Against the Sacramento Kings the Jazz finally changed the starting lineup that has been starting games poorly all season. Surprising very few, it worked and the Jazz started with a rhythm that carried them through to victory.
Against the Indiana Pacers Quin Snyder switched it back and the Jazz lost by thirty. That’s not the only reason the Jazz lost the game, obviously. It was the third game in four nights and Donovan Mitchell wasn’t playing. Even so, the Jazz did come out with pretty good energy. But whatever energy they had in the back end of a back-to-back was taken away by the terrible spacing of the Favors/Gobert frontcourt pairing.
Passing lanes were clogged up and Pacer defenders were able to gamble without fear of being burned inside because the bigs could pack the paint.
The good news for Jazz fans is that the Utah Jazz announced that Donovan Mitchell will play. If Mitchell can start the game with Jae Crowder spreading the floor, it could be the thing that gives him the space to attack the rim. If Quin Snyder wants to give Mitchell a better chance to succeed, he has to look at changing the starting lineup for good. Otherwise, we may see more games with turnovers and late shot clock threes to start the game that will inevitably lead to a lead for the Nets.
When: 5:30 p.m. MT, Wednesday Nov. 28
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
TV: AT&T SportsNet
Radio: 1280AM/97.5 FM
None reported - Donovan Mitchell is back!
Caris Levert - Foot - OUT
What to watch for
Donovan Mitchell’s numbers this year haven’t seen the efficiency jump that Jazz fans were hoping to see. But that may not be his fault. For whatever reason, the emphasis on freedom of movement has really broken a lot of what the Jazz like to do on the defensive, and offensive, end.
But the Utah Jazz play much better when they have a center (Gobert/Favors) surrounded by wings and guards. It creates space for the team to create better shots and looks and gives the offense a much better flow.
Watch for the Jazz to set up a lot of two-man game pick and rolls where they spread the weak-side of the floor with shooters and then have their guards play the pick and roll with either Rudy Gobert or Derrick Favors on the strong-side like the video below.
Look how much easier it is for Ricky to get to the rim! And if they cut him off you just have to lob it to Gobert and he gets the dunk.
There’s a lot the Jazz need to do to improve but a lot of it may be solved by committing to one simple fix.