass (I’m pretty sure it’s the first time that’s been said). His shot wasn’t going…he knew it...we knew it. But instead of finding other ways to help, he just kept shooting. He made me think of Lou Brown from Major League tonight. "You might rebound like Rodman, but you shoot like shit!" He’ll be fine, but this is the grade he deserves tonight.

Darko: Incomplete
Got off to a great start, then had to leave. Sore Hip, which I assume is Serbian for "cigarette-related emphysema." Came back in the 2nd half briefly, but sat for most of it. Looked up for it again tonight, but we all know not to get carried with this.

DWill: 1st half = A / 2nd half = C
Great start and looked active. Kinda disappeared in the 2nd half. Still looks like he’s having a seizure when he dribbles drives. Involuntary leg spasms when he takes a jump shot. HUGE throwdown on a Rubi-oop that got waved off. Potentially another Shawn Kemp, only hopefully with condoms.

Picked up a foul in pretty much his first second on the court. Looked a bit timid early, but still provided the presence we needed with Darko out in the 1st half. Got a few nice, low post scores when we needed them. Still doesn’t get the 3 second rule. Also, really good as Zod’s lackey in Superman 2.

Continuing his good run. Understands his role. Did what he was asked. Working his ass off on D. Very nice development for us this year. Gets an immediate + on his grade for pics of his girlfriend.

Why limit this to just our players? Let’s have a look at a few other things from tonight’s game.

Al Jefferson: B
Looked like the Al we always knew. Good, not great. Low post razzle dazzle on O…didn’t try very hard on D. I’m mainly mentioning him here because I think he’s proof that a human being once had sex with a water buffalo. Patrick Ewing is clearly an uncle…Enes Kanter may be a distant cousin.

Utah announcers: D
Typical annoying, homeristic crap gets a C. The NOLA guys are an F-triple-minus on double secret probation. These goofballs get a D because at least they don’t bitch about every call that didn’t go their way. That is the nicest thing I can say…not particularly entertaining or insightful on the game.
By the way Utah Vox, stop calling you’re analyst "Booner." You’re reminding me of Growing Pains, which is not a good thing (RIP – Boner Stabone). Might I suggest "Boon-anner." Or if you want to go all Ted Nugent on us, "Wang Dang Sweet Boon-tang."

Overall Team Grade: B
Even though it was a loss, I felt we played a bit better than we did against the Clippers. Second half was a bit ragged and a letdown, but that’s to be expected in this ultra-condensed season (but really, David Stern cares about his meaningless assets players). The Jazz are a good team. We’re now respectable, on our way to good, and a stud wing away from great. I think this is going to be a really nice rivalry in the next few years. Love had his worst game of the season. We were on the road. On the end of a back to back. A 1-1 record on a road trip against the Clips and Jazz is more than acceptable. We move on to Houston on Monday. We sincerely need to kick McHale and Flynn in the nuts.

Game in general- B+
Well played game. Very evenly matched. Good effort by both teams for most of the game. This was a good measuring stick game for us. We lost, but we were competitive and just ran out of gas at the end. That happens, even to good teams. And it’s always fun to hear "Mormon Outrage" at every call that doesn’t go the way of the home team. I bet those refs have never heard so many angry "Gosh Darnits" in their lives…

Let’s hear the thoughts of CH on the game below. Hope none of you are dumber for reading this, but I do hope some of you accidentally pee’d yourself a little at some point from my lame attempts at humor.

Go Wolves!!! Vamos Lobos!!! Our future is incredibly bright!!!

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