Welp, just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, it did. Following the Jazz’s 32-point loss in Houston in game one, most thought the Jazz would make some adjustments and look a lot tougher after two days of preparation. This assumption could not have been more wrong. From the opening possessions, back-to-back lackadaisical turnovers, the Jazz looked dead in the water.It was hard to watch them actually play worse than they did the other night in game one. Not one player on the Jazz looked like they had any intent of walking in the Toyota Center and coming out with a win. Not one. The Jazz looked shook from the opening minutes. It was the defense, it was the offense, the shooting, the coaching; the Jazz have been completely manhandled by the Houston Rockets through two games of the NBA Playoffs.
On a podium in front of reporters following the game two loss, Ricky Rubio sat composed alongside Derrick Favors, and spoke from his heart.
Ricky Rubio on defending James Harden: “He’s hard but I’m not gonna quit. We’re not gonna quit.”— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) April 18, 2019
Ricky Rubio said the difference was the Rockets playing hard from the outset: "They set the tone on defense playing really hard; the first three, four plays, we got, I don’t know, three, four turnovers. … We gotta learn from them — we gotta set the tone like they did to us." pic.twitter.com/J9kwp5lgEP— Eric Walden (@tribjazz) April 18, 2019
Ricky Rubio knows he isn’t the best-suited defender to try to slow down James Harden. Frankly, there’s nobody in the NBA that can really claim that title anyways. He’s the most difficult player to guard in the NBA, and probably one of the most difficult to defend in NBA history. But that isn’t stopping Rubio from coming out and battling for his team. The Jazz need something to get them going, and hopefully Ricky’s fight and heart helps the Jazz get the pick-me-up they need to get back on track.
Down 2-0, the Jazz’s odd’s of a comeback are less than ideal. This would require them to beat Houston 4 out of the next 6 games and once on the road. This would require them to pretty much do a complete 180 in every aspect of their game so far this post season. Virtually every single player on the roster has to be better than they have in games one and two. But crazier things have happened. The Jazz will return to Salt Lake City for game three, which is always rockin’ for the NBA playoffs. The Jazz need their fans, perhaps more than ever, to get them playing like they did for the majority of the season. It’s an uphill battle for sure, but it’s the only choice they have to keep their season alive.