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Spurs, Schedule Losses and Centers: The Downbeat #1797

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It's your Tuesday Downbeat, and we're all sad.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The game -- or the vague, facile simulacrum the Utah Jazz just perpetrated in San Antonio -- has been over for two hours and I've been staring at a blank screen, trying to figure out what to write. I am sorely tempted to fill this page with sad gifs, eat my considerable body weight in peanut butter-filled pretzels, and go to bed. Honestly, I'm not ruling that out yet. You may want to scroll down now just to make sure it didn't happen. I won't judge you.

You know what else won't judge you? Peanut butter-filled pretzels.

So the game was really bad and I have almost nothing to say about it. The popular theory/excuse/reasoning on Twitter last night was that this was what you might call a "schedule loss" -- the second night of a road back-to-back, against a really good team, after a close overtime loss the previous night. And that's probably true.

There were plenty of other factors, of course: No Rudy, the Spurs are really good, poor shooting, the Spurs, no Rudy, Gordon Hayward was a minus-42 in 22 minutes, SERIOUSLY I MISS RUDY SO MUCH COME BACK YOU BIG BEAUTIFUL FRENCHMAN

One of the few interesting points is that, after a promising performance against OKC with Alec Burks in a starting role, the Jazz reverted to starting Raul Neto. And they got outscored 29-15 in the first quarter. Which is not to say I blame the loss on Neto; the Spurs would probably have won this game regardless. But Andy Larsen wrote last night that Quin Snyder might be considering a more European-style matchup-based starting lineup from game to game. Something to keep an eye on, anyway.

Speaking of starters, young Trey Mamba Lyles took the starting power forward role last night. It didn't go well. That's not his fault -- nothing went well for the Jazz last night, and Lyles was forced to guard LaMarcus Aldridge, who is a better basketball than Trey Lyles at this particular juncture of the spacetime continuum.

In fact, I'm kind of glad Lyles has gotten some starting minutes, because I think they'll eventually benefit his development. And the Jazz could use his help, anyway, as the Trib's Aaron Falk writes:

Don't get that twisted. Lyles isn't playing like an All-Star or even a Rookie of the Year candidate. He's playing 20 minutes a game as a starter and averaging 4.2 points and 4.7 rebounds. These are baby steps in his development, and the Jazz still expect plenty of downs to go with his ups.

[...]And the Jazz have been encouraged by some of Lyles' small victories.

"It just shows he has confidence in me and wants me to do well," Lyles said.

In a game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Snyder drew up a play in a short-clock situation and told Lyles to take the shot. It surprised the rookie a bit, but Lyles kept his cool and made the bucket.

As entertaining as his sideline cheerleading has been, I'd rather see the former Kentucky man making real contributions on the court. He's got a loooooong way to go, but the opportunity is there.

Not that I blame you for not writing after last night's game BECAUSE LET ME TELL YOU THE STRUGGLE IS REAL RIGHT NOW but we need some more FanPosts! Here's the only new one for the week, from jazzyman:

As the year is coming to a close, what Jazz related gifts for others, gifts for selves, new years' resolutions, etc. are underneath your -insert preferred religious/nonreligious holiday in December- tree?

I'm using this as an excuse to display what we at UVU affectionately refer to as the Winter Squid:

Trade season in the NBA will begin soon, and according to Jody Genessy, the Jazz could be looking to deal:

I am very bad at thinking of potential trades. But I know many of you are True Master Of The Trade Machine. I'd love to hear some of your deals.

Back to the starting lineup, sans Gobert: Who should be holding down the 4 and 5 spots? Hit the poll below.