The Jazz started this one in deficit with a starting lineup of Collin Sexton, Kris Dunn, Lauri Markkanen, John Collins, and Kelly Olynyk. But the Jazz bench brought them back in a big way with another nice night from Jordan Clarkson who looks at home in his sixth man role again. Clarkson had 24 points, 8 assists, and 6 rebounds off the bench and has looked every bit the 6MOY of years before these last two games.
Lauri Markkanen also got his second 30+ point night in a row and crushed the Spurs defense. Markkanen is one of the great snipers in the league but gets buckets in so many different ways. Considering he shot 9 threes in this game (went 5/9) and managed to also shoot 70% from the field is just ludicrous shooting. It’s nights like tonight that show when Markkanen has great guard play around him he is a phenomenally additive offensive player to whatever lineup he’s in. We’ve also seen Will Hardy go to more lineups recently where he’s playing at the 4 spot next to Walker Kessler and the bench. It’s becoming a real weapon for the Jazz and something for them to do more and more as the season goes along. There are not a lot of power forwards out there that can keep up with Markkanen with everything he does on the floor.
We also need to give a shoutout to Ochai Agbaji, who seems to be finding himself as a player. He’s become such a weapon in transition, creating easy points for the Jazz as he races up the open floor. He’s also shooting better from three this season than last season, and he’s doing it in the first thirty games of the season. Abgaji can become such a valuable part of every lineup he’s on that he can be an athlete on the floor, knock down threes, and hurt defenses in transition.
Finally, one of the interesting things about this game was the player that didn’t play. Talen Horton-Tucker didn’t play, and you can’t help but wonder if that means the Jazz are going to start tightening the rotations as the season goes along. Maybe this means that other teams aren’t interested in any sort of trade, or maybe it just means Will Hardy doesn’t feel like he makes the Jazz better when he’s on the floor. Either way, the Jazz are looking like they aren’t messing around and are going to try to get into the play-in tournament if they can. John Collins was also not effective in this one, which shows in his 18 minutes on the floor. Hardy rode the bench all the way to the win and it’s becoming a calling card of his as a coach. The lineups he finds that work are the ones he’s going to use.