Donovan Mitchell had probably his worst shooting night of the season going 5/23 from the field. The other starters had okay nights but no one was able to overcome that difficult of a night from their best offensive player.
But you can’t put all the blame on Mitchell because the Jazz have lost games in which he’s played well offensively. The offense just doesn’t seem to be getting it done for the players and the Jazz need to figure out soon what the issues are or they’ll continue to lose winnable games.
Reaction #1: The Jazz offense is officially a problem
Just like last season when everything would come to a screeching halt on offense, Donovan Mitchell would take on the scoring load and try to win the game. Tonight it went badly because the shots weren’t falling.
But this shouldn’t be an issue for Utah. They have the shooters now, they should have the spacing. For whatever reason it feels like the spacing isn’t there as much any more. Players are missing shots they normally make. The question is why. I’m not sure, but at some point you have to ask why it takes a PhD to understand all these schemes.
Utah needs to figure these things out fast because it looks like they’re unraveling more than building these last few games.
Reaction #2: Jeff Green at center went badly
The offense was the major reason Utah lost this game, but if there was any other reason it was that Jeff Green at center with the second unit didn’t work.
Now, it doesn’t mean it won’t work in future games, but tonight it was an open lane to the hoop for everyone who challenged him.
After a couple promising games Tony Bradley has recently become nearly unplayable. Jeff Green getting minutes at the center is the next option while the Jazz wait for Ed Davis to return. For now the Jazz have to hope that having Green on the floor helps the offense more than it hurts the defense. I don’t know what Quin will do next game, but Green at the center is iffy right now.
Overreaction #1: Dante Exum is the best defensive wing in the league!
Okay so that’s actually not far from the truth when Exum is healthy. Considering how badly things went with Jeff Green at center and the Jazz losing by 10, Dante Exum still managed to be a +1 for the game.
The sign of a great defender is how they impact the player they’re guarding. When Exum was guarding tonight he enveloped the opponent and altered their comfort zone. Exum is so long and athletic, he’s able to do affect the other team in ways few players can.
The offense definitely needs to improve, but Dante has a chance to be a major difference maker with the second unit this season.
Overreaction #2: Maybe the Jazz aren’t as good as we thought?
Personally, I don’t believe this. But it’s getting hard to hope for a better offense. It just shouldn’t be this hard with this level of offensive talent on the floor. It feels like the Jazz are trying to kill a cockroach with a sledgehammer when a good boot will do. And you know what? It’s harder to miss with a good boot.
The Jazz should eventually figure this out and improve offensively, it’s just disheartening that it takes this many bad performances offensively to figure it out.
People will talk about the mid range shooting going on, but that’s on the coaching staff to fix. The question now is do the Jazz continue on this path or do they change things up?