Another night, another loss on a buzzer-beater. The Utah Jazz lost tonight in brutal fashion to the Miami Heat off a last-second shot from Tyler Herro. That’s two nights in a row now the Jazz have lost on a last-second shot.
It’s two games where the Jazz couldn’t find a way to get the win in the clutch. Yes, the Jazz are playing their third game in four nights and are on the back end of a back-to-back, but this was a very winnable game that maybe they pull out to begin the season.
The biggest issue in these clutch situations is a myriad of things. Last night, it was the inability to get defensive rebounds. Tonight, it was not hitting threes and free throws at the end. It’s hard to win these games when you are not finding some consistent things to hang your hat on. To begin the year, the Jazz had an offense that was doing a myriad of things. Now, they’ve become a little more stagnant, and when things get tight, they’ve struggled to punch through.
The good news for Utah is that Lauri Markkanen is here to stay. Tonight he had another big night with 29 points on fantastic efficiency and he doesn’t appear to be slowing down, if anything, he’s just getting better. There’s just no way the Jazz don’t find a way to keep him on the team long-term. If he can do this on a team that wasn’t supposed to win a lot of games, what happens when you pair him with elite talent down the road?
It’s a tough end to the year, but things are looking bright for the Jazz in 2023. The Wolves lost again, and the Jazz’s pick situation is looking fantastic. If they can somehow swing elite talent in this draft to pair with the likes of Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler, they’ve got a lot to be happy about.
Happy New Year!