The Utah Jazz won their 10th straight game with a 116-104 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.
- Jordan Clarkson can do everything. Period. I don’t ever want to hear him described purely as a guy who can get a bucket. He’s completely changed and evolved and improved his game and is a lot more committed on the defensive end than he gets credit for. Whether it’s spin moves, getting low against crafty guards, hitting contested shots, knocking down open 3-pointers or blocking shots, Clarkson is nearly always making good plays.
- With Donovan Mitchell sitting out, the Jazz were obviously going to need other guys to step up on the offensive end. Well, how about 22 from Clarkson, or 20 from Rudy Gobert and 15 from Joe Ingles, in the first half alone. The Jazz didn’t seem like they had any problem finding the offense. Gobert finished with a season-high 29 points, Ingles had a season-high 21 and Clarkson had a season-high 31.
“They really were doing the same things that they’ve done over the course of the season, just doing it more because they’re in the game more and they have the ball more, and all that makes sense.” — Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
- Ingles in particular, who is no stranger to the starting lineup, slid into the role he was asked to play on Wednesday with ease and capped off his performance with eight assists and 7-of-11 shooting from 3-point range.
“Just kind of that next man up mentality. Everyone that came in, the young fellas that came in had some great minutes when they came in. So, yeah, just a good team effort.” — Joe Ingles
- The defensive rotations, whether the Jazz were playing man, switching or playing in a zone, were wildly impressive. The Jazz seemed so locked in on that side of the floor and allowed the game to come to them.
- There was a play where Miye Oni got switched onto Kristaps Porzingis and recognizing that there was no way to win the height or length battle against the Mavericks big man, Oni instead used every bit of his strength to hold Porzingis back from getting into the paint and close enough to get a rebound or a putback opportunity. The Jazz contested a shot, got the rebound and scored on the other end. That kind of defensive awareness and recognition is why Oni is getting the chance to prove himself this season.
- Speaking of defensive awareness, Georges Niang continues to have little moments in games where even when he’s not the quickest or strongest on the court he is very aware of placement and rotation on the defensive end. He did that again against the Mavericks and was barking out directions and calling rotations when the Jazz were playing zone.
- Luka Doncic finished the game with 30 points, which is certainly nothing to turn your nose up at, but he didn’t feel nearly as impactful as he is in other games. Doncic was averaging 9.9 assists per game and has had eight games this season with double-digit assists. But he was largely kept from being able to make plays against the Jazz and had to work extremely hard for his points. Doncic’s passing and playmaking are maybe the most valuable part of his game and the Jazz didn’t allow him to use that part of his game.
“We want to help each other as much as we can defensively and play collectively and we know that we’re not going to be perfect. ... You know they’re such a talented offensive team. Some of it is you’re fortunate that guys missed some shots and that makes it look better, but I just want to see us compete.” — Quin Snyder
- Outside of Doncic, Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr., the Mavericks weren’t really able to get much help on the offensive side of the ball and on defense they were just completely ineffective in guarding the Jazz’s pick and roll or any drive and kicks.
- Gobert has had some free-throw issues this season and he airballed one of his free-throw shots against the Mavericks. That was not a great moment.
- Dorian Finney-Smith was just 1 of 8 from the field in 24 minutes for the Mavericks, shooting Dallas into a hole when they were trying to make any kind of surge back into the game.
- It was a good win for the Jazz and they’ll have another go against the Mavericks on Friday, but the Mavs have had a really tough go of things this season with COVID-19 protocols and contact tracing, which has left them very thin. It’s hard to really evaluate where they are when they haven’t really played with their full squad this year.