Things could be better right now for the Utah Jazz. They are coming off their third straight loss, two of which on their home court. They recently participated in one of the worst shooting nights in franchise history, and haven’t quite seemed to find their identity as a team or mesh offensively.
But if anyone is frustrated with the performance of this team, it’s the respective players suiting up in Jazz uniforms each night.
Utah Jazz captain and leader Rudy Gobert is known for his postgame tweets. Following another frustrating loss Tuesday night, Gobert tweeted out a soft promise to his followers and fans that things will get better for the Utah Jazz.
Another loss. We will figure out how to defend and play together #ontothenextone— Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) November 8, 2017
In a relatively simple tweet, Rudy addressed several concerns of Jazz fans in just a few words. Everyone is concerned about this team’s ability to play together with so many new pieces on the roster this season. But according to Gobert, Jazz fans need not worry, they will figure it out.
Gobert was visibly frustrated in Tuesday’s game, most notably towards the end of the game when Donovan Mitchell missed him for an open dunk while driving to the hoop. Good leaders show themselves when things aren’t going smoothly, and it will be interesting to see how Gobert handles such adversity in his early days as the leader of the Utah Jazz. I believe Rudy will do all he can to improve this team and get them back in the picture of playing competitive basketball.
In a piece written by Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune, several other Jazz players opened up voicing their frustrations after the loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
“Right now, we’re too much in our own heads,” Jazz forward Thabo Sefolosha said. “We’re too worried about not making shots and it’s affecting our defense.”
“All of us, we have to look at ourselves in the mirror and play a little harder,” Sefolosha said. “We haven’t had the focus we’ve needed, and I think especially after the game we played in Houston, we need to play better.”
If you have watched the Jazz in their last several games, not much describes them better than “too much in their own heads”. Players are passing up open shots, and not showing much confidence shooting the ball.
Jones also reported on the mood in the locker room, which was that of frustration and not many words following their loss.
The usual playful banter between Jazz players didn’t exist. The only chatter came from the media in sporadic interviews. Many of the players had already dressed and left by the time coach Quin Snyder finished his postgame talk with the media, atypical for home games.
The players who stuck around were succinct. Shooting guard Rodney Hood said he and the team needed to “show some pride.” Favors spoke about playing better on both ends of the floor. The overall mood? Fix whatever is wrong — and fast.
Derrick Favors also chimed in on the “figure it out” mantra, voicing his own concerns with how the Jazz have played as of late.
“We need to play with more focus,” Favors said. “We have to figure things out and see what we’re doing wrong. We’re just not making shots right now. We have to get better.”
The Jazz will look to take the first step at figuring it out as they take on the Miami Heat Friday night in Salt Lake City.
Serious question: If Quin Snyder were to open his own jewelry line, how much would you invest in it? If your answer is not “everything you own” then you need to reevaluate your priorities. Just look at that left hand.
This is a new era. We have never had, in the history of the franchise, such an accessorized coach. pic.twitter.com/VChcpS6iuu— moni (@monilogue) November 8, 2017
Following the game on Tuesday night, 76ers rookie phenom met up with fellow Australian Dante Exum of the Utah Jazz. The Aussies discussed their history as players in Australia, as well as Call of Duty and your usual online smack talk.
“We go way back,” Exum said of their friendship. “It’s been a while, so like 15 or so years.
“Our parents were friends growing up, so obviously being in Australia, we’ve just been friends.”
“We’re playing team games, I’m at the top of the leaderboard but he’s got more kills,” Exum said.
If cryptic tweets are your thing, you may have noticed Jazz big man Derrick Favors’ back-to-back single-emoji tweets on Wesdnesday.
— Derrick Favors (@dfavors14) November 8, 2017
♂️— Derrick Favors (@dfavors14) November 8, 2017
What do these mean? Is this some type of new emoji code for demanding a trade or stating his displeasure with his role on the team? Was Favors involved in some fervent prayer at 10:00 AM? I guess we will never know. But for now, we can enjoy the fact that even with 280 characters available, Faves only needs one to get everyone going.