The Los Angeles Lakers blew out the Utah Jazz on a back end of a back to back 121-96. From start to finish the Lakers were outstanding on the offensive end scoring in the paint and finding open shooters. Lebron James had 20 points and 12 assists Anthony Davis’ 26 points.
Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with with 29 points and 5 assists. He was also 42% from the field and 3/7 from three. Bojan Bogdanovic also had a good shooting night hitting 6/10 from three.
The Jazz showed some better signs this game as far as their shot selection but their defense didn’t show up again. The defensive rating for the Jazz right now is plummeting and tonight was as bad as any defensive performance they’ve had in a long time. Some of that you have to give credit to the Lakers (I mean Dwight hit a three) and some of that is Utah not showing up.
Rational Reaction #1: The Lakers are really good
Personally, I think I’ve always thought that Davis at the 5 works better but Lebron James changes that. Because James and Davis draw so much attention it opens things up for JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard. And because Lebron James is such a good passer it’s easy pickings on a lot of possessions.
Tonight Quin Snyder decided to switch up the starters with Mike Conley out and he put Jeff Green on Anthony Davis. Davis went 9/11 from the floor. It appears that strategy might not be a good one.
Rational Reaction #2: The Jazz are a mess
It’s been well documented that the Jazz have some shot selection problems but at least they could hang their hat on their defense.
In their last 5 games the Jazz have the #22 defense in the league and that’s not counting tonight.
Now, I did like some of the things I saw from Utah on offense. It looked like they were playing the right way for most of the game, but defense has always been the key for this team and if they don’t have that, they aren’t going to win a lot of games.
Utah has an easier schedule coming up and it’s now or never for them to start figuring it out.
Overreaction #1: Maybe the Jazz aren’t good?
Right now, this isn’t an overreaction. The Jazz are easy to defend and they aren’t scoring efficiently. But I’m calling this an overreaction because the Jazz will get better. Their talent is proven and they’ve had spurts of dominance this year.
Although, if Mike Conley’s percentages don’t go up and the Jazz can’t find any sort of offensive cohesion things could get scary. It’s still early in the year and the Jazz haven’t started clicking yet. Fingers crossed that happens soon.
Overreaction #2: The Jazz need to make a trade
Not yet. It would be nice to see the Jazz actually hit their stride before doing anything. It would be one thing if this were happening at the end of the season, or in the playoffs like last season. Luckily for the Jazz their seeing all of their faults on display at the beginning of the year and can improve on them.
But if they find out they can’t improve on them by traded deadline? You can bet a trade will happen.
This has been one of the biggest changes in team makeup in some time and does anyone consider Quin Snyder to be someone with schemes that are easy to pick up? I would say the panic button should still be put away but maybe get it out of storage at least.
Underreaction: This season has been very disappointing
I can’t remember a season where I had this high of expectations for a team and got this average of a product. The Jazz are just not what everyone was expecting.
Perhaps we thought that the cohesion would come quickly with such strong talent, but it hasn’t been the case. Players look confused on both sides of the floor and it’s causing them to play selfish basketball.
I’m sure the Jazz will figure things out, but no one expected them to have to do that. With this much talent, it seems like that should have been the case. Maybe there are locker room issues, maybe the system needs changed. Whatever the case I hope they figure it out soon because this is hard to watch at times.