After last nights disappointing effort, Donovan Mitchell was frustrated with the loss.
Donovan Mitchell: “We can’t sit here and say, ‘We’ll get them next game’ — we can’t afford to have these games. It’s just tough, it eats away at you. ... And then on top of (poor defense), not making shots — it just feels like a huge boulder is just falling on top of you.” pic.twitter.com/QsTDsYrZ95— Eric Walden (@tribjazz) February 22, 2020
He has every right to be. The Jazz are in a playoff race and are jockeying for position. It’s one thing to lose close and it’s another to not look competitive against a non playoff team.
Rudy Gobert was especially frustrated the slow starts from the team and the continued sub par effort on defense.
Rudy Gobert is sick and tired of the Utah Jazz’s lazy starts https://t.co/4u6BNUQbvZ pic.twitter.com/5pRH8DLYJQ— Sarah Todd (@NBASarah) February 22, 2020
For some reason this has been a theme for this team all year. They come into games looking like they expect a win and then seem surprised when their opponent punches them in the mouth.
With only a third of the season left the Jazz have to change these bad habits. There are still teams, for example the Spurs and the Suns, who are still jockeying for a spot in the playoffs and are giving it everything they have. If Utah wants to win they have to show more effort.
It’s a little depressing that that even has to be said.
Luckily for Utah the #2 seed is well within their grasp.
But if Utah comes out with an effort like last night, especially against teams they’re competing against for seeding, expect another 4-5 matchup with the Rockets. Or worse.
Hopefully for Jazz fans last night was a wakeup call. The level of effort produced 17 turnovers and only forced the Spurs into 6. They shot in the low 30’s from three while the Spurs shot 56%. The Spurs looked comfortable all night and they’re percentages show it. Perhaps it was just an off night for the Jazz but teams who bring intensity on defense every night seem to have less “off nights.”
Utah now faces a tough Rockets team and has to make up for their bad loss against the Spurs. It’s now or never for the Jazz or their promising season is going to end up looking no better than the season before. Only this time they’ll be without draft picks and excuses.