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Analysis: Jazz do nothing well in loss to Pelicans

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) passes the ball around New Orleans Pelicans forward Herbert Jones (5) during an NBA game at the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. The Jazz lost 97-98.
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) passes the ball around New Orleans Pelicans forward Herbert Jones (5) during an NBA game at the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. The Jazz lost 97-98.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

The Utah Jazz lost, 98-97 Friday night to the New Orleans Pelicans, one of the worst teams in the league on a Devonte Graham 3-pointer with one second left.

You are probably accustomed to seeing some “High Notes” below, followed by the bad stuff. But tonight, there wasn’t anything the Jazz did that warranted praise.

Low Notes

  • If the Jazz had somehow pulled out a win on Friday night, maybe I could talk about the fact that Donovan Mitchell came alive at the end of the game to give Utah an advantage, but he also made critical mistakes down the stretch and the Jazz didn’t win.
  • If the Jazz had somehow pulled out a win on Friday night, maybe I could talk about the fact that Bojan Bogdanovic was shooting really well and finished with 23 points. But, even in the second quarter when Bogdanovic was 4-of-4 from deep and 6-of-7 from the field overall and clearly the only Jazz player who was really in any sort of offensive rhythm, the Jazz couldn’t seem to get him an open look. Maybe that would be explainable against a different team with a better defense, but the Jazz weren’t getting him open against the Pelicans, and that’s because of a lack of movement and effort and awareness from the rest of the team.
  • Speaking of that second quarter, the Jazz went the final 6:29 of that period and only scored two points — two.
  • The Jazz talk a lot about their defense leading to offense and needing to rely on the defense, but they didn’t look good on either end. They were letting the ball stick and getting into iso situation after iso situation, and then on the other end they were missing defensive rotations and just plain not doing well with their assignments to the point that it started just looking like a layup line for the Pelicans.
    “I can’t say that we’ve put together a full 48 minutes together. A team that’s been together for three years, you’d think that we’d do that. We’ve just got to pick this (expletive) up. It’s bad, it’s bad the way this feels.” —Donovan Mitchell
  • Joe Ingles’ pass-fake layup wasn’t even working. New Orleans big man Jonas Valanciunas seems to be one of the few in the league that have caught on, but when one person catches onto something, you can bet that others will.
  • Midway through the third quarter, Hassan Whiteside picked up his fifth foul after playing just 10 minutes. That’s not exactly what we’d call an efficient use of time.

Flat Notes

  • Becoming the No. 1 overall seed last season was achieved by the Jazz coming into nearly every game with a huge amount of intensity and jumping out to leads, maintaining them with focused defense and then executing an offensive system that rarely waited until it was too late to start an action. The Jazz were one of the best teams at moving the ball last season, and not enough has changed on this team to explain why the ball is sticking so much.
    “We do it in spurts, we’ve done it in a couple of games and we feel it start to come and then we digress. And that’s just a question of our mindset and what we value during the course of the game — what we value collectively — and moving the ball requires trusting your teammates. When we do that, I think we’re rewarded. When we don’t, we’re penalized.” —Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
  • I saw some tweets tonight (sorry that I can’t remember from who) that really explained the way the Jazz feel this season. The Jazz are 12-7 right now, and that’s good enough for third in the West at the time of writing this and that should be a pretty happy position. But the Jazz have not been fun to watch this season. It’s been clunky and disjointed, and they honestly haven’t played many really good teams. When you watch the Jazz it doesn’t look great and it doesn’t feel good. Even when they win, sometimes it doesn’t really feel like a team that’s ready to compete for real.