by Daniel Olsen
Wizards chess is a brutal game. In the Harry Potter book series, live pieces smash the opposing ones they conquer. While the Washington Wizards were playing chess, the Jazz were only playing checkers as they fell 122-131 at Capital One Arena.
The Wizards could not be defeated as the backcourt of former MVP Russell WestBrook and current NBA points leader Bradley Beal combined for 78 points. Beal had a game high 43 points and Westbrook had 35 points along with a triple double. He had a game high 15 rebounds and 13 assists.
One Jazz player on the night who had a great game was Donovan Mitchell. He went off for 42 points for a season high. He connected on four three-pointers, made over 50 percent from the field, and made 6-7 from the charity stripe. He also contributed four rebounds and six assists.
Joe Ingles had a career high in made three-pointers in a game with eight of them. He also had a career high 34 points. If the Jazz had won the game, the argument could be made to give him at least a share of the game ball alongside Mitchell.
Rudy Gobert had his fourth straight double-double to stay perfect in this stat since the All-Star break. He finished the night with 10 points and 13 rebounds. He also had two blocks on the night. As great as he was, somehow the offensive scheme of the Wizards made the Jazz allow 54 points in the paint while only managing 38 of their own.
Royce O’Neale had a decent night with 11 points on the game. It was his highest total since the All-Star break. All of his field goal attempts were three-pointers as he connected on three out of five from downtown.
One glaring absence on the night was Mike Conley, who sat out to once again manage his hamstring. Conley had missed several games in the first half of the season for that same reason. He took six games off in February. The Jazz won all those games, yet they seem to be inconsistent lately no matter who is on the court. It will be tough to win 19 of 21 games again this season, but the Jazz can’t let the trend of losing every other game continue.
Bojan Bogdanovic continues to be ice cold. He missed every three-point attempt he put up on the night. He did have six points along with five rebounds. He did not record a single assist.
Another player who struggled was Jordan Clarkson. Normally a great spark off the bench, he came up short by his standards. He did keep his streak going with a made three-pointer, but it took seven attempts to do so. He had seven points on the night. The Jazz bench managed only 19 points. A weakness last year, the Jazz bench has usually been thriving this year.
With the loss, the Jazz fall to 29-11 and still maintain a 1.5 game lead for first in the Western Conference race. The Lakers are surging as they have won four straight to surpass the Suns for second place. The Jazz will look to get back on track with a win over the Raptors in their temporary Tampa home. The game will start at 5 PM Mountain Time.
Game Notes (March Madness style)
• Seven Jazz players played at colleges that are in the NCAA tournament this year.
• The highest seeded of these Jazz colleges is O’Neale’s Baylor Bears, who have a one seed in the South region. They will be playing at 1:30 PM Mountain Time vs Hartford today.
• Donovan Mitchell’s Louisville University was one of the first teams left out of the NCAA tournament. The Cardinals declined the invite to the NIT.
• The only alma mater playing as a double-digit is Syracuse which belongs to Elijah Hughes. They are playing as an 11 seed against San Diego State at 7:40 PM Mountain Time on CBS.
• The ACC is the most represented on the Jazz roster. There are four players who attended a university from that conference.
• Miye Oni graduated from Yale of the Ivy League. This conference decided to forego basketball this season due to the pandemic.
• Four Jazz players did not attend colleges from the NCAA. Bogdanovic, Gobert, Ingles, and recent acquisition Ersan Ilyasova all came to the NBA from different countries.
Featured image courtesy Patrick Smith/Getty Images