Analysis: Not much went right for the Jazz in their blowout loss to the Mavericks
The Jazz shot just 10% from 3-point range, and to adding injury to insult, Donovan Mitchell left the game with a tight left hamstring.
DALLAS — The Utah Jazz were beat by the Dallas Mavericks, 102-77, on Monday night at American Airlines Center in Game 5 of this best-of-seven first-round playoff series.
The Mavericks take a 3-2 series lead into Thursday’s Game 6 at Vivint Arena.
- I can pretty confidently say that the Jazz did not lose this game due to a lack of effort. They really fought on both ends of the floor. They didn’t give up, even when they were down by 30-plus points. That’s not to say that what they did was successful — obviously it was not. But they can’t be faulted for not trying in this one.
- Jordan Clarkson, as he has all series, was the Jazz’s most effective offensive player. Though he missed all four of his 3-point attempts, that wasn’t actually unique for a Jazz player on Monday. Clarkson scored a team-high 20 points and was 9-of-11 on 2-point field goals.
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- The Jazz have suffered through incredibly slow starts in this series. They just can’t seem to find any sort of offensive rhythm. As my Deseret News colleague Ryan McDonald pointed out on Twitter, the slow start stats are pretty staggering.
The Jazz are averaging 7.4 points in the first six minutes of games this series— Ryan McDonald (@ryanwmcdonald) April 26, 2022
- In this game, the Jazz started slow and then they continued that throughout the entirety of the game. The shooting was abysmal. The Jazz shot just 10% from 3-point range hitting 3 of 30. Bojan Bogdanovic, Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson failed to hit a single 3-pointer. It seemed like every time the Jazz were able to get a stop on the defensive end, they missed on the other side or they turned the ball over or committed an offensive foul or a shot was waved off or, or, or…
- “We didn’t make a lot of shots and it’s tough to win...Looking at it now, and I don’t think we shoot this poorly again, I don’t think we’ve ever shot this poorly.” — Donovan Mitchell
- This Jazz team has often been guilty of letting their offense impact their defense. When they miss shots and the tone of a game starts to shift in favor of the other team, the Jazz have a tendency to spiral. Their defense starts to feel like it’s a step slow and the shots just continue to miss. The problems compound and then before you know it, the Jazz’s offense isn’t even generating good looks and they’re all playing in isolation and the ball isn’t moving.
- “In the first half we got some open looks and we just didn’t knock them down. After that if you don’t knock shots down and they do, it’s deflating. But we’ve just got to continue to move the ball. I had one assist and four turnovers. I’ve got to make sure I’m creating and finding guys, that’s the biggest thing. When shots aren’t falling we’ve got to find ways to create.” — Donovan Mitchell
- On the other side of the ball, as the Jazz were spiraling, the Mavericks gained steam with every Utah misstep. The Mavericks didn’t particularly shoot well in the first half, but they were forceful and worked hard to generate good looks. As they started to go in, Dallas started hitting tougher shots with confidence. Once Luka Doncic got going, it didn’t seem that he could be stopped. When the Jazz tried to blitz Doncic to get the ball out of his hands, he found open shooters and made needle-point passes. The Jazz were hit from every side with every weapon the Mavericks had and you could see the Jazz deflate with every blow.
- Tempers flared in the fourth quarter when Hassan Whiteside and Doncic got tangled while Whiteside was bringing down a rebound. Tthe Mavericks didn’t take kindly to the play. Dorian Finney-Smith and Reggie Bullock charged toward Whiteside and there was some pushing back and forth before things were broken up. Whiteside was ejected from the game with two technical fouls issued for the interaction. Bullock, who had been given a technical earlier in the game, received his second technical and was ejected. Finney-Smith also received technical.
- Donovan Mitchell left the game in the fourth quarter after his hamstring tightened and he felt like he couldn’t run. He is going to receive further testing in Utah on Tuesday and be evaluated afterward. As if the blowout loss wasn’t enough, a postseason injury that could jeopardize the Jazz’s hopes at evening the series in Game 6 makes things seem even worse.