UTAH JAZZ

Jazz Guards Lead Offense In Loss To Boston Celtics

Mar 12, 2024, 9:47 PM | Updated: Mar 13, 2024, 10:40 am

SALT LAKE CITY – A trio of Utah Jazz guards led the way for the team in a loss to the Boston Celtics on Tuesday.

Before the season started, the guard rotation was one of the biggest question marks for the Jazz. Those concerns have been answered to some degree with the emergence of Keyonte George.

 

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Are The Guards The Strongest Part of Utah’s Roster?

Keyonte George, Collin Sexton, and Jordan Clarkson combined for 67 of Utah’s 107 points against the Boston Celtics.

Sexton has emerged as potentially the Jazz’s second-best player this season while George appears to be the starting point guard of the future. In his return to a bench role, Clarkson has remained a consistent scoring option.

There is no question that Lauri Markkanen is Utah’s best player. But, does the trio of George, Sexton, and Clarkson make the backcourt the strongest part of Utah’s roster?

Walker Kessler and John Collins’ skillsets definitely add to Utah’s frontcourt. One could argue that the scoring potential of the Jazz guards makes them more important to the success of the team.

Defense Remains Jazz’s Biggest Issue

There are some things that are much more clear for Utah. The biggest one is that the Jazz’s defense needs drastic improvements.

Since the trade deadline, Utah has ranked dead last in the NBA in defensive rating. In this same stretch, Utah’s opponents have shot over 50% from the floor and 43% from three.

Outside of two or three players, Utah doesn’t have any quality defenders. In fact, there are more defensive liabilities on the roster than positive defenders.

Trading away two hustle-oriented defenders in Simone Fontecchio and Ochai Agbaji didn’t help this problem. But, defense has been an issue for the Jazz since game one.

In the 65 games played this season, the Jazz have held its opponent to under 100 points just two times.

Is the solution as simple as bringing in more defensive-minded players or are there major schematic issues that need to be addressed?

Schedule Doesn’t Get Any Easier

With 17 games left in the season, the Utah Jazz have the third-toughest strength of schedule only behind Charlotte and Phoenix.

This begins with back-to-back games against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday and Monday. Utah also has Denver, OKC, and Milwaukee on tap before the season comes to an end.

However, this may be a blessing in disguise.

Utah has turned to its young players following the trade deadline and looks to welcome losses as they aim to keep their pick in the upcoming draft.

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Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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Jazz Guards Lead Offense In Loss To Boston Celtics