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How do the Utah Jazz rebound after another bad road loss?

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Silver linings after a tough loss to James Harden and the Houston Rockets.

Utah Jazz v Golden State Warriors - Game Two
If the Jazz aren’t careful, Coach’s face might freeze this way
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Now that we have all been able to sleep on the results of last nights game, I wanted to take a more objective and reasonable look at what our reaction should be to this game. Some people are calling for the Jazz to tank the rest of the season, while others think that not only should we tank, but we should completely blow up the roster via trades while we’re at it. I wanted to offer a message of hope to people that feel this way. Here are a few facts:

  • James Harden had a career night. Not only did he put up the highest number of points in a game in his career, but he put up the third highest total points scored or assisted on in NBA history.
  • Not only was Harden scorching hot tonight, but since the Chris Paul trade, I have been predicting that overall, the Houston Rockets will be nearly as good as the Golden State Warriors this season. If the Jazz lost to the Warriors by 27, we wouldn’t bat an eye and would move on to the next game-not to mention if it was a game at Golden State. Houston is playing at an elite level, and us fans should take this the same way we would if Kevin Durant went off for 56. If anything, this just shows us what we already know: the Utah Jazz are not title contenders this year, duh.
  • Other teams have lost their franchise player to come back stronger than ever. Personally, I like what the Toronto Raptors have done post-Chris Bosh. They lost Bosh for nothing, and were forced to find diamond-in-the-rough stars in players who were considered to have one or more fatal flaw holding them back. DeMar DeRozan couldn’t shoot threes, Kyle Lowry had the reputation of being a middle-of-the-road “3-and-D” point guard. Now, those two have become legitimate stars. Who are the players on the Jazz who could fit this mold? We actually have a few. Rodney Hood has his weaknesses, but is showing continuous improvement. It only takes one good offseason to flip the switch, as we saw from Gordon Hayward. Dante Exum is another player to keep an eye on in the future. Donovan Mitchell seems to be on the fast track to stardom. Yes, Gordon Hayward didn’t do us any favors, but we are not in a terrible position in regards to star potential.
  • Once again, for emphasis, the Jazz are still a good team this season, just not a contender.
  • The Jazz still have Rudy Gobert.
  • The Jazz still have top-tier leadership in General Manager Dennis Lindsey, Coach Quin Snyder, and quality management throughout the coaching staff and front office.
  • Through good management, the Jazz have built up some nice assets. Utah is poised to make a trade if they find one that makes the team better. Granted, the trade market may be a little more bare this season than usual, but it only takes one player’s “I Dont wanna be here” [sic] tweet to send the league into a flurry.

Overall, this was not a good loss, but we are not on Houston’s level. It is not the end of the world, though sometimes we like to pretend that it is. Things could be a lot worse.

In other news, we’ll be seeing an update to Super Rudy Block that should bring some freshness to the retro-style arcade game. It should be worth giving the game another look.

What is your personal high score? (Mine is only 7, darn Crossover Carl.)

Despite having a “slow” pace and a defensive-focused mindset, the Jazz are still getting some national attention. Sports Illustrated wrote an interesting piece on why people should be keeping an eye on the Jazz.

An excerpt:

Granted, this could be a trap. On Wednesday night I watched Utah close out the Blazers with Ricky Rubio and Donovan Mitchell delivering knockout blows. It was as great as it sounds, but it also left me suspicious for at least a minute. Because if you were setting a trap for basketball hipsters to stupidly fall in love, does it get more than tempting a grizzled, bearded reboot of Ricky Rubio and a still-pretty-anonymous, mostly unproven Summer League superstar?

The new Nike jerseys have been partially leaked. As we saw with the yellow jerseys, the real thing looked much better than the rendered leak, but that guy was pretty near spot on as far as the general details. @ujcdsgn made a mock-up of how these leaks may look on the players.

These look markedly better than the leak, but still not great. Like the yellow jerseys, I expect the newest jerseys to look significantly better when they’re released and shown alongside the new court design.

Discussion:

You wake up suddenly this morning in a cold sweat and look into the mirror to find that you’ve somehow turned into Dennis Lindsey. You show up to work, and carry out his normal responsibilities. In your first month as the Utah Jazz General manager starting today, what would you do to the team? Would you immediately trade certain players, and if so what would you trade them for? Would you stand pat and trust what we’ve put together? Would you play the waiting game, trying to snipe a good deal that may or may not ever appear?