Utah Jazz Hold 1-6 Record In Yellow ‘Statement’ Jerseys
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz have lost five of their last six games, and fans have been looking for answers to what ails this team. The answer may have something to do with their yellow jerseys.
Utah’s front office made several off-season moves to make a statement on the court during the 2019-2020 season. When it comes to their alternate “Statement” jerseys, however, they’ve failed to make an impact. They’re just 1-and-6 while wearing them.
Like every other NBA team over the last few years, the Jazz have released a number of alternate uniforms, including throwbacks to their green jerseys from the early 1980s and the purple “mountain” jerseys from the franchise’s peak with John Stockton and Karl Malone in the NBA Finals.
Big Losses Came In Statement Jerseys
Utah went 1-4 in their recent five-game road trip, which ended with tough losses to Toronto and Philadelphia.
The team wore the Statement jerseys three times during the road trip (at Indiana, Toronto and Philadelphia) and the Classic jerseys twice (at Milwaukee and Memphis).
Utah struggled in the Statement games. Though the Jazz kept it close for most of the game against Indiana, the Pacers pulled away late in the fourth quarter, winning 121-102.
The Jazz were down by 40 points against the Raptors, unable to overcome the deficit despite a franchise-record 49-point third quarter.
Against the 76ers, Utah trailed by 26 at one point, looking lackluster and tired just one night after the loss in Toronto. They shot just 22.7 percent from behind the arc and gave up the ball 19 times.
Wearing yellow, the Jazz lost all three games by an average of 16 points.
Utah’s only Statement win came on November 6 when they beat the 76ers 106-104 in Salt Lake City. It was their second game in the jerseys, and snapped a two-game losing streak.
The first loss of those two came at the hands of Sacramento while wearing Statement jerseys. It was the Kings’ first win of the season after opening with five straight losses. Harrison Barnes gave the Kings a 102-101 lead with 2.9 seconds left.
Mitchell had a chance to win the game with a three-point attempt at the buzzer, but the ball hit the front of the rim.
Once popular with fans, the sharp, bright jersey may have lost favor.
Beyond the on-court performance, some fans began to throw out the idea that the yellow jerseys have been bad luck this season — and yes, there is a Change.org petition asking the team to drop the jerseys altogether.
Utah will wear the Statement jerseys 15 times during the 2019-2020 season. The next two times come against the league-worst Warriors. The Jazz have already beaten Golden State twice. Neither time was in the yellow jersey.
Of the remaining nine Statement jersey games, only two come against teams with a winning record. Both of those games are against the Dallas Mavericks. Perhaps there’s hope for a better outcome in the jerseys, but if the Jazz continue to lose in yellow, maybe there’s something to the Statement jersey curse.
Jersey Color, Or An Unlucky Schedule?
Utah has amassed an 11-4 record in their other jerseys, holding a winning record in all but one other color.
The Jazz are 3-2 in the traditional white Association jerseys, 4-1 in the throwback Classic (mountain) jerseys and undefeated (4-0) in the navy Icon jerseys.
The City edition jerseys made their 2019-20 season debut Wednesday at home against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. The result was a 121-96 loss.
The Jazz traditionally had a long road trip (often to the East Coast) before Christmas during the Jerry Sloan era, but recent schedules have tried to break that up into more manageable stretches, or moved the trips to earlier or later parts of the season.
Last season, Utah went 2-3 on a November trip to Memphis, Dallas, Philadelphia, Boston and Indiana.
The year before, Utah saw 1-3 and 1-5 road trips involving East Coast teams before Christmas day.
All of those games mean a lot of miles traveled and at least a handful of games against playoff teams.
This year’s five-game trip involved just under 5,000 miles of travel and four playoff teams.
Superstitious? Or ‘A Little Stitious?’
The good news? The Jazz have the easiest remaining schedule in the NBA over the final 60 games. Multiple games against the slumping Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks will help that ranking, and three of those games will be Statement jersey matchups.
Additionally, Utah currently sits in the sixth spot in the Western Conference at 12-10, having played over half of its games against teams currently in playoff positions.
Last year, the Jazz were 12-13 on December 4 and tied for 11th place in the west. They ended the season fifth in the Western Conference with a record of 50-32 after a blistering 19-8 run after the All-Star break.