NBA DAILY DRIBBLE: Jazz continue their climb to the Playoffs

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NBA results, February 13, 2018

New Orleanes Pelicans 118 – Detroit Pistons 103

Philadelphia 76ers 108 – New York Knicks 92

LA Clippers 114 – Brooklyn Nets 101

Chicago Bulls 105 – Orlando Magic 101

Utah Jazz 101 – San Antonio Spurs 99

Golden State Warriors 129 – Phoenix Suns 83

Three things that happened in the NBA

1. Utah Jazz win 10 straight

The hottest team in the league aren’t any of the top four teams (although props to the Houston Rockets for their eight-game win streak). The team with the longest active win streak is the Utah Jazz who have won 10 straight games. Their latest win was a tough on over the always-prepared, San Antonio Spurs.

Midway through the fourth period, the Spurs were leading by six points. But back-to-back three-pointers by Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles pulled them back into the game. It was a back-and-forth game at that point with the undermanned Spurs executing their offense to get their buckets.

A tough, leaning three-pointer by Danny Green gave San Antonio a on-point lead, 97-96. They had a chance to extend the lead but Mitchell stole the ball from Kyle Anderson and took it all the way to the other end for the go-ahead bucket. The Spurs took the lead again but Mitchell came right back for a killer pull-up jumper to give the Jazz the lead for good. The Spurs had their chances in the final seconds of the game but the Jazz D held steady and stopped the Spurs from getting a good shot.

It’s been a team effort for the Jazz during this run. Their top four players, Rudy Gobert, Ricky Rubio, Ingles and Mitchell have all had their moments in the 10-game stretch.

Gobert has been a steady presence in the paint, averaging a double-double and multiple blocks in 10 games played. Rubio has had a down season in terms of scoring but during the stretch he’s had four games scoring 20 or more points including a 34-point explosion agains the Spurs earlier this month.

Ingles has been an all-around threat, playing all 10 games. Against the Blazers, Ingles scored 24 points on six treys and also had five boards and four assists. Mitchell has risen to become the go-to guy of the Jazz. He’s turning into a Dwyane Wade lite, relentlessly attacking the hoop and creating for everyone on the team. Mitchell exploded for his second 40-point game this season during that stretch.

A couple of weeks ago, the Jazz were out of the Playoff picture completely. Now they’re at the 10th spot at 29-28, 1.5 games away from the eight seed.

2. Steve Kerr allows his players to coach

Steve Kerr continues to be unconventional (The good kind. Not the Kia kind.). During the first quarter of the game against the Suns, he called a time-out, scribbled the line-up on the clip board and immediately handed it to Andre Iguodala. Iggy proceeded to call a play for the Golden State Warriors, acting as their coach.

It wasn’t just Iguodala. Steph Curry got his chance too. And he didn’t do so well under pressure. Ironic right?

Curry explains the delay of game that happened.

Draymond Green who wasn’t playing the game today also called a play.

Even JaVale McGee got an Assistant Coach role in one of the players huddles.

The Warriors won by 46 points.

Of course, not everyone was happy with what Kerr did. Troy Daniels told the Arizona Republic, “It’s disrespectful, “I don’t think it’s hard to coach those guys, though. So I think anybody can do it.”

Jared Dudley, not one to hold his tongue also felt disrespected. But he acknowledged that his team needs to fight for respect.

For his part, Kerr explained that this move was meant to motivate and reach the team he’s been having difficulty reaching. He said, “They’re tired of my voice. I’m tired of my voice.”

Phoenix coach Jay Triano took things in stride. He understood that it was Kerr’s ploy to motivate his team.

The bad thing about this move by Kerr is it puts his job in jeopardy now. (Kidding, of course.)

3. Surprise triple-double out of Philly

With the Philadelphia 76ers, it’s usually Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid racking up the stats. Against the New York Knicks, the Sixers got a surprise triple-double from TJ McConnell.

McConnell scored 10 points, grabbed 10 boards, dished out 11 assists and stole the ball six times in the win.

He was rewarded with a well-deserved post-game shower by his teammates.

Did an NBA superstar get ejected today?

No. But here’s an awesome pic of Draymond coaching.

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Just a glimpse into the future when he’s coaching but still racking up ejections.

Photos from Getty and AP

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