Sports Report Essay, Research Paper
The Seattle SuperSonics has figured out how to beat the Utah Jazz. Don t let Karl Malone, John Stockton and Co. play their game. The Sonics tied the best-of-five series with two homecourt victories by disrupting Utah s methodical pick-and-roll and turning the Jazz into a flustered, emotional team.
They were never successful with the pick-and-roll when teams double it. And it hasn t changed in 15 years. If the players don t catch and deliver after the first pass, then they will be in trouble. Seattle won Games 3 and 4 with steady team defense. Utah s challenge for Game 5 is to rediscover the poised, machinelike play that produced victories in the first two games of the series.
The couch wasn t too happy because of there Wednesdays lost. The Jazz let Gary Payton dictate Game 4. He had 35 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. His jawing helped fluster the Jazz, who had six technical fouls in the second half. The Jazz went flat on the road, and the Sonics seized the momentum.
The winner advances to play Sunday in Portland in the Western Conference semifinals. The Trail Blazers have been waiting since midweek after eliminating Minnesota. All the Jazz needed was one victory at Key Arena, but they couldn t get it. Utah shot poorly in a Game 3 loss and scored points in the second quarter of another loss in Game 4. The Sonics took credit for both Jazz swoons. They won the last two games on the defensive end. If Utah loses; it will mark the end of a 14-year NBA career for retiring shooting guard Jeff Hornacek.
It s a prospect that won t sit well with the Jazz, and forward Bryon Russell said he s confident the home fans will help Hornacek extend his career a few more weeks. Russell also predicted a Jazz victory in Game 4, and he said it s homecourt advantage and crowd will be a factor. Payton, who on Thursday was named to the NBA s all-defensive team for the seventh time, expects a great game.