The Utah Jazz lost their home opener to the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night, 126-118. After giving up 18 three-pointers in the game, the Jazz find themselves struggling in their first-round series.
With Luka Doncic soon to return for the Dallas Mavericks, the Jazz desperately need a defensive upgrade soon. An NBA scout expressed serious concerns during his interview with NBA Analysis Network.
“Right now, I see a team that doesn’t take pride in doing the dirty work defensively,” the scout said. “They’ve gotten too comfortable knowing that Gobert will be behind them if they get beat on the perimeter.”
The Jazz’s perimeter defense is where the trouble started, but the scout expressed a host of concerns.
“With teams splitting them into the playoffs, everyone has to want to compete. It starts with keeping the ball, but they don’t pay attention to the ball, communicate or make difficult rotations, ”added the scout.
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Analysts have spread the blame on the entire Utah Jazz roster. However, the scout specifically mentioned guard Donovan Mitchell.
“The Mavericks look like they’re going after Donovan Mitchell,” the scout said. “He used to be competitive, now he looks like he doesn’t think it’s his job to stay ahead of his man or shoot hard at a shooter. He has to set the tone as a leader.
The scout added that a player who took the brunt of the blame on NBA Twitter, Rudy Gobert, isn’t as guilty as many think, “The problems the Jazz are having on defense aren’t Gobert’s fault. It’s not about him being unable to protect himself in space.
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The scout went on to say that some blame lies with Gobert – however, that’s on the offensive side.
“[Gobert] failing to be a threat to regularly charge smaller defenders is where his blame is deserved. added the scout. “[Opponents] should be afraid of having a smaller player trying to keep a $200 million big man near the basket.
Game 4 in Utah is Saturday afternoon, Game 5 will follow on Monday. If Utah’s defense can’t make the necessary adjustments in those games, the streak could end there.