DALLAS — The Utah Jazz were beaten by the Dallas Mavericks, 114-100, on Sunday at American Airlines Center.
A lot of stuff to cover in this one, both good and bad, but right out of the gate, we have to say that Donovan Mitchell suffered what looked like a right ankle injury midway through the third quarter when Dwight Powell came down on his foot.
Although Mitchell stayed in the game until the midway point of the fourth quarter, it was clear that he was in pain, and we have to wonder how this is going to impact the rest of the regular season for the Jazz and potentially the playoffs.
Also, important to note that Rudy Gobert was a late scratch from this game with a right lateral leg contusion so the Jazz were playing without Gobert, Bojan Bogdanovic (left calf strain), Danuel House Jr. (left knee bone bruise) and Hassan Whiteside (right foot sprain).
- There was a lot of stuff in this game that just seemed new for the Jazz. Part of this was by necessity with so many guys out, but that doesn’t mean that the info wasn’t valuable.
First up, when the Jazz are playing a small-ball lineup and using Trent Forrest as a small-small pick-and-roll roller rather than putting him in the corner, it allows an actual shooter (a la Rudy Gay or Juancho Hernangomez) to space the floor and Forrest is a sneaky good roller because he’s long and strong and is just really smart in the paint.
“He’s finding things, now that he’s feeling better with his hand. He’s finding things and keeps attacking. This is a team that there’s a high probability that we’ll see them in the playoffs so to be able to find those different things and look back on the film is good.” —Donovan Mitchell
- Juancho Hernangomez is good for this team.
- It’s not often that Quin Snyder makes substitutions based on performance, and I think that for the most part I agree on letting your more experienced and regular guys play through whatever slumps or mishaps are happening.
But, I also agree that when you have a guy like Nickeil Alexander-Walker and he makes consecutive mistakes or misses shots and just doesn’t have it, I don’t see anything wrong with seeing if one of your other guys has it going, so after just three minutes of NAW minutes, Snyder put Jared Butler in the game.
Immediately Butler hit a 3 and that was a nice lift. I think that it’s really difficult for the coaching staff to decide on who is getting those third ballhandler minutes because each guy has weaknesses to their game but I also like that the Jazz are willing to try out different combos and see what might work in different situations.
- The Jazz being forced into trying out different combos and different looks against the Mavericks is just so valuable when it comes to having stuff on film that the Jazz can look back on.
Even if the Jazz were missing multiple players, they can still use some of what worked really well if they end up seeing the Mavericks in the playoffs, and there was a lot of stuff that worked really well in the first half that got the Jazz open looks and some really good ball movement.
“There were a bunch of things that we tried to do to change the game up. We can talk about some of the things that happen in the game, whether it’s a make, or miss, but I thought the biggest thing is that we competed. This is one of those times you come in after a loss and you’re proud of your team.” —Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
- It seems like Mike Conley is starting to move toward being more like himself, and that feels like one of the few things that the Jazz can be happy about as the playoffs get closer and closer.
- The Jazz have lost four straight and are now 1-4 on this road trip with one more game to go. They’ve also fallen down to fifth in the standings and are now a game behind the Mavericks and just a single game ahead of the Denver Nuggets.
Maybe though, it might be worth thinking about which opponent would be better in the first round, the Mavericks or the Golden State Warriors. Maybe the Jazz are already thinking that.
- Donovan Mitchell hurting his right ankle this late in the season is absolutely not something to be taken lightly. We won’t know until tomorrow or the day after, but if I was the one making the decision, I would not let Mitchell play on Tuesday against the LA Clippers.