Jazz Offense Stalls Again In Loss To Hornets

Mar 25, 2022, 8:25 PM | Updated: 8:27 pm
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell saves the ball against the Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Eakin Howar...
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell saves the ball against the Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)
(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz offense remained missing in action in the team’s 107-101 loss on the road to the Charlotte Hornets.

Six Jazz players scored in double figures, led by Donovan Mitchell’s 26 points, but it wasn’t enough against a hungrier Hornets roster.

Charlotte got 26 points from Miles Bridges and 25 points from Terry Rozier in the victory.

Jazz Offense Is Struggling

It’s no surprise that without Bojan Bogdanovic the Jazz offense would struggle, but over the last three games, it’s felt like it’s been ground to a complete halt.

Though the Jazz lead the league in offensive rating for the season at 116.1 points per 100 possession, that number has dipped to 110.5 during their three straight losses, good for 23rd in the NBA.

The two key issues have been rebounding and ball security during the stretch, as the Jazz rank 27th in the league in defensive rebound percentage over their last three losses, and 22nd in turnover percentage.

While defensive rebounding isn’t an offensive stat, there’s no way to begin an offensive possession without them.

In Charlotte, the Hornets grabbed 36.7 percent of their own misses, translating to 16 offensive rebounds that led to 18 second-chance points for the Hornets. But not only do those points count in favor of the Hornets on the scoreboard, but it also prevents the Jazz from getting opportunities to simply get shots.

When the Jazz did have the ball, they were prone to turning it over, especially in crucial situations down the stretch that hurt their chances of winning.

Prior to a missed layup that would have cut the Hornets lead to one in the final 30 seconds of the game, Mitchell committed an offensive foul on a drive to the basket that would have given the Jazz two points, one of his four turnovers in the final quarter.

Rudy Gobert added a bad traveling turnover, while Mike Conley threw away a pass that added up to six fourth quarter turnovers after committing just give in the opening 36 minutes of the game.

Between the lack of defensive rebounding and the late turnovers, the Hornets attempted four additional field goals and seven additional free-throw attempts in a six point Jazz loss, which proved to be too much to overcome.

It’s somewhat ironic that the best offensive team in the NBA suddenly struggling to win games on the offense end, but until Bogdanovic returns to the court, the Jazz are going to have to be sharper on that end of the floor.

Jazz Get Help From Mavericks

Despite another difficult loss by the Jazz in Charlotte, the Dallas Mavericks failed to capitalize on an opportunity to wrestle away the fourth seed.

The Mavericks were blown out by the Minnesota Timberwolves on the road Friday night ahead of Sunday’s enormous matchup with the Jazz in Dallas.

Both teams will enter the game with an even 45-29 record with just eight games left to determine who will own the fourth seed in the Western Conference playoffs, and with it, home-court advantage in the first round.

Here’s a breakdown of how each team will finish the season, after Sunday’s matchup:

Jazz Final Seven Game:

3/29 @ Los Angeles Clippers

3/31 vs. Los Angeles Lakers

4/2 @ Golden State Warriors

4/5 vs. Memphis Grizzlies

4/6 vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

4/8 vs. Phoenix Suns

4/10 @ Portland Trail Blazers

Mavericks Final Seven Games:

3/29 vs. Los Angeles Lakers

3/30 @ Cleveland Cavaliers

4/1 @ Washington Wizards

4/3 @ Milwaukee Bucks

4/6 @ Detroit Pistons

4/8 vs. Portland Trail Blazers

4/10 vs. San Antonio Spurs

Regardless of the outcome Sunday the Jazz face a significantly tougher closer to the season than Dallas. But if they don’t find a way to scrape together a win over the Mavericks, their hopes to open the playoffs at home might be completely dashed.

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