One of the things Utah Jazz head coach Will Hardy has wanted to see out of his team this year is the ability to, as he says, “think as a group.”

What Hardy means is he wants players to be able to recognize trends within the flow of the game, and to communicate things they are seeing so adjustments can be made in real time rather than Hardy needing to take a time out every time to explain things.

Hardy believes there has been a ton of growth in this area as the season has progressed, but he admits that there are still times when the players fall short.

That being said, he’s not disappointed when they falter because he understands that the amount of change and instability of rotations has made things difficult.

“You see teams where the same five guys play together for a while, they kind of recognize what they all bring to the table and what the advantages might be, what they might be looking for, so I don’t feel frustrated,” Hardy said.

There was a moment in the fourth quarter on Tuesday night against the Denver Nuggets that was a perfect example of what Hardy wants his players to better recognize on their own.

Hardy called a timeout with 6:57 left on the game clock, and the Jazz subbed in Ömer Yurtseven to play alongside Luka Šamanić. During the timeout, the team talked about the fact that it was a good time to try to punish the Nuggets when they were switching inside with the length of Yurtseven and Šamanić.

“We came out of the timeout and Luka scored twice in a row in the post,” Hardy said, “and then after those two possessions, we pretended like Luka didn’t exist, and Luka pretended like he didn’t exist.

“In those moments, that’s where you see the really good team — the teams that are thinking as a group and feeling the moment and understanding what’s going on — they’re gonna ride the wave.”

Rather than go away from what was working, Darius Bazley, Talen Horton-Tucker and Johnny Juzang, who were all on the court, should have seen what was working and tried to get the ball to Šamanić, and Šamanić should have been more aggressive and assertive, fronting his defender and demanding the ball.

But there are also so many other things going on in those moments. Bazley, Horton-Tucker and Juzang are all currently playing for their NBA lives.

They have just a few more days to try to get someone in the league — whether it’s the Jazz or another team — to give them another shot. Feeding the ball to Šamanić does not really register as the move that is going to stand out to those who are scouting pro personnel.

Likewise, Šamanić is not someone who has played a lot and has certainly not been in a position to demand the ball as the best option on the floor, so he’s not accustomed to being that assertive.

“That’s where I’ll give Luka and I’ll give the team some grace,” Hardy said. “Luka has not been a go-to guy for us this season...he’s not used to being in that moment, and so for sure, there’s some natural hesitance from Luka and from the team.

“So I understand that, and that’s why when you ask if I’m frustrated, I’m really not. It’s just a good moment to teach that to them where hopefully, if it happens again, we can recognize it.”