Utah Jazz Revelations: Oh No, We Suck Again!
Welcome to the latest edition of Utah Jazz revelations! The concept is simple. The Jazz play a game, I watch the game, then turn around and give you three key takeaways from said game. Really, it’s a three-step process.
The New York Knicks were the hottest team in the NBA with 7 straight victories, immense hustle and stifling defense.
The Jazz were on the sixth game of an equally long road trip, tired as hell, and unconfident in their recent play after getting beat down in Brooklyn the night before.
In a simplified equation, the Jazz had no chance of winning this game, and lo and behold they didn’t.
Utah became bearer of New York’s 8th straight victory by falling 118-103, moving to 24-25 on the season and remaining 10th in the West.
REVELATION #1: Utah can look absolutely unwatchable at times.
5 wins, 5 losses in the last 10 games would point out the fact that Utah is ok at basketball.
Some nights, they are good.
Some nights, they are bad.
And some nights they find ways to be both.
No example is more evident than last night’s game.
The Jazz hung around in the first half constantly staying within striking distance to make it 57-49 at half.
At the 9:21 mark of the 3rd quarter. Collin Sexton hit a three to cut the Knicks lead to 1, 61-60.
With Jazz fans now standing at full attention, their favorite basketball team crumbled in real time.
Remember, Utah had 60 points with 9:21 to go, it was a one-point game.
With 1:03 left in the third, Utah had 66 points and trailed by 25. That’s a 30-6 run in that span.
I never played professional basketball, so correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s really not helpful if your goal is to win games.
In that span of time, the Jazz shot 2/8 from the field (25 percent) and 1 of 2 from the stripe. More importantly they turned the ball over six times, three of which were consecutive turnovers.
Coach Hardy also picked up a technical foul in this timeframe.
When you add the fact that New York Capitalized almost every time down the floor during that stretch, you’ll understand why the game slipped away so quickly.
Whether you chalk it up to the roster and rotations, blame it on the grueling road trip, or praise New York’s defense, there’s no denying that the Jazz can often be their own worst enemy.
REVELATION #2: Is The Kris Dunn effect wearing off?
There was a recent time in which inserting Kris Dunn into the starting lineup changed the trajectory of the Jazz and how they approached each and every game.
Dunn, always an excellent defender, had his hustle and energy rub off on the guys around him and Utah was all the better for it.
Kris is still as electric as he’s always been, even in last night’s contest:
But as far as others thriving off his energy goes, not so sure that’s still flowing based on what New York's backcourt did to the Jazz last night.
Maybe it was a bad idea to have Collin Sexton go mouthing off, although I love the vibe, as the Knicks seemed to take it personally.
Here’s your stat line for Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo and Josh Hart:
Neither Brunson nor DiVincenzo had a single turnover.
Jazz fans are used to seeing poor defensive efforts from the backcourt, but thought less of it when Rudy Gobert was there to clean up.
With the opposition now running into Kelly Olynyk and John Collins once they blow past the first line of defense, fans are more prone on noticing how bad the defense can be at times.
Dunn was a flash of brilliance initially but it appears his influence can only travel so far.
Maybe he needs more minutes or maybe the Jazz just need better defenders, something isn’t working.
When the Jazz were in the midst of their 9 wins in ten games at the beginning of the month, Dunn played more than twenty minutes in six of the ten games.
In the current 2-5 stretch, Dunn has played more than twenty minutes one time.
Kris Dunn isn’t likely the fix all, but it’s been interesting to see the changeup become stale as time goes on. It may be a blip in the radar, but something to monitor.
REVELATION #3: Seriously, those turnovers are insane.
I know I touched on this just a couple blurbs ago, but we need to fully recognize how bad Utah’s turnover problem is.
Utah’s 15.9 turnovers per game leads the entirety of the NBA right now, a year after they averaged 15.4 (3rd worst)
Somehow in year two of a rebuild, Utah has gotten slightly more reckless with the basketball.
Let’s put this in perspective, shall we?
The Jazz have played 49 games this year. The Jazz have turned the ball over 10 or more times in 47 of them.
Only twice this season have the Jazz coughed it up less than ten times, both of which were losses to Phoenix and New Orleans (8 turnovers each).
The 6-40 Detroit Pistons have 4 games of less than turnovers this year.
If you’re a Jazz fan searching for something the team does better than anyone else, here ya are.
The 9-37 Wizards who have no direction or purpose have 8 games with less than ten turnovers.
So, if the 15-6 turnover ration in the loss to New York shocked you, just know that’s very in line with who the Jazz are.
It makes the fact that Utah’s offense being as productive as it has been extra impressive, and 24 wins admirable I suppose.
Imagine what they could do if they gave it to the wrong team less eh?