In a lot of ways, this Jazz team has two different looks. On offense, they can be masterful with Lauri Markkanen, Jordan Clarkson, and Mike Conley all scoring 20 or more points. For the season they’ve held strong as a top 5 offense. Currently, they’re sitting in the #3 spot. On the other end of the floor is where you find a lot of the issues. The Jazz continue to struggle defensively and, even with the emergence of Walker Kessler, are 25th in the league defensively. That means that if the Jazz are ahead in games, their defense will often struggle to pull away and hold a lead. At the same time, in a game like tonight, the Jazz will always have the ability to pull back into a game with a flurry of scoring. It makes for an exciting season, but it’s difficult to sustain consistent winning with that type of imbalance.
Nevertheless, it’s still a fun night every night with this Jazz team and they continue to find ways to win games. Probably the toughest night for the Jazz came from rookie standout Walker Kessler who scored just 2 points with 5 rebounds in just 17 minutes of play. With how good he’s been this season, it’s almost surprising when he has a night like tonight. Nights like tonight will be good for his development as he adjusts to the grueling length of the season and the variety of schemes he’ll face on any given night. We also saw a tough shooting night from Malik Beasley who shot 2/10 from the field and 1/8 from three. If those two players play to their usual standards, the Jazz likely win this game.