UTAH JAZZ

Expect Jazz Adjustments Ahead Of Mavericks Game Three

Apr 20, 2022, 3:12 PM
Jalen Brunson of the Dallas Mavericks drives past Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Tom P...
Jalen Brunson of the Dallas Mavericks drives past Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz are planning to make adjustments to their game plan ahead of Thursday night’s Game 3 against the Dallas Mavericks.

The Jazz won Game 1 of the series against Dallas but were out maneuvred by the Mavericks in a Game 2 loss.

Jazz coach Quin Snyder mentioned adjustments after Wednesday’s practice in Utah.

“We watched the film today,” Snyder said. “We had good work on the court [and] addressed a few adjustments that can help us.”

The Jazz struggled to stay in front of the Mavericks guards, which resulted in wide-open kick-outs to Dallas shooters who knocked down a season-high 22 three-pointers.

Maxi Kleber specifically hurt the Jazz knocking down 8-11 three-point attempts.

“We can be better in those situations, whether it be closeouts or rotating more quickly,” Snyder said of the Jazz defensive adjustments. “Sometimes it just involves continuing to play throughout a possession where we’ve stopped and not made another effort to contest a shot.”

Of the Mavericks 22 made threes, 17 makes were considered uncontested by ESPN’s tracking statistics, the most by any team in the playoffs over the last 10 seasons.

 Jazz Need More Pride On Defense

While contesting kick-out opportunities by the Mavericks will be a necessary adjustment for the Jazz defense, simply slowing the ball down at the point of attack will likely be what determines the outcome of the series.

Just as the Jazz struggled to contain Jamal Murray and Reggie Jackson in each of the last to postseasons, the team’s perimeter defenders showed an inability to slow down Jalen Brunson who scored a career-high 41 points in Monday’s meeting.

Jazz guard Mike Conley said it needed to be a matter of pride for the team’s defense if they want to fix the problem.

“It’s no different than having the ball in your hands, you want to score against the best players, you want to defend the best players, you want to stop them,” Conley said. “I’ve always taken pride in that, a lot of guys on our team do, and we have to do it. Can’t talk about it, can’t do nothing about it, no X’s and O’s, just go out there and do it.”

During Monday’s loss, the Jazz had a defensive rating of 157.1 in the fourth quarter, allowing the Mavericks to score 33 points on an efficient 11-18 shooting, including 6-8 from the three-point line with zero turnovers.

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