Analysis: The Jazz’s road trip came to a disappointing end with a loss to Dallas, a possible playoff opponent
The Jazz weren’t able to overcome a 20-point deficit against Luka Doncic and the Mavericks.
DALLAS — The Utah Jazz lost to the Dallas Mavericks, 111-103, at the American Airlines Center on Monday night in a highly anticipated rematch of the Jazz 114-109 win over the Mavericks on Feb. 25.
- This is where we look at the silver linings of the loss. Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley both struggled offensively and the Jazz were still able to make this a single-digit game down the stretch. The Jazz were down 20 points on the road in the final game of a five-game road trip and they were able to generate stops and force the Mavericks to fight down to the end. The Jazz beat this Mavericks team at home a few days ago at Vivint Arena and they know that they can beat them again but also that not every game is going to be a cake walk. There are some good things to take away from this game, including how the Jazz came back in the fourth quarter and what the Jazz will be able to glean from the film.
“To me the story of this game, frankly, is we’re down 20 on the road. And...what we did to come back and get it right there, it was a couple possession game.” — Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
- Bojan Bogdanovic finished with 21 points and was again incredibly efficient and just really smart with the ball and quick in his decisions. He also made a lot of smart decisions on defense and had a really well-rounded game. He started playing without his finger splint in the game against the Pelicans and though he was a little cold that night, he’s been really incredible in the two games that followed. You can tell that he’s happier with the way he’s moving and how much more control he has.
- The Mavericks did such a good job at the trade deadline and got really huge pieces and it should be noted how important Spencer Dinwiddie is for Dallas not just while Jalen Brunson is sidelined. He is completely capable of winning games for the Mavericks and he hits incredibly tough shots with confidence. He’s so good for this Mavericks team and he makes them a tougher opponent than many thought they were going to be and they were already going to be tough.
- The Jazz and the Mavericks are really fun teams to watch and a playoff series between these teams would be fascinating not just for the intense games that would take place but also to see the small chess match style adjustments that each team would make from one game to the next.
- In any game that the Jazz are trailing by 10 points or more, there comes a point when the online fanbase calls for Quin Snyder to put in players who will “give more effort” or have “more energy” than the Jazz’s regular rotation players. If the Jazz’s coaching staff gave up on the players as often as the fans do then we wouldn’t even get a chance to watch the Jazz’s starters play in the second half of games. I get feeling frustrated by certain players and it makes sense sometimes to inject some energy into a game, but there is a time and place for that. This Mavericks team might be the Jazz’s first-round playoff opponent, so there is no reason for the Jazz to take time away from who they think will be on the court in those crucial playoff moments. Honestly, they might see something in the film that eventually leads them to make some changes to rotations or matchups or substitutions, but getting a real feel through 48 minutes of what the Jazz’s main players can do against a team like the Mavericks is really important. You can’t just throw in the towel and let non-usage guys take up the minutes.
- Mike Conley has had a few rough games. He went into the All-Star break playing really well and he came out of it looking a little rough. I don’t think that we start worrying about Conley yet, but he certainly has not been himself lately.
- The Jazz have let a few of their bad habits creep up to the surface again lately and the ones that worry me moving forward are the tendency to make decisions once they’re in the air and letting their emotions get the best of them during a game. They have to do a better job of making decisions or having a plan before the jump into traffic or being patient with the ball in those situations and they have to let go of some of the extracurricular chatter and what the referees are or are not doing.
“Individually you have to be more precise in what we do...We get to the point where we’re trying to leave our feet and jump in the air and make plays or try to get a foul or things that can result in an errant pass or deflection or something like that. When all we have to do is just get a guy up in the air by pump faking and then bouncing the ball or Rudy (Gobert) or somebody in the corner. We have to be more patient in that aspect.” — Mike Conley