Is it Groundhog Day for the Utah Jazz? Another game, another monster performance from Jamal Murray as he led the Denver Nuggets past the Utah Jazz, 119-107.
Despite the loss, Donovan Mitchell was electric again. Mitchell scored 44 of his own at high efficiency and was the reason Utah was in this game. But where Utah fell short was their role players not stepping up like Denver’s did.
Nikola Jokic was solid again for the Nuggets scoring 22 with 9 assists. Denver also had a great night from Jerami Grant who had 18 points and was 6/9 from three. It was enough to put away Utah away again who has not found a way to stop Murray. Although it doesn’t look like they’re doing a lot to figure out a way to do it, either.
Royce O’neale and Rudy Gobert have been on an island series guarding a Jokic/Murray pick and roll that has absolutely crushed Utah’s defense. Something has to change and quick because Utah can’t expect Murray to just slow down. They’ve got to be proactive. And now with the series going to a Game 7, they’re playing for keeps.
The biggest bright spot for Utah is that Donovan Mitchell has blossomed to a superstar this series. He’s shown his patented scoring ability but now with incredible efficiency. He’s also shown incredible playmaking like this fantastic play to Georges Niang in the corner.
Mitchell's work on using the Gobert pick really confuse Morris and Jokic. He uses a same hand in-n-out dribble to get both guys to jump to the right and lets him get in the lane before finding Niang for a corner three. Really masterful work pic.twitter.com/KopXOVgAGv— Mo Dakhil (@MoDakhil_NBA) August 31, 2020
At some point the Jazz need to give all the reigns to Mitchell because he’s shown that when you do, things go really well.
Outside of Mitchell, and a decent night from Mike Conley, there was a lot of disappointment. Rudy Gobert looked very unimpactful on the offensive end, Jordan Clarkson was 5/14 from the field and was a -24. Royce O’neale and Joe Ingles had 5 points each.
Probably the biggest disappointment has been a refusal to adjust from Quin Snyder. The only adjustment to Utah’s lineup happened when Mike Conley was gone for the birth of his child and the Jazz started Juwan Morgan. Snyder has only done minor adjustments on Murray. One game he runs him off the line and he lights them up at the rim. They keep him away from the rim like tonight and he shoots 9/12 from three. Mike Malone has changed his lineups and his schemes while Snyder has done very little and now the Jazz have to face a game 7.
Will the Jazz change their lineups to give a different look? Will they do anything to keep Murray from getting the ball? We’ll see.
In post game Donovan Mitchell was angry, and he has a right to be. He can’t do this on his own. His teammates and his coach have to step up or this is going to be a disappointing 3-1 series lead given up.