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Utah Jazz have lost a lot of close games this season, but blow the other team out more

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When you actually look at the data there's a good reason for the results, but there are some surprising results too!

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz lost tonight to the Detroit Pistons 95-92 (recap here). A few nights ago the Utah Jazz lost in double overtime to the Charlotte Hornets 124-119 (recap here). These close losses aren't new, they have been happening all season long. Over the last week the Jazz have played three overtime periods, and just missed out on a few more by very small margins. Now, immediately I will say that a huge factor has been the injuries. Utah has played all season long without some of their best players. Without Alec Burks for 15 games, ostensibly the team's 6th man, the team has gone 7-8. Without Derrick Favors for 16 games, the starting power forward, the team went 7-9. Without Rudy Gobert for 18 games, the starting center and defensive anchor, the team went 7-11. And without Dante Exum for the entire season, the starting point guard, Utah has gone 19-25. All four of them have missed time -- AT THE SAME TIME. In this case injuries are not an excuse at all, but an explanation.

Still, the team has lost a lot of close games. Gordon Hayward and Rodney Hood can only do so much. Trey Burke, Joe Ingles, Trevor Booker, and Jeff Withey are all bench players for a reason. And Raul Neto starting at point guard in the merciless West is not small feat. This team has lost a lot of games, for good reason. Still, they have lost a lot of games. The ones which pain the most are the close losses.

And the frequency of those losses have been the end game outcome Utah Jazz fans have seen the most this season.

2015 2016 Utah Jazz Final Score Margin Frequency (n 44)

Yeah, even if we don't post a lot, our blog still has the best charts in Jazz-land.

Obviously this is not a standard distribution that we'd expect, but the sample size (only 44 games) is still pretty small. I can't help but think that many of those one to six or seven point losses would have had a different outcome if the team wasn't forced into relying on rookies Trey Lyles or Tibor Pleiss for big minutes instead of Favors and Gobert. Just call it a hunch . . .

I'm not completely down on this team, one that seems to continue to play without two of their most talented backcourt pieces in Dante and Alec. If healthy we know that this team can hang with anyone. We've just seen a lot of them hanging and not getting over the hump. On a team that has already missed 98 player games to injuries or illness this season I can confidently say that we will eventually get over it.

The 2015-2016 Utah Jazz aren't giving up the ghost anytime soon. Even if the number of close losses currently fill our recent memories. I think Dennis Lindsey brought together some great pieces. And I feel like Quin Snyder and company are doing a great job teaching, developing, and planning strategies. We've seen great performances by some of our players this year, but almost always with a number of key pieces down.

But those down times are going to be over soon.