Playing without Donovan Mitchell, and with the Warriors missing Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, it was a great chance for the Jazz to get a win and it’s a shame it didn’t happen. And on a night when Steph Curry shot 1/13 from three, it’s too bad the Jazz didn’t come away with a victory.
There were some promising things from this game. Trent Forrest had a great defensive night. He had 4 steals and did a good job filling lanes and staying in front of his man. It’s that type of defensive effort the Jazz have been craving and it was nice to see. Playing alongside Forrest, Eric Paschall and Rudy Gay put in some great minutes. Paschall played with the energy that Jazz fans have grown to love and Rudy Gay had the best offensive night he’s had in a little while. Hopefully, the slump that Gay has been in improves after tonight.
The story of the game for the Jazz will be what happens with Rudy Gobert after this game. Gobert was out for the final minutes with an apparent strained calf.
Strained left calf for Rudy Gobert….not sure as of yet what that means going forward— Tony Jones (@Tjonesonthenba) January 24, 2022
The Jazz have a quick turnaround after this one and things won’t get any easier with a game tomorrow against the Phoenix Suns. What’s worse is Bojan Bogdanovic appeared to bang knees and we’ll see how he responds. This means that the Jazz may be playing with a lot of players out tomorrow, and this month just doesn’t seem like it could get any worse.
What was nice from this game was that the defensive intensity was better than usual. Steph Curry isn’t going to always shoot just 1/13 from three, and it did feel the Jazz got a little lucky with the Warriors shooting overall, but it felt like the intensity was there and it paid off with the Jazz holding the Warriors to just 94 points. It does give some optimism to the Jazz that, if they can get into the playoffs healthy, they at least stand a chance against this Warriors team. The Warriors will very likely be favored but if Utah can defend like this, they have a shot.
With Donovan Mitchell back, and playing like they know they can, it means that Utah can have their offensive impact back. It’s very clear that Utah has to improve their perimeter defense if they want to get far, but it’s not clear how they’ll do that. The trade deadline is around the corner and whether the Jazz make a move, or not, it will be very interesting.