That was two hours of time we’re never going to get back. The Utah Jazz suffered their worst loss of the season to the worst team in the NBA as they learned what the L in ATL stands for, losing 104-90. The Atlanta Hawks looked like a dominant defensive team as they put the clamps down on Donovan Mitchell all game long and made the Utah Jazz offense look downright atrocious.
The game wasn’t even as close as the final score suggests. Through three quarters, the Utah Jazz only scored 63 points. Alec Burks led all scorers with 17 points with Donovan Mitchell had only 13. It’s crazy to think that we’re at a point already in Mitchell’s development that 13 seems low for him. But the Utah Jazz don’t have enough offensive weapons, especially without Rodney Hood healthy and playing, to have a down night from their rookie phenom.
It was hard to tell which team was out there competing to get back into the playoff race and which one was streaking toward the bottom of the standings. Rudy Gobert’s hot offensive start cooled off considerably tonight as he went only 2-6 from the field. Gobert’s defense was a factor in keeping the Utah Jazz in this game through the 1st half, but then the Atlanta Hawks offense blew the doors open in the second half.
Dennis Schroder had himself a game and preyed on Utah’s lackadaisical perimeter play. Donovan Mitchell and Ricky Rubio were getting beat on pick and roll after pick and roll involving the German point guard. Dennis Schroder finished with 20 points and 2 assists in only 25 minutes. He didn’t even have to hit a three to do the job.
The Utah Jazz looked like a team distracted by trade deadline rumors. Utah’s next game is on Wednesday against the Pistons in Detroit.
With the loss the Utah Jazz are now 5 games out of the playoffs and 5.5 out from the worst record in the NBA.
In New Orleans, the rumored trade target of the Utah Jazz, Nikola Mirotic, had 14 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals in a win against the Pelicans.
After the Jazz’s game on Friday night against the Toronto Raptors, the Utah Jazz will only play one game (at home vs the Golden State Warriors) in seven days before they go on the road to face the Phoenix Suns on the following Friday. If you’re reading the tea leaves, it would make sense that the Utah Jazz would try to pull the trigger on a trade this weekend in order to have the most amount of time to integrate some new faces.
Donovan Mitchell looked like a rookie for the first time and even then it’s a good game for a rookie. He finished with 13 points going 5 of 13 from the field with 5 rebounds. What hurt him was a season high in turnovers (6). Kent Bazemore made the rookie work. This is definitely going to be one game Mitchell is going to need to review because now there’s tape of him being slowed down and frustrated. Other teams will look to replicate Bazemore’s strategy. Donovan has to do what he’s done all year long, learn ... and fast.