The Utah Jazz stink.
They’re awful. They’re inconsistent. They lack explosive offense and clutch defense. They lose to bad teams at home and worse teams on the road.
Fans everywhere should be frustrated, upset and ashamed of the way the Jazz are playing. Since the All-Star break, the team is winless, with every loss coming at home.
Look, I love the Jazz. Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert are great players and Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdonovic do fit on this team. But things need to change.
Breaking it Down
Since the All-Star break, the Jazz are 0-3.
The problem with being 0-3 has to do with who the Jazz have lost to, where they lost and how they’ve lost. The Jazz have taken losses to the Spurs, Rockets and Suns — all at home. Yeah, they lost to the Suns. By 20. More on that later.
The Spurs came in and beat the Jazz, 113-104. Not quite a double-digit loss, but it sure felt like it. Every time the Jazz would cut it to three or four points, the Spurs would go on a run. The Spurs had six players scoring in the double figures and the Jazz barely had five, with no player scoring more than 20 points.
Were the stars out? Nope. There were no injuries either. Were we experimenting with minutes? Not really, with players in their usual spots and rotation. Did we shoot poorly? At 43%, it was a little bit lower than the average. We just didn’t shoot enough.
Did we defend well? Nope. With a defensive rating of 111.9, the Jazz would rank 24th in the league.
The Spurs are a below-average team without a single All-Star player this year. Losing at home to them is bad.
After the last game against Houston, an intense back and forth contest which was perhaps the best game of the season, the Jazz forgot everything they learned in that victory. The Rockets were able to play on their own small-ball terms, negating Gobert and out-defending the Jazz.
Ponder that for a second. Gobert had, in 34 minutes, 12 points, 6 rebounds, and a -12 in the plus/minus category. The Rockets, who have become the poster team for defensive laziness, played better defense than the Jazz, the supposed nose-to-the-grindstone, old school defensive team. Yet it was the Jazz who allowed Russell Westbrook and James Harden to go off for a combined 72 points, while the Rockets only allowed two players to score over 20.
If the Jazz have to play the Rockets in the first round of the playoffs, they’d be lucky not to get swept with the way they are playing right now.
The Suns beat the Jazz 131-111. This is where the overreaction isn’t really an overreaction. This loss was an especially bad one. To start, the Suns are very, very bad. Yes they’ve surprised a couple teams this year, but only when those teams didn’t have their best players.
Utah didn’t have that excuse. They started their usual starters and got beat. Not a single starter for the Jazz finished the night with a positive plus/minus. Mitchell netted himself a nice 38 points, but they were empty points that made little difference in the overall outcome of the game. He needed 20 more points to actually impact the final outcome of the game.
If the Jazz are unable to beat the Suns, who are currently 13th in the West, then what chance do they have against any of the actual playoff teams?
The Jazz are a streaky and inconsistent team. Their hopes of winning a playoff series are getting smaller and smaller as the season goes along. They’ve lost to three Western Conference teams in a row, all at home, and look confused in the process.
Yes, the Jazz are a good team, but they are struggling with consistency. What they need to focus on is staying confident and finding their rotations. They have two All-Stars who are capable of leading the team, and if both are hot, they can beat any team on any given night.
I still believe that the Jazz are more than capable of reaching the Western Conference Finals. However, the question is if they will perform to the best of their abilities and make the most of their talent.