Utah Jazz shows ability to correct mistakes in Sacramento Kings win
SACRAMENTO – This was only the second game of the 2021-22 season and the Utah Jazz faced a tough test, the results of which could benefit them for the rest of the NBA calendar.
In Sacramento on Friday night for the Kings’ home opener, in a full arena for the first time since the NBA closed in March 2020, the Jazz got thrown in the kitchen sink by a team motivated by more than their crowd.
Not only was the crowd loud, but the Kings came to prove that they are not the team that the Jazz are used to. During the last two meetings of the teams, both at the end of the 2020-21 season, the Jazz won by 49 points then 23 points. Both games went without Mitchell, who was ruled out with an ankle injury.
This time around, the Kings were coming off a season opener on the road against the Portland Trail Blazers, and second-year goaltender Tyrese Haliburton and rookie Davion Mitchell both executed the Kings’ game plan at perfection.
The Jazz’s defense are more willing to allow shots at mid-range, so Haliburton took over from the inside while Buddy Hield reversed shots from the outside, Davion Mitchell made life as difficult as possible for Donovan Mitchell, defending at a level far beyond what is expected of a rookie, and Harrison Barnes sailed 25 easy points while crashing onto the boards.
“Throughout the year it could go down because, I wouldn’t say one of our best, but one of our biggest wins because of our persistence,” said Donovan Mitchell after the 110- win. 101 against Sacramento. “It was a playoff atmosphere, the home opener, they come out aggressive.”
Added to the equation, the Kings were willing to take the soles off their shoes to keep the pace of the game high, and the Jazz were without Joe Ingles after being kicked out of the game when he received a Flagrant 2 foul. at the end of the first quarter.
“It’s a big win because I don’t know if we’ll win this game – the way we played – I don’t know if we’ll win it last year,” said Mitchell.
It was definitely not perfect. The Jazz were in a bad mood and did not have control of the game during the first half and the start of the third quarter. They weren’t moving the ball, they got caught carelessly and they weren’t defending nearly to the level they needed.
The thing Mitchell realized after it was all said and done and Jazz improved to 2-0 in the young season was that he was able to admit his mistakes in real time and s’ slowly fade and correct.
It didn’t take a movie the next day. The players knew what was wrong and found ways to counter what the Kings were throwing at them.
“We were rushed early, not really falling into our actions,” Mitchell said. “For us correcting ourselves throughout the game in the middle of the game and on the pitch – not during a time-out, not during half-time – at the moment I think that’s one thing that really got me. marked in our game. “
The Jazz were taken aback by the physique of the Kings, a team that had been an easy opponent in the past, and were a bit taken aback by the level of physique allowed by the officials.
But the slow and steady adjustments were also noticed by Jazz head coach Quin Snyder.
“I thought we got stronger and tougher as the game progressed, adapting to how the game was called,” Snyder said. “A decisive victory, especially since we played without Joe … and Rudy (Gobert) and Donovan improved as the game progressed. They were at their best in the fourth quarter.
However, before the fourth quarter, when the stars of the team took control and increased their lead, the Jazz were lagging behind and had to gain the upper hand. They got exactly what they needed from the training of Gobert, Mike Conley, Jordan Clarkson, Eric Paschall and two-way guard Trent Forrest, the players who were on the pitch to close the third quarter and gave the Jazz their first advance since Ingles. ejection in the opening.
“We’re not used to playing all together as a unit in this group, especially in a game like this,” Conley said of the third quarter lineup. “It was cool to see us step into a hostile situation. Things didn’t go as well as we would have liked throughout the game and we were able to find it with these five guys.
Learning on the fly isn’t something the Jazz want to do when they play in April and hopefully beyond, but being able to take a match that seemed to be heading south and be able to knock down. The rotating player steam with new lineups and tough challenges around every corner is a lesson the Jazz can take with them as the season continues.
Fighting through a game like this in October and having proof that what they did worked, at the very least, will be motivating and encouraging as the Jazz go through the next 80 games of the regular season.