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Analysis: Jazz drop 4th straight game in loss to Grizzlies

Ja Morant scores triple-double in Grizzlies win over Jazz

SHARE Analysis: Jazz drop 4th straight game in loss to Grizzlies
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) runs down the court

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) reacts in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, in Memphis, Tenn. The Jazz lost 119-109.

Brandon Dill, Associated Press

MEMPHIS — The Utah Jazz lost 119-109 to the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night at the FedEx Forum. The Jazz have now lost four in a row and 10 of the last 12 games.

Once again the Jazz were without Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell and once again that was felt, but this time it didn’t keep the Jazz from at least trying.

High notes

  • If Danuel House hasn’t earned a contract for the rest of the season with the Jazz, he’s earned it elsewhere just based on what he’s been able to do on his 10-day contracts in Utah. There are few players who exert themselves in the way that House does in just a five minute stint on the floor. He is not a player who you ever have to worry about giving the right amount of effort. He leaves everything on the floor and when he subs out of a game he is drenched in sweat and his chest is heaving. 
    “He’s been really a bright spot. He’s one of those guys that just does what his job is. He plays defense, plays hard, crashes for the boards, hits open shots, he’s not afraid to shoot it ... That’s why you love him, because he’s not afraid of any moment. He’s not afraid to guard anybody. He’s been special for us even when we haven’t been rewarded with a win.” — Mike Conley 
  • There aren’t enough adjectives or superlatives to describe Ja Morant. It’s hard to believe that this is just his third season in the league. I can imagine that to a casual observer that it would seem like no one was guarding him or that he was getting to spots with ease. But he is so fast and has such a quick first step, and he’s so athletic and can change directions in a way that not many people can. He forces the defense to backpedal and chase him and even then it’s not enough. He was just named as an All-Star starter and it’s incredibly deserved. Friday night he had a 30-point, 10-assist, 10-rebound triple-double to lead the Grizzlies to victory.
  • There were quite a few mistakes the Jazz made, but there was a lot for the Jazz to be happy about. Recently we could have said that the Jazz weren’t giving effort in some games on top of mistakes, but that wasn’t the case on Friday. They might not have always had the upper hand or made the right play but they weren’t giving up on plays. That’s the kind of fight you want to see from this team, even if they aren’t winning.
    “We competed our tails off. There was a lot of size on the floor and we didn’t have a lot of it. We battled.” — Jazz head coach Quin Snyder

Low notes

  • As the Jazz are playing shorthanded recently it feels like they can’t really get in front of the injury bug because the guys that are on the floor are getting so banged up. All-Star break can’t come fast enough for the Jazz. They’ll need that rest. 
  • Missed layups and dunks feel so much worse than missed 3s, and the Jazz had a lot of those on Friday. Not really much more to say about that.
  • Such a switch that was flipped for Eric Paschall at halftime. He seemed to be so on and engaged and everything was clicking right in the first half and then it was like someone flipped a switch and he was just a step behind. He airballed a shot, he missed a dunk, he missed rotations. It was weird.
  • I know that the Jazz are length challenged without Rudy Gobert but the way they were getting out-rebounded was not great and they were letting the Grizzlies run at will in transition. Even worse than that sometimes was that they were letting the Grizzlies push the ball after makes and they weren’t able to get in front of the ball after turnovers.
  • The Jazz were actually lucky that the guy they sent to the line the most, Morant, shot the ball so poorly from the free-throw line (8 of 13). That being said, gotta hit those free buckets, Ja.

Flat notes

  • It’s so hard to watch Mike Conley right now. Not because he’s playing poorly. The opposite actually. Conley is playing so hard and is so impressive, but the amount that he has to do to create space and create seams without Donovan Mitchell and without Rudy Gobert on the court is immense. Not only is he tasked with a huge amount, but he’s getting kicked and knocked down and is playing heavy minutes and is burdened with so much on both sides of the floor. I just really hope that once this team is healthy that they can find some time in the schedule to let him rest or they have some games that don’t require so much of Conley, because they need to him to have some energy once they are deeper in the season.