NJN@UTA 11.19.07

Salt Lake City, UT, Nov. 19 — In another outing to forget if you\’re a Nets\’ fan, the men from Jersey blew another circuit as the Utah Jazz thrashed the New Jersey Nets soundly tonight at \”Energy Solutions Arena\” in Salt Lake City. The Nets were beaten in all phases of the game, shooting, rebounding and takeaways, and couldn\’t find any solutions tonight. The Nets simply couldn\’t keep up with the high-energy Jazz. The final margin of victory for Utah: 102-75.

True to early-season form, the Nets are starting off their Thanksgiving road trip week with yet another blowout loss. While it\’s way too early for outright panic, if they don\’t start finding ways to win relatively soon, it\’ll be a long, dreary season. The New Jersey team runs the risk of having to dig out of a larger hole for the rest of the year in a less kinder and gentler Eastern Conference than they\’ve known.*

Indeed, New Jersey will have very little to give thanks for this holiday season if the losing continues except, perhaps, a chance at participating in the ping-pong lottery. Now, are there any Moses Malones in this year\’s draft?

The loss for New Jersey was its sixth in a row. Most East Coast Nets\’ fans likely turned off their televisions early this night to conserve energy.

Once again, the short-handed Nets didn\’t mount anything of note offensively against the deep and well-coached Jazz who bounced back from their own troubles – back-to-back losses that included a 20-point embarrassment at the hands of the Indiana Pacers the other night. Utah advances to 8-4 after tonight\’s victory. New Jersey sinks deeper under .500 to 4-7.

Richard Jefferson continued his quest for an all-star berth as he led all scorers again with 22 points, but Eddie Gill was probably the MVP of the game. He scored ten straight points in the fourth quarter to bring the Nets to within nine points at 86-67 before the Jazz brought in the first-string to put out the fire. They \’shut the door\’ and put the game away … going away.

Coach Lawrence Frank continues to experiment with different combinations to see what works and if the team can settle into a winning mode. In the meantime, New Jersey shot 35% to Utah\’s 52. The Nets were out-worked, out-hustled, out-rebounded and gave it away more than their opponent. Is there anything else to expect but a loss? Maybe the Coach should stop off in Las Vegas on his way to Portland to try his hand at \”craps?\”

In any case, the coaching staff learns more about the group under its care and what to do about the problems they find. Hopefully, they will \’right the ship\’ in due course to salvage the season relatively soon. It\’s happened before.

If not, call Nanny 911 and the team executives that oversee personnel. It could be a winter of change for New Jersey, but don\’t expect anything to happen until after December 15 at the earliest.

Notes: New Jersey\’s best play on the night was probably Utah missing its free throws. UTA out-shot NJN by 17% from the field with significant margins from the three point range and at the line. UTA out-rebounded NJN by 9 and had significantly less turnovers takeing the ball away more (15 steals for UTA versus 10 for NJN).

Sightings – The 7-0 Jason \”Twin\” Collins and his 6-11 brother Jarron Collins were out on the floor tonight together at the same time, but didn\’t exchange fouls. [Where is my bath of vinegar, garlic and a crucifix?]

On the other hand, Josh Boone, who it would seem has been groomed to follow in Jason \”Twin\” Collins footsteps, fouled UTA\’s Jarron Collins, NJN\’s Jason Collins\’ twin brother, with 8:11 left in the second quarter. Is that a portent for the season? How was this possible? Jarron promptly missed a pair of free throws. Does this suddenly poor free-throw shooting run in families? Is it contagious? How did Boone get it?

Jarron Collins finished with 6 points, 2 assists and a steal in nineteen minutes of play. By contrast, both Jason Collins AND Josh Boone combined for a total of no [as in ZERO, NADA, GOOSE-EGG] points, 6 rebounds (five by Josh) and seven personal fouls in twenty-three minutes of action!

The spectacular triple-double machine, Jason Kidd, had an uncharacteristically bad game on this evening, but we won\’t set forth any statistical particulars tonight. Future Hall-of-Famer that he is, he gets a pass.

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