The Utah Jazz were coming into this game after a 3-game road trip and had another impressive late-game comeback that nearly took out the Nets. At the beginning of the fourth quarter the Jazz were down double digits to the Nets and very nearly took the lead. With the game on the line Seth Curry, a 90% free throw shooter, missed both free throws and the Jazz got the ball with a chance to score and Kelly Olynyk went down the floor and got a clean look.
CHAOS. Nets hold. Somehow. pic.twitter.com/INRuwI7KkI— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) April 2, 2023
It was an exciting finish but the Jazz fall to the Nets 111-110.
The good news? Besides the fact that this is exactly what the Jazz need there have been some great revelations for the Jazz with this young unit getting major minutes.
The first is Talen Horton-Tucker is becoming a real rotation piece and might be better than Collin Sexton. Today THT scored 32 points with 8 assists and 4 rebounds. He’s been flourishing lately and proving to be a rotation piece for the future. It’s not likely he will be the starter of the future, but the Jazz have every reason to make him a backup guard for years to come. His passing has gotten better and better which pairs well with his knack for getting to the rim. THT is still just 22, and if he can polish his game by removing bad shots and turnovers, he’s going to be an absolute steal from the Lakers.
Ochai Agbaji is getting better with every game. It seems like every night we see more flashes from Agbaji as he’ll do more than simply defend and shoot threes. Agbaji had 19 points in this one and showed some more dribble drive moves as well as impressive shot-making from three. At worst Agbaji will be an elite role player shooting threes and defending but if he can show more abilities with the ball, he’ll be one of the elite 3 and D players in the NBA.
Lauri Markkanen was doubled and targeted all game and still managed to put up 23 points and 9 rebounds. It’s not clear if the Jazz will shut him down with just four games left, but it might be worth it to see if they can get higher in the lottery to get a better player. Regardless, Markkanen has shown that he is very deserving of the Most Improved Player Award. He is a completely different player than what he was before playing for Utah and is proving to be a perfect compliment to anyone the Jazz are able to bring in.
Walker Kessler was solid again for the Jazz but had to leave early with concussion protocols. It’s not clear if he’ll be cleared to play the next game, or for the rest of the season for that matter, but he’s proven to be one of the best rookies this season and will be a big time contributor for years to come for the Jazz.