UTAH JAZZ

Day Game Helps Jazz Rest In Quick Turnaround Playoffs

Aug 18, 2020, 1:19 PM | Updated: 2:51 pm
Joe Ingles talks to coach Quin Snyder (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)...
Joe Ingles talks to coach Quin Snyder (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Quin Snyder made sure to rest his Utah Jazz team as much as possible before the NBA playoffs began. Over the final week of seeding games, the coach often allowed his starters to miss entire games. Those who did play regularly recorded fewer than 20 minutes.

Now, with the Jazz shorthanded, and in the early stretch of an intense playoff series, the reason for that rest has become apparent. The Jazz are playing a lot of minutes, and they are playing often.

In the team’s game one loss, Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, and Joe Ingles each played at least 40 minutes. Sixth man Jordan Clarkson played 39. Rookie Juwan Morgan set a career-high playing 25 minutes in his first career start. And it won’t get easier in game two.

According to the NBA playoffs schedule, the Jazz and Nuggets will play one another every other day throughout the series. Guard Mike Conley returned to the bubble on Tuesday, but won’t be cleared until game three at the earliest.

Early Window Helps Jazz Rest During Playoffs

While the Jazz won’t catch a break on the floor when it comes to resting players, one scheduling quirk has worked in their favor. Playing games in the league’s early television window has allowed the team to recover more easily after games.

The Jazz tipped off against the Nuggets at 1:30 pm EST. According to guard Joe Ingles, with the game done by 4 pm, the team had the opportunity to recover, unwind, and review game film before bed Monday night.

“We’ve got plenty of time to do recovery,” Ingles said of the early game times. “We’re not playing at nine o’clock or 7:30 and then trying to do recovery. Obviously it’s a later night in general because your mind still kind of ticking and you think about what you could have done better or where you made a mistake.”

The Jazz spent Monday evening recovering, practiced Tuesday morning, before having the rest of the day Tuesday to prepare for Wednesday’s 4 pm EST tip-off in game two.

Despite the ability to recover after the game, Ingles said he can feel the toll of the heavy minutes.

“You’re tired,” Ingles admitted. “Playing minutes regardless, and obviously how hard you play and being out there your body feels it. And playing every second day as we have been for a while now, but that’s what we’re here to do.”

Jazz Losing Close Games To Nuggets

Whether they are suffering from bad luck, or the Nuggets simply have their number, the Jazz have not been able to win close games against the Nuggets this season. The Jazz are 0-4 against Denver this season, with two games being decided in overtime, and the other two decided by a combined nine points.

Snyder discussed the team’s issues before game two.

“Getting a break always helps but you have to make your own breaks,” Snyder said.
“If they have a game where they shoot like that. We have to do more.”

In a ‘make-or-miss league,’ the Nuggets certainly made on Monday. The Nuggets knocked down 22-41 three-point shots, a postseason franchise record, tying their best total for the season. Guard Jamal Murray specifically hurt the Jazz finding success on 6-9 three-point attempts.

“There’s certain plays that you have to tip your hat,” Snyder said. “When you do everything right and someone makes a big shot. You can’t necessarily control that.”

However, despite Murray and the Nuggets’ hot shooting, Snyder said there is plenty the Jazz can control to dictate the game.

“We’re going to really need to defensive rebound again,” Snyder said. “That’s been something that they do better than anyone in the league, particularly in the fourth quarter.”

The Jazz and Nuggets will face off Wednesday in game two at 2 pm MT. The game will be broadcast nationally on TNT and locally on AT&T SportsNet.

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