Won the Battle, Lost the War

by Daniel Olsen | October 19, 2018

(Image via USA Today)

The Jazz were rocking in this game and then they weren’t. They made threes and then they didn’t. They had the lead and then they lost it. This game will sting for a while, but it’s something the Jazz can learn from. It’s time to break down the loss and see what the Jazz did well and what they can do better the next time they meet the Warriors.

The good:

1. Spaced the floor: The Jazz are great at moving without the ball and don’t run into each other too often. Unless they are setting a pick they make sure to run where their other teammates are not in order to create a better flow of movement for the offense. This has led to two high scoring games. They scored 123 points in their first two games this year.

2. Moved the Ball: The Jazz have intricate plays full of screens, switches and passes that usually end with someone wide open. Those were the possessions that let to double digit leads at times in the game.

3. Momentum: When the Jazz were on they were on. One three led to a second and sometimes a third. When the Jazz were on it looked like they were headed to another 30 point win. It’s a game of runs though so the Jazz will be in good shape if they make the momentum propel their runs as long as possible.

The bad:

1. 4th quarter Mitchell disappeared: Some fans might be ready to jump off the bandwagon and chant “We want Grayson!” No, you don’t. Grayson is good but we saw last year what Mitchell can be. They play the same position. It would have been nice to see the rookie shine tonight but there are so many good players to put through the rotation. Still, Mitchell wasn’t clutch Mitchell in the fourth quarter. Had Mitchell made that off balance three in the last minute the Jazz would have been up two and had a chance to win in overtime even with a Warriors buzzer beater.

2. They let the Warriors hang around: The Jazz were up by as many as 15 but the Warriors hung around. The Jazz should have learned from last year that they have to be winning by at least twenty before they even think about throwing in the towel.

3. They let the refs get to them: Draymond falls down. The refs call a charging foul. The Jazz do the same thing. No call. There are always bad calls both ways but the refs do their best and the Jazz shouldn’t let those calls disrupt their momentum.

The ugly:

1.The Jazz defense isn’t there: The Jazz are allowing just over 120 points a game. That’s far from the best defense in the league they were last year with a healthy squad. The Jazz must tighten up on this end of the court to be as good as they usually are.

2. The ONE guy the Jazz let go beat them: Jonas Jerebko baby! Gobert, Stifle Tower, has one job to stop his old teammate but the clever Jonas maneuvered his way to the ball for a last second putback win.

Bottom line: The Jazz showed they were good but not good enough when the Warriors are engaged and have a glimmer of hope. The Jazz need to be up by 20, 30 or 40 like they were last year against Golden State if they want to feel safe against the defending champs. If they get better the Jazz may just be facing the Golden State Warriors in the playoffs.

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