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Transition defense does the Jazz in against Kings

Jazz lose to the Kings 119-110.

They knew coming into it, the youthful Sacramento Kings were going to push it on offense. According to Cleaning the Glass, the Kangz are one of the top transition offenses in the league. Still, the Utah Jazz couldn’t stop them, dropping Wednesday’s return home to Vivint Smart Home Arena 119-110.

Scattered boos welcomed the club home as they trailed in the fourth quarter.

De’Aaron Fox led the charging visitors with 17 points, 13 assists, and 7 rebounds. Emblematic of his performance, @WorldWideWob changed his name to De’Wobbin Fox. It’s never good when an opponent becomes NBA Twitter’s new name.

Herculean effort from Donovan Mitchell isn’t enough this year. The sophomore’s struggles with efficiency are coinciding with the club’s issues.

The defensive miscues are a season-long problem. The reason why NBA prognosticators were so high on Utah was last season’s tenacious defense. As it stands, the Jazz are 19th in defensive rating.

Where’s the communication? Quin Snyder, Jae Crowder, and Donovan Mitchell noticed it was missing. On a crucial bucket in the fourth, Bogdan Bogdanovic beat Rudy Gobert for a put back on his own three-point miss. Ricky Rubio and Joe Ingles boxed out one King under the basket. Sacramento 107-97 with 2:41 left.

For a team who struggles in the half court, second chance points proved deadly. The Kings owned an 18-13 advantage.

The offense was understandably going to be a slog. Mitchell can only do so much. 35 points on 13-25 shooting, and still not enough.

Before you crank the trade machine, look inward. What happened to this team’s identity? At the start of the season, we thought it was coming.


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