The Utah Jazz snapped their three game losing streak with a 87-81 victory over Orlando Wednesday night. As in most Jazz games there was definitely some good and bad. Three quick thoughts below. In the meantime for a more in-depth look, I laid out five big issues the Jazz need to address in my KSL.com column.
1. Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap brought the noise.
Jefferson was an offensive force until back spasms took him out of the game late. Millsap, who had been struggling, seemed to get some of his mojo back. While both played well one has to realize they each had much favorable matchups. Magic center Nikola Vucevic bit on every single Jefferson pump or head fake. And Glen Davis doesn’t have the length that regularly bothers Millsap. With that said both deserve credit for taking advantage of their situation.
2. The Jazz defense improved–a bit.
Randy Foye told us after the Clippers game that coach Ty Corbin forced them to watch video and advised them on ways to defend the pick and roll better. For the most part against Orlando you could see the players more willing to help one another. It was also helpful the Magic were cold from the perimeter shooting just 1-15 from beyond the three point line.
Before Jazz fans celebrate also look at the various points in the game where the Jazz had big mental lapses. In the third quarter, the starters had no energy coming out of the half and settled for jumpers and revisited their lackluster defensive effort we’ve seen most of the season. Once the reserves rebuilt the lead late in the third the Jazz still let Orlando to fight back with an opportunity to win the game late. One this is for certain, the Jazz never make things easy.