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Analysis: Jazz go cold against the Bulls, lose for the first time this season

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Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic (44) drives to the basket against Chicago Bulls guard Javonte Green (24) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)

AP

CHICAGO — The Utah Jazz lost their first game of the season on Saturday night, dropping a 107-99 contest to the Chicago Bulls.

High Notes

  • When Donovan Mitchell, and frankly the rest of the Jazz roster, was having trouble hitting from outside, Mitchell was working his butt off to get to the rim and just get something to go down. One of the things I’ve noticed over the first few games of this season is that Mitchell has gotten very good at switching his layup hand mid-flight. It seems like it could be a really dangerous thing to do, but it’s clear he’s put a lot of time into it and he’s really controlled when he does it. It’s a nice new wrinkle to his game.
  • In the fourth quarter, Quin Snyder decided to put Trent Forrest in for a few possessions. One of the things that Forrest does well is stay in front of his man in transition and slow down breaks, and he did that.
  • Finding silver linings in losses is often what the ‘high notes’ section is about, and if you’re looking for one from this game, it’s that the Jazz played pretty badly against one of the hottest teams in the league right now and they were right there through most of the night. The fact that they only lost by eight and that they were within striking distance is actually pretty surprising. Probably not going to see a lot of games with that many mistakes and so many guys on the Jazz roster shooting that badly all in the same night.
    “Turnovers hurt us and points off turnovers...Taking care of the ball is a big thing and sometimes that falls to a certain player on a possession and sometimes its collective.” — Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
  • Jared Butler got some extended minutes with Mike Conley sitting out the first game of a back-to-back set, and though his minutes weren’t perfect, he did show a couple of good things, including his ability to feed out to the corners on hard drives.
  • Through the first three quarters, the Jazz had pretty good shot selection. There were a lot of looks that you’d be fine with the Jazz taking over and over again. They just weren’t going through the net on Saturday.

Low Notes

  • It takes quite a bit for me to write something about the way the officials call a game. But here are the things that I noticed from my vantage point courtside at the baseline: Multiple Jazz players were complaining about no-calls, there was a lot of jersey pulling by the Bulls, Snyder was begging for the officials to pay attention to what was happening under the basket and there were Bulls players that were laughing about what they were getting away with. So when there’s frustration from Mitchell, who was assessed a technical foul in the fourth quarter for clapping at the officials, I understand it. How could you not be frustrated and then validated in continuing to be frustrated when everyone around you is frustrated and the opposition is just snickering about it?
  • Barely anyone on the Jazz had it going on the offensive end. Mitchell had to really work to create his points, Rudy Gobert had some putbacks and Jordan Clarkson started to hit some stuff late in the game, but the Jazz were just off. That’s going to happen, but usually it doesn’t happen to nearly the entire team on the same night. It was a huge swing from the Jazz having seven players in double figures Thursday in Houston.

Flat Notes

  • It’s hard to watch some of the Jazz’s turnovers off passes and not think about the fundamentals of basketball, like meeting the ball rather than waiting for it. 
  • The Jazz completely let their offense dictate their defense rather than the other way around. Then, with Utah not being its best on defense, the Bulls continued to gain confidence as the game went on. When players are hot and there isn’t much stopping them, they usually continue to stay hot.
    “It’s no one thing. Their size and athleticism on the perimeter made it harder for us, but we’ve got to space better and move the ball quicker. Your margin for error is much less.” —Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
  • Hassan Whiteside getting blocked and stopped over and over by former Jazzman Tony Bradley was not the best look he’s had in a Utah uniform.