Here it is. Rock bottom. At least that’s what the Utah Jazz hope to prove. This team has been the pinnacle of dysfunction from losing four straight games at home in which they were favored to talks of players not putting out effort on defense to prove a point to bailing on benching Mike Conley in favor Joe Ingles to avoid social media backlash. This team has not seen this type of disarray since the night Jerry Sloan decided he had HAD it with Deron Williams and retired the next day. The Jazz are approaching a dark timeline. Entering into Utah during this stretch of ill-will and failure is the Washington Wizards who will be headlined by Bradley Beal. Utah is once again favored at home tonight, but that hasn’t really mattered much these days.
Bradley Beal has been on a tear since All-Star break. He’s averaging 41 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 3.3 assists in the four games since he returned. If there’s been any consistency with Utah this season, it has been their ability to allow opposing guards to get whatever they like against them. Their defense over the last two weeks ranks as the 29th worst defense and their offense is at 17th. This Jazz team been a tire fire, dumpster fire, and a train wreck all rolled up in a 2007 subprime mortgage loan.
It seems silly to say tonight is a must win for Utah, but it is 100% a must win. It won’t change anyone’s feelings that this team is a disappointment or not dysfunctional, but it can flex-seal the bleeding for another few days. If this team were to lose five straight games at home in which they were favored in every single one of them, that’s approaching coach in the hot seat territory. If Utah loses tonight and Dallas wins in Miami, the Utah Jazz will have successfully completed their journey from the 2 seed to 7 seed in only 30 days. What an accomplishment.
When: Friday, Feb. 28, 2020 • 7:00 PM MT
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena • Salt Lake City, UT
TV: AT&T Sports Net Rocky Mountain
Radio: 97.5 FM | 1280 AM The Zone
What to watch for
There were parts of the game against Boston that could have been loosely stretched to being silver linings. You may build off of them. But here’s the problem, you don’t get to point at silver linings and half glass full platitudes after a day in which you lost to your past star’s team which coincided with you getting overruled to bench your point guard by some weird reasons that the public doesn’t know. If you painted your face, put on the red nose, and get some small victories, you still are a clown. Wednesday was a debacle and though the team played better in areas, there are other areas such as effort, execution, and—oh I don’t know—not getting blown out at home for the fourth straight game in a row that show that the ship is still sinking.
The Utah Jazz need to show they give a ****. Even if they do, fans can’t be blamed if they don’t feel the change is long lasting or sincere since there’s evidence over the course of the last month that shows to the contrary.
Tonight, however, can be the start of the this year’s Jazz rebuilding that trust, that interest, and investment from fans after not just failing to meet expectations but failing to meet the minimum required for sympathy.
none. there is no highlight.
Game Thread Ground Rules
Welcome to the SLC Dunk Game Thread.
Dunkers know how this thing works, but for you lurkers ready to make the jump to Dunker, we have a few guidelines. Remember to follow our community guidelines (no swearing, trolling, excessive use of Jerry Sloan’s name in vain, no personal attacks, no debates about Utah liquor laws, etc.). Remember to have fun. Anyone who dare blasphemes that Tim Duncan was a Power Forward (this means you, Pounding the Rock), Ben Simmons can hit threes, Gordon Hayward should not be booed, Donovan Mitchell is Monta Ellis 2.0, men should never cry, or John Stockton is not the best point guard of all-time will receive an automatic ban. Just kidding. But seriously.