Finishing Regular Season Strong Isn’t All About Winning, Says Snyder

Apr 9, 2019, 6:29 PM | Updated: 6:29 pm
Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder shouts instructions to his team during the first half of the game ...
Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder shouts instructions to his team during the first half of the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. (Silas Walker, Deseret News)
(Silas Walker, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – For Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder, finishing a regular season on a strong note can mean a lot of different things.

It’s not always about winning a bunch of games, it just depends on the situation.

“There’s a lot of different ways to finish strong, I think,” said Snyder prior to Tuesday’s regular season home finale against the Denver Nuggets. “Momentum and confidence are things that I think can build. For teams that have those things already, there’s other things that maybe are more important to a given team. Whether that be health, continuity, rhythm, that aren’t always reflected in the scoreboard late in the year. So I really think every team’s different.”

Of course, there are times when winning at the end of the regular season is vital to a team’s postseason chances.

Citing the final game of the season of the 2015-16, when the Jazz missed the playoffs by one game, Snyder admitted that winning games, especially the last game of the year, would have obviously been better.

“I guess I would have liked to have finished stronger then,” said Snyder. “Obviously we didn’t feel like we played as well as we could against the Lakers. But we had few guys that were out. To win that game and say ‘hey Derrick, try to play on Sunday instead of tonight,’ that doesn’t make sense.”

In that final game of the season, Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant gave the fans at the Staples Center an unforgettable sendoff, scoring 60 points in a 101-96 win for the Lakers. The loss, coupled with other events in the NBA, eliminated Utah from the postseason.

Having just lost to the Lakers in a late game this season, Snyder stated that there’s still plenty to gain, even in a difficult loss.

“Not that you discount wins and losses but I really think it’s different for every team and for every group and we’ve tried to approach it that way,” said Snyder. “For a while, we’ve just wanted to play well and get better. Sometimes winning games helps that and there’s other times that you may have a tough loss and you learn from it. That can be helpful too. However you frame it.”

Utah’s regular season finale will tip off Tuesday at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on AT&T SportsNet.

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Finishing Regular Season Strong Isn’t All About Winning, Says Snyder