Utah’s Mo Williams Takes Benching Personally
Tyrone Corbin made two key decisions in the Jazz’s surprising 105-95 win over the Portland Trail Blazers that merit further discussion. Both involved benching starters. And both had the potential to backfire if they didn’t work.
In the second quarter, Corbin didn’t play Mo Williams. Not one second. The Jazz point guard had a quiet — to say the least — first quarter, which he finished with 2 points, an assist and a turnover in 10 minutes. In Corbin’s words, Williams “didn’t play his best in the first half.”
Williams took it personally. He scored 14 of his game-high 28 points in the fourth quarter, and can safely be given the majority of the credit for the Jazz’s first road win since Feb. 13. This is something sports writer’s often do. We find something that can be seen as a slight and extrapolate it into something bigger. But when asked if his benching was related to his outstanding fourth-quarter play, Williams said, “Yeah, you know, yeah. You get pissed off. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself you come out and be aggressive.”