by Daniel Olsen
Wins and losses are how regular Jazz teams were compared in previous years. However, this isn’t a regular Jazz team. As the Jazz have won over half of their games at home with plenty of basketball left (a franchise record 21 straight home wins), there is no place like home in 2021. In fact, the Jazz haven’t lost at Vivint Smart Home arena this year.
It’s time to break down the second half of the two game series with Chicago. What went well and what didn’t go well?
Before analyzing this fame, it’s a good idea to analyze Part I. One player who was outstanding in that game was Rudy Gobert. He nearly got a triple double with blocks. You can read more about this sharp half of the Jazz series in this article here. It’s important to emphasize just how great of a game this was for Rudy. Nine blocks is a career high, and this would have been one of the more impressive triple doubles in Jazz history had it come to fruition.
Currently, the Jazz have 24 triple-doubles in team history. Pete Maravich leads the team to match his jersey number with seven. He joins Eaton, Malone and Kirilenko as the only Jazz players to have more than one. Carlos Boozer, Elvin Schayes and Adrian Darnley all had one each.
Combine Gobert’s great night with an impressive 120-95 victory, and you have a solid first half of this season series. Matchups against the Eastern Conference are fun because they only come to town once per season unless the two teams make the finals. If there is a certain player fans are excited to watch, they will make sure to mark it on their calendar.
While the Jazz won the second half of this series last night, it still might have been a little flat. The piano that plays the Jazz music might need to be be strung a little tighter for the Jazz to sweep their season series with Orlando tonight.
The Jazz came into Vivint Arena looking to make history. While the pandemic only allows 25 percent capacity currently, there is something to be said for the home court advantage the Jazz franchise has displayed for the majority of their time in Utah.
The Jazz pulled off the 113-106 win, but it wasn’t easy. It shows how high the standard for this team is when a single-digit win is a letdown. Overall, the Jazz played well because they made shots on the offensive end. The transition defense did raise some concerns at times.
At times, Jazz players could be seen watching Zach Lavine blow by them on a fast break for a dunk. He is a two-time slam dunk champ for a good reason, but that’s no excuse. The Jazz need to be physical and contest every shot. Passive transition defense will not transition well in the playoffs.
Also, turnovers were a concern here. In the win in Chicago, the Jazz had only nine turnovers but had 11 in this closer game at home. That’s not terrible, but some seemed to come at in opportune times in the second half. It’s never good to let a team even think they have a chance to win in your building but on some possessions the Jazz seemed to be opening that opportunity to the Bulls. Luckily, the Bulls were not able to seize control of the moment.
The Jazz didn’t seem to be completely in rhythm, but they got the ball up and some wild shots went rattle and hum. The Bulls, on the other hand, had some good looks that just rimmed out. Sometimes, the ball doesn’t go in the home. The Jazz were fortunate to have the ball go in more for them than their opponent.
While the Jazz are Wizards in the halfcourt offense, they struggle to make shots in transition with just 12.1 points per game in those situations. They will need to either improve in that aspect or hustle back on defense. If they want to make the magic happen against Orlando, they will need to come back hungry on the second night of a back-to-back.
• Donovan Mitchell had 26 points in this game and came off an impressive month of March with an average of 28.8 points per game.
• While Gobert didn’t averaged a near triple double this game, his 19 points and 13 rebounds was still impressive as his third double-double in four games.
• After leading by seven at halftime in this win, the Jazz have not trailed going into halftime in this eight game winning streak.
• The Jazz are undefeated in the month of April as well as in Vivint Arena in the year of 2021. If the Jazz can maintain their lead over the NBA, they will have home court advantage throughout the playoffs.
• The Jazz are undefeated against the Central Division with a record of 9-0 against the Bucks, Bulls, Cavs, Pistons and Pacers. They will have a chance to achieve perfection against these teams when they play Indiana on April 16.
• After hitting 3-7 from downtown, Clarkson now made at least one three in 74 consecutive games. He can tie Stephen Curry for the 12th longest streak all-time if he makes at least one shot from three tonight against the Magic.
• Clarkson nearly outscored the entire Bulls bench by himself. He had 19 while the Bulls reserves combined for 24 points. The Jazz reserves combined for 26.
Featured image courtesy Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports