SALT LAKE CITY — The Jazz are rolling, making up two spots and without playing a game. They have days off and can really make a playoff push. They beat the defending NBA Champions earlier this week and now they have one of the worst teams in the league.
The Jazz welcomed the young and talented, yet unproven, Cleveland Cavaliers to Utah. After a slow start they put their foot on the gas to finish with a 109-98 convincing win to improve to 22-19. They are 7-2 in their last nine and confident.
The lockerroom after the game was boisterous. Mo Williams had his feet up eating a pizza with the team. The biggest event was Enes Kanter's velvet jacket and all the players making fun of it.
This is what a good team should do when playing a bad team.
There was a similar scene a few weeks earlier when the Clippers beat the Jazz during their 19-game winning streak. After the game the Clippers were blaring Jay-Z while reporters were talking to the players.
Kanter had a good game, going 7-8 with 14 points and five rebounds, but the story after the game was his black velvet jacket.
"Because I'm from Europe I can wear anything I want," Kanter said. "They can't they are American."
Jamaal Tinsley had 11 points and four rebounds in another strong start, but most of the questions he got were about Kanter's wardrobe and his "jealousies"
"They don't understand about fashion," Kanter said. "They don't know now, they got no style that's why they're jealous."
Ultimately, the Jazz only won by 11, but the game wasn't that close. The Jazz were up by as many as 18 in the fourth and the Cavs put in their starters to try to close the gap. The team held strong, it got closer than head coach Tyrone Corbin would have liked it, but they did the job.
"I don't know if it was a blowout," Corbin said. "These guys played hard, and they made shots. I wanted to bring us out a little sooner but they hung right in there. So, give them a lot of credit. They are a young team trying to find their way in the league. Actually I think they played hard."
It might not have been a blowout in the end, but they took a young team that played hard and enforced their will. The Cavs have 10 wins and are a year or two away from being competitive, a lot like the Wizards who the Jazz host next. These are the games that the Jazz need to win and should win big.
And once they start to smell blood they want to close the game out and let Jeremy Evans and rookie Kevin Murphy play a little.
"I was telling some of the guys on the bench man ya'll got to blow them out so I can get in," Murphy said. "They were just laughing at me trying to do it. Some of them tried to do it, but that's cool."
Murphy did get a minute, for his second appearance in a month. The team wants to blow out teams and get these guys time. This wasn't a perfect game, but it was pretty close to one.
Six players were in double-figures, a golden mark for the Jazz. They are 8-2 with six or more players in double-figures. That is either from a simple when the Jazz are scoring a lot they win, or when the ball is moving they win games. 30 assists against the Cavs was a good team showing.
Four more days of rest then the Jazz will play the Wizards, the only team worse than the Cavs in the NBA. They will need to find a way to keep the rust off and start fast, but if this is a team that has turned a corner another big win and hopefully another fantastic wardrobe choice by Big Turkey.