by Kimya Oliver
The Crossover: Utah Jazz by the Numbers
Donovan Mitchell found Rudy Gobert down low for the easy dunk to start the game. The Jazz started the first quarter on a 14-6 run. The Hornets quickly gained offensive momentum and took a two-point lead. With four seconds left, Trent Forrest stole the ball and threw it to Jordan Clarkson for the layup and the harm. Clarkson sank the free throw and the Jazz ended the first quarter leading 24-23.
Clarkson drove to the basket for the layup to start the second quarter. This game was neck and neck until the final two minutes of the first half. Mitchell pulled up from beyond the arc to close the second quarter, but the Jazz still trailed 54-51.
The Jazz struggled to find the bottom of the net for the first two minutes, but then Mike Conley pulled up from three-point land to sink the shot. The Jazz closed the third quarter scoring 13 points compared to the Hornets’ eight points. They led 78-77.
Clarkson drove to the basket for the floater to start the final quarter of play. The Hornets gained offensive momentum and the Jazz could not stop them for the remainder of the ball game. The pivotal moment came with h less than a minute to go when Donovan Mitchell missed an open bank shot under the rim that would have brought the Jazz within a point.
The Daily Double-Double
The Jazz came out shooting poorly from the start. Either the Hornets’ defense was stepping up or the Jazz just could not sink a shot. The Jazz ended the first quarter shooting 9-23 from the field. The offense seems slow to start the game. Mitchell and Clarkson only had six points to end the first quarter.
Once Gobert checked out in the second quarter, the Jazz immediately struggled without him on the floor. The Jazz could not defend without a center. In a span of four minutes, the Hornets made 14 points, shooting 6-7 from the floor. The Hornets were hot from everywhere on the floor and the Jazz were not. One thing the Jazz did really well was move the ball around the floor. The Jazz finished with 25 assists.
The Jazz started to get back into their offensive groove at the beginning of the third quarter, which was refreshing. I finally felt like the game was going to get good. This was the best quarter for the Jazz out of the entire game. As a team, they capitalized on defense and closed the nine-point deficit.
The Jazz struggled with the switches in the Hornets’ offense. They either get caught behind a screen or blown by for the easy layup. Communication is key when dealing with screens. Either the defender will need to fight through it or someone will need to step up. Defense will always win games no matter how great the offense is or how fast they execute. It is easier to gain defensive momentum and turn it into offensive momentum which could turn into a scoring run.
Bounce Pass: Up Next
The Jazz will face the Dallas Mavericks on March 27, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. MST.