The Missing Antagonists

It's Friday afternoon, and I'm done with classes, so I decided to catch up with what happened in the NBA last night.

First thing I looked to was the scores. I had seen that the Blazers lost to the Clippers. So I watched the highlights, and WOW, was it beautiful. The Clippers went into Portland, and frustrated the heck out of the Blazers. They were mean and nasty. That's how you win on the road. That's how you win period. Plumlee and Deandre almost chocked each other out. Double techs ensued. Momentum switched hands multiple times, hate was in the air, it was Basketball lol

I compared that to the Jazz and their game and it was a stark contrast in mentality. First off, the Jazz aren't a bad team, incapable of winning tough games. And an uptick in physicality isn't necessarily the answer. There seems to be no Antagonist on this team. Hasn't been for a while. Someone who is mean, gives hard fouls. Doesn't give a damn about the opponent, and will test them, both mentally and physically. Someone to be the bad guy, a sore spot for the team, but a prominent member in the rotation. Who visibly and unashamedly displays his anger and disdain for the other team.

There seems to be no cumulative affect in playing the Jazz over the course of a game. It's hard to explain. After the Jazz game in Portland we hugged and chopped it up, and patted them on the back. It was weird yal, I swear. It was like we were happy to not get blown out, due to the circumstances. Like the Blazers were like, good game lil jazz, better luck next time, secretly knowing we don't have the right recipe to beat them. Or maybe something else I dare not try to wrongly assume.

Who's that player on the team who locks in defensively, and will get into someones Jersey? Luke Walton threw in Metta world peace vs Harden to show his young team how to get into an opponent, and for one game it worked to a certain degree. The Jazz are talented. We don't have to do illegal acts, or kick private areas to be good. That's not at all what I'm calling for. But we don't seem to mentally wear down any teams we play. Every game seems 'clean' and predictable. Wholesome even. While that's good and all, that's pretty disheartening, considering we want to be a great team, and all teams have guys who are Antagonist. Sometimes they are called dirty players even.

I think this is the last hurdle that needs to be overcome by this team, in order to advance and keep this team progressing. I could be wrong though. But we are so talented as is, as currently constructed, that every game is winnable. Just like game one of this year, as well as multiple games last season.

think about the best teams in the league and how much moxie and confidence they posses, and some of the players they have in the rotation. I look at GS and obviously Draymond. Marcus smart in Boston and his ability to impact a game with crazy effort along with Bradley and Crowder. The clippers as a whole get people feeling a certain way about them. LeBron James smacked talked the MVP of the league after every blocked shot on him. Even kawhi plays with the constant undercurrent of aggression and assertiveness. This is not to say the Jazz don't exhibit some of these qualities, but rather maybe not as frequently.

We need more antagonistic characteristics. Sigh

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