It’s a bad loss, any way you look at it, just proving the Jazz have been a terrible road team this year, and, if we’re being honest, a bad team overall. With all of their veteran players healthy, the Jazz were unable to sustain any sort of defensive stretches. In the first half, Lauri Markkanen was getting worked by Jarrett Allen. Throughout the entire game the entire Jazz backcourt got cooked by Utah State’s own Sam Merrill, who went for a career-high 27 points on 8/14 from three!
There were some bright spots in this one, though. Collin Sexton continues to play well in the absence of Keyonte George and is putting up efficient numbers while playing within the offense. Tonight he had 20 points, 2 assists, and 3 rebounds. He may have earned himself starting minutes through the rest of the season if he can continue his unselfish play. We should also mention that Talen Horton-Tucker had 19 points and 11 assists in this one on good efficiency. It’s actually a sign that the Jazz defense is the main killer of this team this season.
Lauri Markkanen really struggled in this one shooting, missing five-in-a-row at one point near the end. He is learning to score better in isolation and find his way open, which is good. As the Jazz improve over time, games like tonight are painful in the short term but good in the long term as the Jazz will need his ability to play when they find more core pieces.
All in all, it’s a terrible game for the Jazz. They should get wins like tonight, and they couldn’t pull it off. If they continue to lose like this, they’re not going to convey this year’s top-ten protected pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder, which means you’re likely going to see a bad Jazz team next year also as the Jazz play capture the Flagg.
Finally, tomorrow marks the scariest night of the year for the Jazz as they face the Detroit Pistons on the back end of a back-to-back. Will the Jazz be the ones that break the streak for Detroit? Tonight was not a good sign