Jazz Late Flight, Tired Legs Cost Them In Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania – Any hope that the Utah Jazz would magically find the energy to revitalize their tired legs against the Philadelphia 76ers probably should have gone out the window when the team landed in Philly well after midnight, more than an hour after their scheduled landing time. The team didn’t get to the hotel until nearly 3 a.m.
After a 20 point drubbing at the hands of the Toronto Raptors, the Jazz turned into a similarly tired performance against the 76ers and fell 103-94 to close the five-game road trip. The Jazz return to Salt Lake City having won just one of their five games over the eight-day trip.
If the late flight wasn’t enough of an indicator that the Jazz were going to struggle, they made it apparent in the first quarter, when they surrendered 31 points, including 5-8 from the three-point line, while attempting just two threes of their own, both misses.
“We didn’t make our shots, we didn’t play as connected as we wanted to early,” Quin Snyder said, “Philadelphia was great, they were making everything.”
The team’s exhaustion once again led to sloppy offense, committing 10 turnovers in the first half, and connecting on just one three-pointer, a Mike Conley make with 4 seconds left in the half. They had missed all eight of their attempts up until that point, including three straight attempts that failed to draw iron.
Donovan Mitchell’s shooting woes in Philadelphia continued, connecting on just 6-19 shots, ane 1-6 from three.
“This been a long road trip man,” Mitchell said, “We’re getting the shots we want but things just were falling. We’ll figure it out.”
On the defensive side, the Jazz were slow to close out on three-point shooters, specifically Al Horford, who like Marc Gasol one night earlier, connected on three first-half three-point attempts helping to build the 18 point halftime lead.
The Jazz lost the game at the three-point line, where the 76ers connected on 13-26 three points attempts while making just 5-22 on the offensive end.
The Jazz showed some positive signs over the first seven minutes of the first quarter, knocking down 9-17 shots, and building a 19-16 with 4:57 left in the first quarter.
Shortly after, Dante Exum, Ed Davis, and Jeff Green entered the game with the Jazz trailing 22-19, and things quickly got out of hand. Over the next 11:30 of the game, the 76ers went on a 30-8 run, and the Jazz trailed 52-27 with 4:42 left in the half.
Over the nearly quarter-long stretch, the Jazz shot just 4-19 from the floor, had seven turnovers, while allowing the 76ers to connect on 11-24 from the field including 5-9 threes.
The 76ers eventually built the lead to 26 points and coasted through most of the second half.
Georges Niang and Joe Ingles helped the Jazz cut into the 76ers lead, and trimmed the fourth-quarter deficit to just seven points with less than a minute to go, but a misses backcourt violations from the game officials prevented the Jazz from being able to further trim the difference, and the Jazz ended the road trip in disappointing fashion.
The Big Picture
Dropping four of five games on the road trip has to be viewed as a disappointment. The Jazz are now just 4-8 away from home, despite carrying a more veteran-laden roster into the season. While All four losses came against teams that will likely make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, the Jazz trailed by 22 or more in three of the outings.
They trailed by 15 or more in four of the five games.
Quin Snyder continues to tinker with his bench. Against the 76ers, Exum was the first guard substitution in place of Emmanuel Mudiay. Exum was a -8 in six minutes on the floor, he had one assist, one turnover, and a blocked shot. He didn’t have any field goal attempts.
After missing two games with a rolled ankle, Rudy Gobert had a slow re-acclimation over the previous three games. Despite averaging 13 points and 12 rebounds in the games, the Jazz were outscored by 20 points in his 94 total minutes.
However, going up against Joel Embiid, one of the league’s top centers, Gobert appeared to have once again found his All-NBA capabilities. Gobert finished the night with a game-high 27 points on 10-15 shooting, adding 12 rebounds and three blocks.
“He was just working his butt off, thats really what it is,” Mitchell said of his teammate.
Gobert could have eclipsed the 30 point mark had he shot better than 5-10 from the free-throw line.
It was hidden amid a 1-4 road trip, but Ingles may finally be rounding into shape this season. Ingles had three double-digit scoring outings on the trip, including scoring 13 points against Philadelphia. Ingles had scored in double-digits just four times all season before the road trip.
“To see Joe play as aggressive as he did and throw himself into the game and made a lot of plays we know he’s capable of making,” Snyder said of Ingles, “He got himself going in a way that he hasn’t been able to recently.”
Ingles averaged 10.4 points and 3.6 assists while shooting 45% from the floor and 39% from the three-point line. Ingles assumed point guard duties with Mike Conley missing most of the second half with a hamstring strain and looked more capable than either Mudiay or Exum in the role.
The Jazz return home to play the Los Angeles Lakers Wednesday night before the schedule turns in their favor. The Jazz will face Memphis, Oklahoma City, Minnesota, Golden State, Orlando, Atlanta and Charlotte over the following two and a half weeks — only Minnesota and Orlando are currently projected to make the playoffs, and the two have a combined 18-20 on the season.