Jazz Looking For Missing Aggression Against Lakers
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – NBA teams aren’t usually willing to share their game plan ahead of an important matchup like the one the Utah Jazz have against the Los Angeles Lakers. Players and coaches are generally private about the messaging ahead of upcoming games. However, sometimes those talking points from a recent practice session can’t help but be on full display. For the Jazz, it seems the latest message is aggression.
On Saturday, the Jazz were blitzed by the hyper-aggressive Oklahoma City Thunder. The result was a 110-94 thrashing from a team that routinely overplayed defensively and was quick to punish the Jazz defensive mistakes. In a potential first-round playoff preview, the Jazz looked lethargic against a more succinct Thunder roster. The Jazz lacked aggression from the game’s jumpstart and quickly found themselves on the wrong side of a double-digit deficit.
How is it now apparent that aggression has been the main talking point for the Jazz ahead of their Monday matchup with the Lakers? Guard Joe Ingles mentioned the word five times in a four-minute and 57-second conversation with the media after shootaround.
“They were aggressive the other night, they took us out of some stuff and we didn’t stand on our front foot and be aggressive.”
“I think we just got to do a better job of figuring out and working out what they’re doing defensively. And then countering that being aggressive and being the team that we know we can be.”
“Just their aggressiveness, they came out ready to play.”
“I think they came out a lot more aggressive than we did.”
While the Jazz simply may not have the talent they did earlier in the season now without Bojan Bogdanovic, Jazz fans can expect a more aggressive gameplan Monday night.
What does Jazz Aggressiveness Look Like?
Calling for more aggression is one thing, executing is another. Though Ingles hinted at the Jazz wanting a more aggressive approach, what does that mean on the floor?
“Cutting hard and getting the ball and making plays,” Ingles said. “We’ve got a lot of playmakers and guys that can do that on [the offensive] end. So I honestly think over time it’ll continue to get better and better.”
Ingles comments echo those of All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell after the Jazz loss on Saturday.
“We’ve got to be able to just play our game,” Mitchell said. “Lock-in defensively and get out and run.”
While head coach Quin Snyder has pushed his team to be more aggressive looking for early shots, the Jazz routinely found themselves settling for tough looks late in the shot clock. Without Bojan Bogdanovic, the Thunder challenged the Jazz to find a player capable of creating a good look against a high-pressure defense and the team couldn’t respond.
Now, with a blueprint on how to attack a shorthanded offense, the Jazz will have to prove that their aggression can provide a worthy counterattack.
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