Tonight the up and down Utah Jazz looked to pick up another home win that they could feel good about over the short Thanksgiving break. One would think that at this point the team would have a little bit of fire under them after the beating that they took at the hands of the Indiana Pacers on Monday, combined with the fact that the losses are starting to mount in this young season. But somehow the Jazz team that went 29-6 and had such great chemistry during the second half of last season has forgotten how to play basketball?
Maybe that sounds a little bit dramatic but it is baffling that the league’s top defensive team last year cannot get a stop to save their lives. To be fair, the NBA has exploded with offense so far this season. Several teams across the league are having a hard time stopping other teams and the Kings have shown that they are a legitimately good team so far this year. But I think the most baffling part is the fact that the Jazz don’t look like they have the same fire and intensity that they showed last year. This is a team that was picked by most to be a top four team in the West.
The Jazz feel a lot like the WC version of the Celtics at this point in terms of how much they’ve underwhelmed. It’s still early, but it ain’t that early, given what many of us excepted.— Chris Herring (@Herring_NBA) November 22, 2018
After another lackluster performance at home, the Jazz drop to 8-10 overall and 2-5 at home. It’s still too early to say that they can’t make the playoffs but right now they are sitting at 12th in the western conference and they still have a brutal schedule in November with 5 out of the next 7 on the road. If they can finish the month with at least a .500 record by the end of November, it will seem like a pretty big accomplishment.
The Kings meanwhile head into the holiday feeling good at 10-8 and give credit where credit is due. The Jazz looked like they were going to overtake them at the end of the 3rd quarter but they held them back several times and put a stamp on this game by going up by 17 with about 5 minutes remaining. This Kings team is going to be fighting for playoff positioning come April if they keep progressing at this pace.
It’s a terrible way to start the season when this team had such high expectations from Jazz fans and also several pundits but I guess it’s important to keep things in perspective as we celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow. That being said, is it too early to say, “all I want for Christmas is for the Jazz to learn how to play basketball again”?