The Utah Jazz had arguably their most impressive win of the season over Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans 114-112 with a great team effort across the board.
Missing their leading scorer Lauri Markkanen, the Jazz played a team effort from start to finish and showed some great evolution as a team from what they looked like earlier in the year. With the same starting unit as last game with the only change being Jordan Clarkson returning from illness, the Jazz showed a willingness to move the ball like they haven’t so much to start the season. Want proof? Jordan Clarkson led the team in assists with 10 while scoring just 16. Ever since Will Hardy talked about the team needing to play hard and pass the ball, well, that’s exactly what they’ve done. As a team, the Jazz had 31 assists, their third-highest total assists in a game this season.
A few players on this team had some standout highlights and games. The first that demands mention is the play of Walker Kessler. In this game, Walker Kessler showed what he did last year when he finished third in Rookie of the Year voting with his rim protection, rebounding and scoring efficiency. It also has to be satisfying for Kessler to do so well against Valanciunas after Steve Kerr benched him after a single play in team USA basketball and would never see the floor afterward. Overcoming the biggest coat-tail rider in history, Steve Kerr, has to be satisfying for the Jazz’s young center, who is looking back to form. It’s only a matter of time till he gets the starting center role back and helps this Jazz team win more games.
Ochai Agbaji is shooting the ball really well and is looking more and more confident. Agbaji was 4/7 from the field and 3/6 from three and is looking more and more confident on the floor. Agbaji’s athleticism is elite and creates a ton of opportunities that don’t show up on the stat sheet. He’s also proving to be a nice perimeter defensive option and should be a nice option for the Jazz as the season goes on.
Keyonte George had the highlight of the night with this insane dunk:
*Morpheus voice* He is the one pic.twitter.com/Bnsns0tzt9— James Hansen (@hansenjames) November 28, 2023
The defensive effort from the entire team also deserves some mention, they’ve been better the last two games and if they can play like this more often, they will win a lot more as the season goes on. Will Hardy mentioned the defensive effort and said, “They felt like a team.” It’s the team effort that Jazz fans fell in love with last season, and it’s looking more and more like that this year.