The Jazz suffered a setback on Wednesday night at the hands of the Timberwolves after an emotional loss in OKC. It was clear from the beginning that the Jazz weren’t fully engaged in the effort. Utah could never find an offensive rhythm, struggled to defend, and ultimately lost the game 107-80.
The 27-point defeat is the biggest scoring margin in a home loss during the Quin Snyder era. Minnesota is a talented, young team that can do serious damage to an unprepared opponent. Such was the case in Wednesday’s game.
The Jazz had their fair share of open looks early on, but struggled to capitalize from beyond the arc. Minnesota’s improved Tom Thibodeau defense held the Jazz to 21% three-point shooting on 19 attempts. If you’re trying to do quick math, the answer is four. That’s how many threes the Jazz made.
The one-two punch of Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Antony Towns was difficult to contain. Wiggins finished with 20 points and Towns had 21 points to go along with 15 rebounds.
Nobody played particularly well for the Jazz. However, if you were looking for one bright spot it would be Dante Exum. The young Aussie scored 15 points. It’s worth keeping an eye out to see if he really has turned a corner.
For the rest of the Jazz players it was the type of game where you just want to burn the tape and move on. In his postgame remarks, Gordon Hayward said that once he finished addressing the media he would never think about this game again. While I find that hard to take literally, I understand his sentiment. Dwelling on a game like this will probably do more harm than good.
In the first three games out of the All-Star break the Jazz seemed to be finding some offensive confidence. With the exception of an early Gordon Hayward dunk, the Jazz appeared to be without the attacking ability they had in the last three games. The missed shots led to frustration, which led to poor execution on the defensive end. The Jazz just came undone, plain and simple.
Wednesday night was an example of one loss turning into two. If the Jazz want to make a run at the four seed, they need to figure out how to move on from tough losses. This loss to the Timberwolves will give them an opportunity to do that. Utah faces Brooklyn (who is horrible) on Friday night in Salt Lake.
Gordon Hayward – 13 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals
Rudy Gobert – 9 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks