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Instant analysis: Jazz lose second straight after blowing 18-point lead against the Knicks

The Jazz fell apart in an embarrassing 112-100 loss

SHARE Instant analysis: Jazz lose second straight after blowing 18-point lead against the Knicks
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New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) shoots in front of Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in New York.

Wendell Cruz/Pool Photo via AP

The Utah Jazz fell apart, blowing an 18-point lead in an embarrassing 112-100 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday night.

High notes

  • I’ll give the Jazz this: The entire game was not a garbage heap the way that Tuesday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets was. There were a few moments where they looked good.

“We didn’t have that in the second half. We missed some shots, but those are the times you need to defend. We just made it too easy with some careless turnovers and some breakdowns defensively. And then obviously (Austin) Rivers hit some big shots but we had started to slip on the defensive end prior to that.” — Jazz head coach Quin Snyder

  • There was a short stretch late in the first quarter and into the second quarter where Donovan Mitchell seemed to settle down and play more deliberately. That was the high note in the game for Mitchell and he’d do well to watch only that portion of the game tape to see what he needs to do moving forward.
  • The Jazz’s second unit, led by Joe Ingles and Jordan Clarkson, were largely responsible for an 18-point lead in the second quarter in some really impactful minutes. But those minutes were fleeting.
  • The Knicks should be really proud of what they got from Reggie Bullock, Elfrid Payton, Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson on Wednesday night. They were not intimated at all by their Jazz counterparts and dominated in their specific roles.
  • Austin Rivers scored 14 consecutive points for the Knicks in the final minutes of the fourth quarter and did so by completely taking advantage of the Jazz’s lacking perimeter defense and sleepy disposition. That’s called doing your job.

Low notes

  • Late in the third quarter, Randle led a fast break off a Robinson block of Mitchell. Randle was facing three Jazz defenders on the break and still managed to waltz right into an easy layup. Lazy transition defense doesn’t even begin to describe the situation, and it was a pretty good summation of the Jazz’s night.
  • After being the Jazz’s most consistent player through the 2020-21 season, Mike Conley struggled. He was 3-of-14 from the field, 0-of-6 from deep and didn’t offer much in the way of pressure defensively. 

“I think we knew what to expect coming into the third quarter, that they were going to come out aggressive and we let our offense, not making shots, dictate our energy level, our sense of urgency, which we can’t do. Ever.” — Mike Conley 

  • It was a really inefficient night from Mitchell despite his flashes of sensible decision-making (as mentioned above). He finished 8-of-23 overall, 2-of-10 from 3-point range and didn’t make a single trip to the free-throw line.

Flat notes

  • When Rivers had it going, seemingly unable to miss in the fourth, there was a play when Royce O’Neale was caught literally looking in the other direction when a screen came his way and Rivers side-stepped for an easy, uncontested trey.
  • The Jazz have had a problem with turnovers and now it’s just getting out of hand. The Jazz are dribbling the ball with absolutely no care and basically handed the ball to the Knicks on multiple possessions. It’s one thing to turn the ball over in the course of trying to make the right pass or the right move. It’s an entirely different thing to be so sloppy that you make the Knicks look like defensive juggernauts.
  • This loss comes after the Jazz made huge declarations about needing to play with consistency and bring effort and urgency to every matchup. Those quotes seem extremely weightless and flat considering the Jazz’s performance against the Knicks.

“We’re going to do this, it’s just a matter of when. We can’t continue to lead teams and just let them come in and just do whatever they want. And I’m not worried, but it’s definitely something where it’s like OK we got to do it. Got to do it.” — Donovan Mitchell