Jazz Youngsters Come Up Big In Blowout Of Clippers

Mar 18, 2022, 10:31 PM | Updated: 10:48 pm
Utah Jazz guard Jared Butler drives past Los Angeles Clippers forward Terrance Mann (Photo by Alex ...
Utah Jazz guard Jared Butler drives past Los Angeles Clippers forward Terrance Mann (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz throttled the Los Angeles Clippers 121-92 despite playing without five regular rotation players.

Donovan Mitchell (calf contusion), Bojan Bogdanovic (calf strain), Danuel House Jr. (knee bruise), Hassan Whiteside (illness), and Danuel House Jr. (wrist) all missed the game, but the Jazz’s young players stepped up to carry the team on both ends.

Jared Butler led the Jazz in scoring with a career-high 21 points and seven assists in the win.

Jazz Youngsters Flourish In Big Opportunity

With one of the deepest, most experienced rosters in the NBA it’s been difficult for some of the Jazz younger players to find the floor this season.

For guys like Eric Paschall and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, that meant going from teams where they were playing regular rotation minutes to just a handful of minutes here and there in blowout games.

For Jared Butler, that meant going from the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player in a championship run at Baylor to not seeing the floor for several games on end in Utah.

For Juancho Hernangomez, it’s meant learning a third system this season after opening the year with the Boston Celtics, getting traded to the San Antonio Spurs, before finding himself with the Jazz at the trade deadline.

Paschall and Alexander-Walker carried the Jazz scoring against the Clippers contributing 15 points early to build a double-digit lead in the first quarter.

Paschall finished with 17 points and four rebounds while Alexander-Walker followed up his strong performance against Chicago with a 13 point, five rebound, four assist outing against the Clippers.

“Using my speed, using my strength,” Paschall said of how he tried to impact the game. “Just going out there and being aggressive, that’s what I do.”

Butler had by far the best game of his career, and not just because he set career-highs in scoring and assists. The guard had a unique feel for the game coming out of Baylor that he flashed during the preseason but got sped up beyond his comfort level when the regular season began.

But, since October Butler has developed his passing to more closely resemble how he played in college and continues to look more comfortable running the show as a point guard.

“A lot of times we’ve been put in the position to where I have to score,” Butler said, “so it’s been definitely a point of emphasis for me to show that I can pass and get off the ball.”

Hernangomez seemed like a throw-in at the trade deadline when the Jazz sent Joe Ingles to Portland, but he’s shown flashes of why he’s been in the NBA for the last five seasons.

Hernangomez has also been a better than advertised defender, finishing with six points, seven rebounds, three blocked shots, and two steals in 27 minutes.

“We haven’t had someone cut like that,” Quin Snyder said of Hernangomez. “He’s cutting himself on the boards as well so those offensive rebounds are big plays, especially when people are trying to get [Gobert] off the glass.”

The Jazz have one more year together with this veteran core should they choose to bring everyone back this offseason, but the young players are rightfully pushing for playing time as the regular season winds down.

All-Female Broadcast Was Terrific

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Jazz had an all-women broadcast team against the Clippers made up of Krista Blunk, Holly Rowe, Natalie Williams, Kristen Kozlowski, Jennifer Azzi, and Nayo Campbell.

Simply put, they were terrific.

Blunk is a familiar voice to those who have watched any women’s basketball on the PAC-12 Network and has developed into one of the best voices in all of broadcasting.

Her balance of calling the game, adding real insight, and overall knowledge of the team is as good as any broadcaster in any sport, and she’s only beginning her ascent.

Holly Rowe had extra duties in addition to sitting in on the game call, helping to host the pre, half, and postgame shows, flashing her unique and versatile skill set.

Rowe also had the task of mending a group of broadcasters together who hadn’t previously worked with one another and did a great job.

Former Utah Starzz forward Natalie Williams sat in with Bunk and Rowe on the game-call after some early timidness really found a groove throughout the game.

Williams has unique basketball knowledge as a former frontcourt star and broke down how the Clippers were defending Gobert in the paint and what the Jazz big man needed to do to be more effective. As a coach for the last 16 years, her understanding of the game playing out minute-by-minute was a fantastic addition.

Kristen Kozlowski, who played college ball at BYU, sat in for the pre, half, and post-game shows and brought her knowledge as a player and experience as an analyst for Cougars games to the Jazz and fit in seamlessly. BYU is lucky to have her.

Former Starzz guard Jennifer Azzi who also sat in with Rowe and Kozlowski for the pre and postgame show was ultra-comfortable in front of the camera discussing the Jazz play throughout the night and how they found success in the backcourt. Azzi works behind the scenes with the Las Vegas Aces of the WNBA currently.

Finally, Nayo Campbell who provides digital and in-game entertainment for the Jazz served as a more traditional sideline report including interviewing Butler after the game.

Like Rowe, Campbell is capable of wearing many hats on a broadcast and did a terrific job both in-game sharing stories about the team and in her postgame interview.

Overall, the broadcast was a testament to the amount of talent that exists in the state, and the number of women who are deserving of greater opportunities in the world of sports.

The Jazz were lucky to be able to gather that much talent into a one-off broadcast and I, for one, hope to hear more of them either with the Jazz or in other major basketball markets.

Jazz Get Help From Mavericks and Nuggets

After watching the Mavericks erase their hold on the fourth seed over the last two and a half months, the Jazz finally got some help in the Western Conference standings as both Dallas and the Denver Nuggets lost on Friday night.

The Mavericks had won eight of their last nine games, including their buzzer-beating victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, but fell to the Philadelphia 76ers 111-101 on the road.

Luka Doncic struggled to score, shooting just 5-20 for 17 points as Dallas moved to 3-1 to open their five-game road trip.

The Nuggets had won 12 of their last 15 games including the first two games of their current three-game road trip but fell to the Cleveland Cavaliers 119-116 in overtime.

Nikola Jokic had 32 points, but the Nuggets turned the ball over 18 times in the loss.

Teamed with a win over the Clippers, the Jazz pulled a game ahead of the Mavericks with 12 games left to play and 2.5 games ahead of the Nuggets.

With so few games left to play, tiebreakers may have a huge impact on the final standings. The Jazz own the tiebreaker over the Nuggets outright sweeping Denver 4-0 this season, while they’ll have a chance to take a 3-1 tiebreaker over Dallas on March 27 on the road.

  • Utah Jazz Scoreboard

  • Utah Jazz Team Leaders

  • Utah Jazz Standings

Utah Jazz

Lauri Markkanen of the Utah Jazz drives against Jerami Grant of the Portland Trail Blazers...
Ben Anderson

Poor Execution Dooms Jazz Against Trail Blazers

The Utah Jazz had their chances, but poor execution late in the fourth quarter doomed them against the Portland Trail Blazers. 
2 days ago
Ben Anderson

Jazz Win Streak Snapped In Utah By Portland Trail Blazers

The Utah Jazz two-game winning streak was snapped with a 116-111 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers in Salt Lake City. 
2 days ago
Brian Preece

Jordan Clarkson Beats Third-Quarter Buzzer With Put Back

Jordan Clarkson continued a furious Utah Jazz third quarter comeback, beating the buzzer with a put-back to bring Utah within two, 92-90.
2 days ago
Kyle Ireland

Jordan Clarkson Hits Stepback Jumper During Blazers-Jazz Game

Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson connected on a nice stepback jump shot during the second half of Utah's game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
2 days ago
Brian Preece

Vanderbilt Sets Career High In First Half As Jazz Trail By Nine

Jarred Vanderbilt was on fire from deep on Saturday night, setting a career-high with three first half three's against Portland.
2 days ago
Kyle Ireland

Jazz Center Walker Kessler Dunks On Blazers After Dish From Kelly Olynyk

Jazz center Walker Kessler threw down a slam dunk after a beautiful assist from Kelly Olynyk during Utah's game against the Trail Blazers.
2 days ago
Jazz Youngsters Come Up Big In Blowout Of Clippers