LOS ANGELES — Donovan Mitchell looked confused. Quin Snyder looked like he hadn’t slept in days. Rudy Gobert laughed and shook his head as the LA Clippers put the finishing touches to Tuesday night’s 121-115 win over the Utah Jazz. Twitter went absolutely bonkers that this happened again.
Another 25-point second-half lead, gone, at the hands of the Clippers. Another embarrassment for the Jazz. Another moment where the Jazz have to answer some unwanted but fair questions about their collective tenacity – or lack thereof. And another moment when another team with resilience brought about another comeback at the expense of a Utah team that showed a stunning lack of resilience at too many points this season.
A year that began with so much promise is now on the brink of disaster. The Jazz are now 45-31 and tied with the Denver Nuggets for sixth place in the Western Conference.
But is Utah a team capable of fighting? It’s hard to make a case that says yes. Suitors are resilient. They regrow when struck in the mouth. The contenders find a way to fend off the teams that try to punk them.
Right now the Jazz are a bunch of cool guys who are really good basketball players. The Jazz can shoot basketball coverage. They have two All-NBA level players, and they have a good mix of role players around those two. But they lack courage and tenacity. They need a steel mentality from the shoulders up, and they are, at this point, just the opposite of that.