DID UTAH WIN? Fifth Edition
Welcome to the Lazy Utahn’s recap of the most recent Utah Jazz game. Do you want to talk to your friends about the game, impress them with cool stats, and act like you watch all 82 games like a true die hard even if you didn’t catch the big game last night? We got you covered in this simplistic breakdown of each topic that may arise from the latest Utah Jazz showdown.
Did the Jazz win?
Yes, the Jazz won! Returning back to the cozy confines of the Delta Center, Utah blasted the Memphis Grizzlies 133-109. Utah scored more points than they have in a single game this young season, and held their opponent to the lowest number of points they’ve allowed five games in. Utah’s 42-19 first quarter advantage proved to be enough cushion for the Jazz to comfortably hold on for their second win of the season. The Jazz now sit at 2-3, tied for 12th in the Western Conference.
Wow, that was an absolute butt kicking! How did we string that one together?
Mostly everyone wearing the black and yellow had a stellar showing in what was Utah’s most balanced team effort up to this point in the season.
Before I tell you about the individuals who had big games, it’s essential to recognize the team aspect of what happened here.
It’s been pretty obvious that the Jazz have had a sharing issue early in the season when it comes to distributing, moving the basketball, working the offense and finding the open shot/open man.
The last two games have seen Utah crack the 30 assists mark for the first time this season. The 30 assists in the Denver loss were a step in the right direction, but Utah had 35 assists on 47 field goals made in the Memphis win.
This is an automatic season high and means that Utah was assisting on just about 75 percent of their made shots. Compare that to game 1 in the loss to Sacramento were Utah assisted on about 54 percent of their made buckets and you can appreciate the progress.
35 assists would be the third best performance in terms of ball distribution for all 82 of Utah’s games last season alone and would be the best passing game of the entirety of the 82-game season last played by Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.
For as much flack as the guard rotation has caught, it does appear the team is starting to understand Will Hardy’s gameplan and style.
Speaking of the best performance of the season so far, Utah shot a blistering 54 percent, about 9 percent better than any other game this year. The Jazz also knocked down 22 triples, 6 more than they hit in the win over the Clippers. The 51 percent shooting from deep was also about 12 percent higher than the shooting in the win over the Clippers as well.
That type of shooting may not always be sustainable, but the ball movement has the ability to stay constant.
Who did we have go off?
More like, who did we have that DIDN’T go off, am I right? (Walker Kessler) If you saw the floor for the Jazz last night, then you saw your name in the scoring column on the box score.
Talen Horton-Tucker, the starting Point Guard at this moment, led the team in assist at 5.6 a game, and was sure to bolster those stats with 7 assists next to 9 points and 5 boards.
His running mate, Jordan Clarkson, bounced back from a 4-point dud in Denver with a 20-point outing. Clarkson shot 61.5 percent from the field, had six boards and dished out five assists. He went 4/6 from downtown.
With all the questions the backcourt has posed, more answers were found in the Grizzlies demise. Collin Sexton arrived in big fashion as he led all scorers with 23 points.
We all know Collin can put up points, but the knock has been shot selection, consistency, and of course the big one, his struggles of being willing to pass. All of those things were non factors last night.
Sexton was a surgical 8/10, including 4 made three balls, to pair with 6 assists. Sexton, who was on the wrong end of a Coach Hardy lecture now and again this season was given his highest minute total (22) since the Phoenix game, a game in which he also recorded a season high six assists.
The guards seem to be buying in and playing with a more focused attention to spreading the ball around and the Jazz are only the better for it.
Lauri Markkanen continued his above average play with 19 points on 11 tries while remaining hot from beyond the arc. Markkanen would hit 4 of his 6 attempts from downtown, while clearing another 11 boards for his 4th double-double in 5 games.
John Collins had 16 for the Jazz and worked hard inside to get to the line more than any other Jazz man with 6 attempts.
Kelly Olynyk remains the glue off the bench as he strung together 14 points on 7 shots. 5/7, 3 of 4 from three, 8 rebounds and 5 assists are about all the action you can squeeze into 26 minutes of playtime. Olynyk would cap the night off by being listed as a +38 in the +/- category.
The Jazz outscoring Memphis by 38 with Olynyk on the floor is worth the price of admission alone.
Keyonte George flashed 9 points on 8 shots with three assists, Ochai Agbaji had six on 5 shots.
Geez, is Memphis that bad or are we just that good?
The Jazz showed a lot of promise in that win, and took clear and obvious steps forward. The passing was better, the defense was improved, the effort was there and it was a full four quarter performance for the most part.
Memphis is also the only winless team in the entirety of the association and looks completely devoid of any life.
Ja Morant’s suspended, Steven Adams is out for the season, and the Grizz were without Brandon Clarke and Derrick Rose last night. This isn’t an excuse for Memphis, but rather an acknowledgement that this team is a major bummer right now.
The Jazz looked better learned a lot and should be better off. Will Hardy told the media afterwards that “having a really good result like this as a team early in the season, it does help add to the belief."
This is true. It can also be true that the Grizzlies are simply not very good at the moment. Utah finally got a break in a vicious early schedule and took full advantage.
Did the Grizzlies have anyone good playing?
All-Star and defending Defensive player of the year, Jaren Jackson Jr, had 19 points in 26 minutes. He posted that stat line on a crazy inefficient 17 shots and 8 of those points were free throws made.
Jazz fans heartthrob Desmond Bane led the Grizzlies with 21 points…. On 19 shot attempts. He was 4/12 from deep.
New addition Marcus Smart played more than any other Grizzlies player and had 11 points on 11 shots with 5 turnovers.
In a season full of nothing but negativity, this may have been peak struggling for the Grizz. At least we got to see Kenneth Lofton Jr hang 12 points.
Ok, give me that sweet statistic of the night.
I’ve already dropped so many stats in the stuff above, let me give you a fun fact instead.
I’m so sorry Taylor Jenkins.
I’ll settle for that, what’s the highlight look like?
The guards have been struggling to pass, so what better way to demonstrate how much better the night was than to show a guard-to-guard connection?
No rest for the weary as the Jazz continue their homestand against Joe Ingles and the 2-2 Orlando Magic tonight at 7:00 Utah time.
The Magic have lost two straight and are entering Salt Lake City as their 4th and final road game of a Western Road trip.