Just a few hours before the Utah Jazz took on the Dallas Mavericks the Jazz announced Donovan Mitchell would be out for the game. As the game went on one by one the starters and bench were removed to let developing young players have a chance to develop and show their talent against high level competition. It ended up being a Jazz loss on the box score, but the Jazz are probably happy with the outcome for multiple reasons.
The Jazz are less likely to face the Houston Rockets
With today’s loss the Jazz are one step farther from facing the Rockets. If the Jazz can find a way to lock themselves into the 6 seed, they would likely be facing the Denver Nuggets. And even if something crazy happened like the Clippers dropping to the 3 seed and they faced the Jazz, I’m sure a lot of Jazz fans would prefer that matchup for something different. It also sounds like the Jazz would also prefer that as well.
Because they are sick of playing Houston https://t.co/YnZl49tuh8— Tony Jones (@Tjonesonthenba) August 10, 2020
For Utah to go through so many changes last offseason and to just end up playing Houston again would be the worst of outcomes. This is also likely a sign that Utah learned from last year when they didn’t attempt to find a better seed and ended up with Houston. Utah is taking its fate into its own hands and it’s refreshing.
The Jazz got to see more minutes from developing young players
It’s not out of the question, but it doesn’t seem likely the Jazz will win the finals this year without Bojan Bogdanovic. That means the Jazz need to make the best of what they can this year and that means they need to know what they have in some of their young players.
The Jazz got out in front by about 20 before deciding to go to the young players to see what they could do against the Mavericks who continued to play their best players available outside of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. The lead eventually evaporated but the Jazz got more info on their young players.
Jarrell Brantley and Miye Oni both had nice moments tonight for Utah showing their different skill sets.
Brantley is showing off a nice skill set of defensive versatility combined with an ability to handle and pass on offense.
Miye Oni showed off his athleticism in transition and the potential to be a nice 3 and D option in the future.
Rayjon Tucker showed off some shot making ability from three and even a nice midrange pullup off of a pick and roll. He also took 8 free throws hitting 7 of them. He’s a raw player but his athleticism is maybe the best on the team. Developing him could provide serious upside.
The problem for high level teams like Utah is that it’s hard to find minutes for young players when you’re competing for the playoffs. Tonight the Jazz took advantage of an opportunity to develop their young guys and are now closer to not having to face the Rockets. It’s a win for everyone.