Jazz Have Longest All-Star Break in the League | Salt City Hoops
One day after the ninth anniversary of his untimely trade to the Brooklyn Nets, former Jazz All-Star Deron Williams returned to Vivint SmartHome Arena in what might have been the only highlight of the night for a Jazz team that needs to fix.... Something. Everything?
After two blowout losses at home to the Spurs and the Rockets, a game against the 23-34 Suns seemed like it might be the answer to whatever ails the Jazz. It was not. Make it three straight blowout losses at home for a team that is completely out of sync.
It seems like a lifetime ago that The Athletic's Ethan Sherwood Strauss wrote an article titled, "Happy, successful, innovative: Yes, the Utah Jazz are worth your time." The team that took the court on Monday night resembled none of those adjective. I checked the publication date to see in what distant lifetime Strauss wrote those things; it was published exactly one month before Monday's loss, January 24. It's hard to believe this is the same team that inspired that column.
Utah stayed close through intermission (62-62) thanks to the firepower of Donovan Mitchell, who would finish the game with 38 points after netting six triples and sinking 10 of 12 free throws. But even with Mitchell's scoring punch, a terrible defensive performance made it impossible to keep up with the Suns. The Jazz allowed a defensive rating of 131, making it the 20th worst performance by an NBA defense at home all season. At different points throughout the second half, Utah would surrender runs of 10-2, 11-3, 10-2, 17-6 and finally another 10-2 to put the game away.
Stat of the Game
0-3. That's how the Jazz have played since returning from the All-Star Break. And all three were double-digit losses in which the Jazz never held a fourth-quarter lead. Did I mention all three were home games?
Line of the Game
Ricky Rubio's return to Salt Lake City was triumphant for him. He posted a line of 22 points, 6 rebounds and 11 assists with 7 steals.
The Jazz were up 8 after the first. The game was tied at the half. It's better not to dwell on the 2nd half.
Highlight of the Game
🚫 LOOK 🚫 pic.twitter.com/TKhii2eBau- Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) February 25, 2020
Three teams have come into Vivint and straight up punked the Jazz.....at this point, Utah's issues go beyond skill, beyond a lack of defense. Jazz down 106-94 with 9:23 remaining- Tony Jones (@Tjonesonthenba) February 25, 2020
The Boston Celtics come to Vivint SmartHome Arena on Wednesday as the Jazz (hopefully) make their long-awaited return from this incredibly long All-Star break.
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