ORLANDO — The Utah Jazz lost a second consecutive game on Sunday night. The Orlando Magic earned their third win of the season, topping the Jazz 107-100.
- For a second straight day Royce O’Neale seemed like the Jazz’s most impactful player making extra efforts on the defensive end and being aggressive on the offensive end and was actively urging his teammates to get back on defense and to move on the next play. It was a second day in double-figures for O’Neale, who finished the night with 14 points, seven rebounds, three steals and two assists.
- Trent Forrest got quite a bit of run in this game with Mike Conley sitting the second game of the back-to-back set and when Donovan Mitchell got into foul trouble, and he did some really good stuff as far as play-making and creating goes.
- When Bojan Bogdanovic is flexing and getting emotionally into a game, he seems to play progressively better. I know he’s an even-keeled guy but maybe it wouldn’t hurt to let loose every once in a while.
- OK, I want to make something very clear before I get to this next point — what I’m going to say could mean absolutely nothing. Rudy Gay was not in street clothes on the bench today. After warming up and doing some shooting before the game, he stayed in his shorts and warmup shirt on the bench. That could honestly be explained away if maybe he didn’t bring the right outfit to the arena or any number of other reasons. But, he also is obviously itching to play. He’s touching the ball and jokingly posting up against officials during timeouts and pretending to shoot from the bench between plays. It feels like he’s getting closer but there’s been no update from the team, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
- Jordan Clarkson, who is usually the epitome of the ‘not too high or too low’ person, seemed pretty despondent on the bench when the Jazz were down. He honestly seemed to really take this loss hard and not seeing his usual energy had to have been a little deflating for everyone around him.
- Mitchell had to sit because he had four fouls early in the third quarter, then got his fifth with 7:32 left in the fourth. When he came back in for the final minutes of the game he was playing really conservatively and understandably so, but that’s something that’s going to hurt the team and by then the Magic had all the confidence in the world and they knew exactly who to aggressively attack.
“Defensively you’re trying to be smarter...Being able to stay solid and not really foul that’s the mindset, which is a tough position to be in, because it’s like you’re trying to balance being aggressive but if you get called for one ticky-tack foul, that’s it.” — Donovan Mitchell
- I could probably fill this section up with long diatribes about all the mistakes the Jazz made, but I’ll just make some quick hits on things the Jazz did that weren’t great; turnovers, complaining in a game where they had a massive free-throw advantage, staying on the ground too long after drives, playing good defense through two or three sequences and then letting the last chance shot fly in without a contest. There were problems and a lot of them were defensive.
- Forrest does have some really nice play-making skills, but the defense still doesn’t respect him as a scorer and the Jazz’s space is hurt when he is on the floor.
- The Jazz shot 19% from 3-point range. It’s going to be hard to beat teams when you shoot that poorly and you also aren’t staying focused on the defensive end.
- The Jazz’s transition defense has been abysmal the last two games and there’s not really any good excuse to not run. If there’s anything we can point to, and to be disappointed about, this is the thing. It’s pretty basic. Get back and guard.
“It has been lacking very much. It’s one of those things that’s more mental than physical. Any of you guys could run to the other end of the court. We’ve obviously got to be a lot better in that sense of the game.” — Joe Ingles on transition defense