--when he's on, that is.
Last night, Gordan Giricek had a great night for the Utah Jazz (plus made two little old
Croatian ladies very excited by meeting with them, see SLTrib front page today). It's
very gratifying to see this wonderful player get a chance to start, play big minutes, and
really come through. Certain people who watch the Jazz games with me can testify that
I have long expostulated the following: pure shooters need minutes; Gordan G. is a pure
shooter; his usual role with the Jazz of coming of the bench and getting yanked before he
can achieve flow frustrates his ability to express his true nature as a player.
So last night's beautiful game was wonderful to behold. Of course, GG wasn't the only
beautiful thing in the beautiful game: Okur looked strong and surprising, which are his
big strengths (who expects the big guy to drive? to shoot the 3 and make it? to run
rather fluidly?). Kirilenko was his usual several-players-in-one self. And Matt Harpring,
who for some reason always makes my night when he has a good game, had a quintessentially
great Harpring game--moving without the ball, getting under the basket, taking his little
jumper. Most beautiful of all: Kobe had one of those nights, and we still won.
This is the Platonic Jazz--the ideal Jazz. This is the palm tree at the end of the mind.