DID UTAH WIN? Fourth 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?
No, the Jazz lost… again. That’s two straight road losses for Utah as they fell in Denver to the reigning champion, Nuggets, 110-102. Utah is now 1-3 on the season.
Another loss? What the bump. Who kicked our butt?
No opposing player, no opposing defense did Utah dirty like Utah did themselves. Utah played the villain in their own story one more time this season by having an atrocious first half. It was a 58-45 first half deficit for the Jazz, which seemed generous based on their performance.
John Collins had 13, Lauri Markkanen had 10, Walker Kessler had 7 and not a single other Jazz player had more than three. Normally you can go to the box score and say “well, Utah was outrebounded here, had ten more turnovers here, had this many assists compared to Denver’s assist” and so on.
That isn’t really the case here, Utah simply couldn’t shoot and Denver could. The Nuggets had 49 tries in the first half and nailed 51 percent of them. Utah had 46 tries and hit 37 percent of them.
The Jazz looked sluggish, lost and out of sorts more often than not in the first half. They were never able to fully recover from the slow start.
Jokic had a casual triple double with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assist. He was 12/16 from the field.
Aaron Gordon continues his role as a certified menace by going 10/12 from the field for 21 points with is 7 boards.
Jamal Murray had 18 on 19 shots, which isn’t ideal, but had a big three to keep Utah at bay.
That first half sounds totally lame. Was the second any better?
The second half was much better and resembled shades of the Jazz team we were hoping to see this season.
It wasn’t enough for a win, but we will settle for baby steps right now.
Utah won the second half 57-52. They had 5 more boards, two more assists and three less turnovers than the Nuggets. Denver still shot better, and had some late game heroics from Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray to seal the win, but I can promise Denver wasn’t all too happy with the Jazz making them work to the bitter end in a game where they led by as many as 17.
Lauri Markkanen took over and led all scorers with 17 points in the second half. Walker Kessler logged a 7/8 showing in the 2nd half with 15 points and the Jazz did enough to make the Nuggets sweat down the stretch.
So yes, the 2nd half was more promising.
Coach Will Hardy would tell Sarah Todd of the Deseret News afterwards that the “communication was five times better, our intensity and effort was significantly better.”
Man, ok 1-3 isn’t that fun but i don’t feel too sad about that loss. Is that ok?
Absolutely. This was a scheduled loss to who is the best team in Basketball. The fight and effort especially after a porous first half should make you feel a bit better moving forward.
Who are the Jazz men that I should be pumped about after this one? Anyone I should be concerned for?
The big name is the big guy. Walker Kessler hadn’t seen more than 25 minutes in a game before taking on Denver.
Kessler hadn’t scored more than 8 points, grabbed more than 8 rebounds or made his presence felt on either side of the ball.
The sophomore slump seemed to be starting strong for the big fella from Auburn.
Kessler broke that mojo at least for the moment in a big way by going 10/11 from the field for 22 points to pair with 13 total rebounds.
His 29 minutes was a season high up to this point and those 22 points is the third most of his young career.
Kessler would be the first to tell you his defense isn’t quite back to what we witnessed last year, but finding offensive consistency can only help him rediscover the other side of the game.
The guard situation didn’t become any clearer, but did see more consistent play from Talen Horton-Tucker.
Horton-Tucker had 16 points and went 2/3 from deep and led the team with 8 dimes.
Outside of THT it was a very poor performance for the rest of the backcourt.
Collin Sexton had 12 points on 10 shots and recorded zero assist as his inability to create for others still looms large.
Ochai Agbaji, Kris Dunn, Jordan Clarkson and Keyonte George combined for 7 points and 11 assists.
Lauri Markkanen had a tied game high of 27 points with 14 rebounds and 5 assists, Lauri was just as impactful as anyone on the floor despite some efficiency struggles (10/24 on FG’s).
John Collins put up another respectable 15 and 9, but shot 44 percent, making it a little less impressive.
Markkanen and Kessler are the big take aways in this one, Collins and Olynyk are steady, George has upside and everyone else should only bring forth cautious optimism, if that.
Where’s that cool stat to share with my friends?
We knew going into this game that the Nuggets hadn’t changed much from their championship winning ways, and this statistic illustrates just how dominate they’ve been in their 4 wins in 4 games.
Anything extra cool happen last night?
This clip may seem simplistic but seeing some solid passing shouldn’t be unnoticed with todays Jazz team. We are well past the “blender” mentality that existed in the Quin Snyder era.
Getting teammates to pass, move and distribute the ball is a work in progress for this young squad and we get it here for a brief moment.
John Collins flashing off ball, and working away from the focal point of the defense has to be appreciated as well. Collins was highly touted as a screen and roll man, and to see off ball movement in his favor is another step in understanding he is more than a set shot type of big.
Who do we play next?
Utah’s work won’t get any easier as they take on the Memphis Grizzlies back in Salt Lake City, this Wednesday the 1st of November.
Memphis has talent, but above all they reek of desperation. Memphis has started Ja Morant's suspension time with an 0-4 record and recently just lost at home to Dallas.
This game will tip off at 7:00 PM Utah time.