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Instant analysis: Utah Jazz get an easy win over Atlanta Hawks

The Jazz beat the Hawks 112-91 in the first of a three-game road trip

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) goes in for a basket as Atlanta Hawks guard Cam Reddish, right, defends in the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021, in Atlanta.
John Bazemore, AP

The Utah Jazz beat the Atlanta Hawks 112-91 in the first of a three-game road trip.

High notes

  • The Jazz did not play their best game. But even with quite a bit of ugly basketball, the Jazz were never really in danger of losing this one.
  • Mike Conley had some foul trouble in the first quarter that kept him sidelined a little longer than normal during the first half. Once the third quarter opened though, Conley led the Jazz’s charge in really putting the game out of reach for the Hawks. Conley scored all 11 of his points in the third, but more than anything his presence was calming, as it always is for the Jazz.

“I knew that I was going to come out and be aggressive and take command a little bit more and just look for opportunities to make plays. And I got there and was able to do it.” — Mike Conley

  • Jordan Clarkson was the real motor on Thursday night and finished with a game-high 23 points. His scoring ability is never something that the Jazz have to worry about. What stood out to me against the Hawks is that Clarkson is getting so much better at not biting on pump fakes. He’s staying in a good defensive position and timing his closeouts a lot better this season than he has before.
  • It was another solid and balanced rebounding effort by the Jazz with everyone crashing the boards, leading to the Jazz outrebounding the Hawks 62-54. The Jazz had five players finish with five or more rebounds.
  • The Hawks aren’t a team that’s known for their defensive prowess. They’re a middle of the pack defensive team, but they put a lot of pressure on the Jazz on the perimeter, and Clint Capela defended the pick and roll really well on Thursday, forcing the Jazz to make tough shot selection decisions. Ultimately it wasn’t enough, but they deserve some credit for putting in the effort of that side.

“People are going to try to take things away. I didn’t necessarily think the pressure bothered us as much as we just weren’t real precise, and you know, that can happen. I like the fact that we figured it out a little more in the second half.” — Jazz head coach Quin Snyder

Low notes

  • The Jazz are very likely going to have a lot of games this season that are lacking in excitement. That’s what happens with good teams. It was clear through the entirety of the second half that the Hawks weren’t going to have a chance in this game. That’s not a knock to the Jazz. Fans will of course be happy that they are rolling through the lesser teams of the league, but sleepy wins are not that much fun.
  • Rudy Gobert already has some trouble keeping control of the ball when he’s in the post and didn’t respond very well to the physicality the Hawks were giving him.
  • The Hawks didn’t have Trae Young on Thursday, which was obviously going to mean that their offense would take a hit and it certainly did. They scored just 37 points in the first half.

Flat notes

  • Donovan Mitchell missed a two-handed, wide open, fast-break dunk in the first quarter. Whoopsie-daisy.
  • Three fouls on Conley in the first quarter really affected the Jazz. I don’t think anyone is worried about Conley being in foul trouble becoming a frequent problem, but the Jazz are going to have to adapt a little bit better when things don’t go as planned for them.
  • Bojan Bogdanovic had a really good game, but there was a moment when he had the ball, standing over John Collins, who was lying on the ground, and Collins still stole the ball. What in the world?