Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum had their way with Utah scoring a combined 53 points in what looked like their easiest win of the season. McCollum scored 24 on 10/18 shooting with 4 assists and 5 rebounds. Ingram was 11/16 from the field and poured in 29 with 8 rebounds and 6 assists. It’s hard to say whether it was dominance by the Pelicans' new-look duo or futility with the Jazz’s perimeter defense, probably a mix of both. Either way, it’s not a great sign for a Jazz team looking to build momentum for the playoffs.
For the Jazz, the best thing that happened was when the game clock finally ran out. Here are some of the numbers. Bojan Bogdanovic was 1/11 from the field. Mike Conley was 1/8 from the field. Jordan Clarkson was 4/11 from the field and Donovan Mitchell was 5/18. Rudy Gobert and Hassan Whiteside had efficient nights on offense (they combined to go 10/11 from the field) but did next to nothing on the defensive end to impact the game. It’s a truly embarrassing performance that makes you question the mental toughness of this team ... again.
The post-game comments for this one were pretty predictable. It’s a mixture of we’re better than this, we can learn from this, you’re going to have nights like this etc.
Quin Snyder: Out of 82, there can be nights like this, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look at this game and realize there were some things that we can do a lot better— Tony Jones (@Tjonesonthenba) March 5, 2022
Rudy Gobert: "There's a lot of things we need to look at on both ends. … None of us enjoyed losing that way."— Eric Walden (@tribjazz) March 5, 2022
Probably the most interesting quote from this one was this one.
Quin said the Jazz apparently didn't know the Pelicans' personnel as well as they needed to, and they didn't execute their halfcourt defense at all.— Eric Walden (@tribjazz) March 5, 2022
I’m not even sure what this means. Did the players not understand the gameplan? Did the coaches not scout the Pelicans enough? Whatever the case, it’s not good and the Jazz have to figure something out. At no point from the tipoff was this game competitive. For a team that has a goal of, at worst, getting to the Western Conference Finals, a loss like this isn’t very encouraging.
If there was a silver lining in this one, it’s that the starters got to rest early in the 4th because of how badly they were losing. But even that was questionably late because this Jazz team had scored just 44 points with about 5:30 left in the 3rd quarter.
There aren’t many games left for this Jazz team to be ready for the playoffs. If tonight is any indication of how ready the Jazz are, the playoffs aren’t going to be pretty.