With the 2nd game of the preseason in the books, there are issues the Utah Jazz definitely have to work on.
Last night, the Utah Jazz played the Los Angeles Clippers in Seattle, the 2nd preseason game for both teams. While the Jazz pulled out the win in the first game a few nights ago, the Clippers returned the favor this time around, defeating the Utah Jazz 103-98. As with the first game, there were some issues that evidenced early on:
- The Jazz starting group came out of the gates slowly and fell behind.
- Rebounding and defense were lacking, as was effort at times.
- Collin Sexton and John Collins looked out of sync and lost.
- Turnovers (36 in 2 games).
- The Clippers were able to get open looks at 3 without much effort.
The Jazz ended up down 19 at one point and looked like they were going to be run off the court by the Clippers, even after Tyronn Lue pulled Leonard, George, and Westbrook.
Then Will Hardy pulled most of the Jazz starters, and the reserves played with better energy, the issues dissipated, and the Utah Jazz got back in the game.
Even though the Jazz came back and played much better defense in the 3rd, the issues continued in the 4th. Open 3’s, lack of interior defense, and a lack of urgency.
And yes, this is the preseason. The rotations may change between now and the start of the regular season, and the starters (Markkanen, Kessler, Collins, Sexton, and THT) should improve with more reps together. The issues may clear up as the team returns home for the final stretch of camp.
And the Clippers might just be one of the better teams in the West and one that gives the Jazz a lot of matchup problems. Perhaps a Portland team in transition will be an easier game for the Utah Jazz to correct these issues moving forward.