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The Utah Jazz have a Bench Problem

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The Utah Jazz came in with high expectations for this season. Championship contender expectations. Well, with great expectations come great accountability. But this team, and especially the bench is currently not delivering on those expectations.

Joe Ingles was moved to the bench to help run the second unit. But that isn’t working at all.

Ed Davis was brought in to be 80% of Derrick Favors at a fraction of the cost. Instead he’s just a fraction of Favors.

Jeff Green has been a journeyman throughout his career. There’s probably a reason.

Emmanuel Mudiay must think he’s still in New York and doesn’t have to play within an offensive system.

Tony Bradley has shown promise but he might still be too young to rely on consistently.

The progress that Georges Niang seemed to be making hasn’t stuck around.

Dante Exum.

Sum it all up and you have a big fat negative. Like literally it’s pretty negative. Looking at some lineup data shows that:

  • The starting 5 is a +83 on the season
  • Every lineup with at least 4 starters is at least a +70
  • Every lineup with at least 3 starters is at least a +57
  • Every lineup with at least 2 starters is at least a +32
  • Jeff Green is a -60 even though the Jazz have a winning record
  • Joe Ingles is a -14 even though the Jazz have a winning record
  • Ed Davis is a -21 even though the Jazz have a winning record
  • And so on and so forth

It’s ugly every single game. The starters will put in good minutes and then it just dies. I believe the Jazz have the worst 2nd quarter offense in the entire NBA. And I honestly have no idea what the solution is. Personally, I think Donovan Mitchell has got to stop having heavy minutes being stranded with a bunch of bench guys. It’s not working. I think Joe should come back into the starting lineup. It’s not working. I think 2 starters (not just 1) should be subbed out early and brought back to run the second unit. Just 1 is not working.

Is the bench the only problem right now? Of course not. The offense is a bunch of selfish isolation mixed with dribble pull ups and a side of floaters. It’s disgusting. And the defensive effort and focus has somehow vanished, seemingly coming from the frustrations due to everything else.

I also plead to Quin to try something new. When your new point guard, who is known around the league for being a very high IQ player, says that you need a PhD to run this offense then maybe it’s time to tone it down a bit. Simplify it. Give guys some plays that generate good shots and can be confidently run. Remember those backdoor alley oops to Hayward that were good for 2-4 points literally every single game? Those are the types of things I’m talking about. Set guys up to succeed like you have every year so far.

Honestly, I’m sorry if today’s downbeat sounds like a personal venting session. I love the Utah Jazz. That’s why this is so painful. I love this team too much to see them struggle so mightily. I love the players too much to see them play so poorly. I admire Quin too much to see him have to take frustration timeouts 2-3 times a game. I can’t imagine how they are feeling right now. I’m sure you as a fan are pissed when they play the way they did last night. I guarantee they are even angrier and more frustrated.

The Utah Jazz do things the right way, they made the right moves, they signed the right guys. And then it just hasn’t worked. That doesn’t mean that it never will. They’ve been able to right the ship and go on a huge run a few years running. I’m sure they can this year as well. But so far, this is not what we expected this year. And honestly, it’s not acceptable.