On Monday night the Dallas Mavericks committed a crime of passion.

Emotions were running high after the Utah Jazz won Game 4 on Saturday, tying the series 2-2. Then, when the Jazz had the audacity to even think that they could go into Dallas’ arena and gain the upper hand, the Mavericks reacted with a rageful intensity that shut down any hope the Jazz might have had.

But even when the Jazz had been beaten and bruised into submission midway through Game 5, the Mavericks never relented. Consecutive stepback 3s from Luka Doncic in the third quarter weren’t necessary, but once the Mavs were in the throes of their butchery, it made sense to keep going.

Where was the Jazz’s response to the Mavericks onslaught? Absent, that’s where.

“We didn’t really respond to their intensity,” Rudy Gobert said after the Jazz’s 102-77 loss. “They just outplayed us.”

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Now the Jazz face an elimination Game 6 at Vivint Arena on Thursday night. But there’s already blood in the water.

The Jazz can’t rely on their will or desire to advance to the next round — the Doncic-led Mavericks have been eliminated in the first round of the playoffs the last two seasons and Dallas hasn’t seen anything beyond the first round since the Dirk Nowitzki-led Mavs won an NBA title in 2011, so their desire to advance is just as high, if not higher.

The problem is that if the Jazz can’t rely on being the team that wants it more, what can they rely on?

If Game 5 proved anything it’s that the Jazz can’t rely on their shot-making — they hit just 3 of their 30 3-point attempts in a historically bad shooting performance. Their defense has let them down time and time again against the Mavericks in this series. Their stars haven’t had the kind of dominating performances they’ve had in previous playoffs. Their role players can’t carry them.

If the Jazz want to win Game 6 and even give themselves the chance at a Game 7, there are going to have to be seismic shifts. The Jazz are going to have to do what they haven’t been able to do all season long. They’ll have to play defense at a level they haven’t yet reached, execute with a precision that they have yet to show and possibly try things that they haven’t yet tested out.

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The Jazz would tell you that this series is still alive, that they still have a chance.

“No matter if you lose by 30 or one point, it’s the playoffs,” Bojan Bogdanovic said after Monday’s loss. “They got a game. We’ve got another one on Thursday at home.”

It’s the mindset that the Jazz have to have right now. They have to believe that each game in a series is a blank canvas and that it’s not over until it’s over. That can be true in many playoff series, where each game has a new narrative and it’s a bit of a tossup on what the result will be.

But the truth is that it is very possible that this Jazz team has already seen what they can be at their very best, and their best might be behind them.

Many believe that this series is already over — that a Mavericks win is an inevitability. Thursday could be the Jazz’s chance to rewrite that script. Or, it could be the final nail in the coffin.