Did the Jazz just play the worst stretch of clutch defensive basketball in the history of the NBA?

I'm actually serious.

Let me repeat that question: Last night against the Houston Rockets, did the Jazz play the worst stretch of clutch defensive basketball in the history of the NBA? Now, obviously, unless I look through every game ever played, I just don't know. What I do know is that the Jazz gave up 17 points on the Rockets last 8 possessions. So, literally, the Jazz would have been better off not playing defense at all, and just letting the Rockets walk the ball up for a dunk each play. Would have saved a point. So, was it the worst ever? Probably not, but it might really be hard to find worse.

Let's break it down:

Since "clutch" is defined as the last 5 minutes of a close basketball game, we can start this off at the 5 minute mark, the Jazz have the basketball, and the score is 107-107. Thanks to league pass, I just re-watched this, so, yes, everything is completely accurate. Counting down the last eight Houston possessions:

8) Frustration foul by Mo after a turnover (yes it was a kick, but..) gives Lin two free-throws.

7) Patterson makes a 3pt shot (uncontested).

6) Harden dunks. He actually runs in a straight line from 30 ft away after a high P/R.

5) Lin makes a layup.

4) Lin makes another layup. Nothing fancy on either layup. Makes one move, catches Mo backpedaling, no help D.

3) Patterson, misses a wide open three, gets his own rebound, drives in for a layup, misses (refs miss a foul on Millsap), Asik get the rebound without a Jazz player in site. Foye reaches weakly in as Asik makes a layup. And 1.

2) Jazz get a stop! Lin misses a wide open 3pt shot!

1) Parson makes a wide open 3pt shot.

To recap: With the game on the line, in the last 5 minutes, the Rockets score 17 points on 8 possessions. The breakdown is that they shoot four 3pt shots (making two, all four completely uncontested), and five layup attempts (making four, and getting one free throw). Also two free throws. The Jazz actually only contested two of those shots. And by contested I mean "were within touching distance of the shooter". That is no exaggeration. The Jazz did not force them to shoot a single bad shot. In fact, the Rockets shot all of the most efficient shots in basketball (FTs, at the rim, and open 3's).

I don't know if you can play worse defense.

In case you are wondering, the Jazz lineup for this stretch was Jefferson, Millsap, Burks/Hayward, Foye, and Mo. To be fair to Burks/Hayward, their man never was a part of any play, except on the last shot by Parsons. But put that on Millsap. Watch that play, and you will see Patterson cut to the free-throw line from the corner. Millsap wasn't screened or bumped, but he half-heartily trails Patterson by about 5 ft. Hayward bites on a fake pass to the wide open Patterson, and the ball instead goes to Parsons. The Jazz were only down 5 at the time. Embarrassing effort by Millsap.

Speaking of Millsap, he also let Patterson shoot two wide open 3's, get a offensive rebound, weakly poked at the resulting layup attempt and didn't try for the rebound. Who is this guy I used to adore?

Mo gave Lin two FT's on a stupid foul, two wide open 3's, and let him shoot two layups over him.

Foye and Jefferson combined on maybe the worst high P/R defensive play ever. Jefferson also gave up a crucial offensive rebound (with 0 effort), and Foye get a weak reach in foul.

So was that the worst five minutes of defensive basketball to close out a close game in NBA history? You be the judge. But it will be very hard to find worse.

All comments are the opinion of the commenter and not necessarily that of SLC Dunk or SB Nation.

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