After defeating Portland over the weekend, the Jazz took a significant step back on Wednesday, as they lost to Dallas by 50 points. Head coach Will Hardy didn’t mince words about Utah’s abysmal showing, writes Sarah Todd of The Deseret News.
“That was an absolutely horrendous performance from start to finish,” Hardy said. “That was a masterpiece of dogs–t.”
In order to slow the Mavs’ high-powered offense, the Jazz planned to be “as physical and intense on defense as possible,” Todd notes. Instead, they gave up 147 points — including a historic 29-point triple-double to Luka Doncic in the first half.
“I was most disappointed with our defensive intensity to start the game,” Hardy said. “I think defensively it was poor the entire night.”
Here’s more from the Northwest:
- After primarily playing power forward in college at Ohio State, Jazz first-round pick Brice Sensabaugh has been adjusting to playing on the wing at the professional level, and he hopes it will lead to NBA minutes, according to Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune (subscription required). The 20-year-old was selected 28th overall in June, but he has only played two minutes for Utah to this point, having spent most of his time in the G League. “Yeah, obviously, times change and roles change, especially coming to the NBA with the best players in the world,” he said. “… I kind of played the 4 in college, to be honest, so I was in more of those back-to-the-basket situations. But now, being a 2, maybe a 3, [I’m] just trying to come off pin-downs and come off screens sometimes, just trying to see the game better, and learn. And it’s way different — this game is way different than college, even the G League [is way different than college]. The floor has more space, there’s just more stuff to work with, better players.”
- Jason Quick of The Athletic takes an in-depth look at Chauncey Billups‘ impact on the Trail Blazers, as well his personal growth as head coach. Portland is just 6-14, and Billups has been hard on the group at times, but the team has responded to his criticisms and has become unusually selfless and connected, Quick writes. “With Chauncey, it’s never personal. And he makes that very clear,” Matisse Thybulle said. “I think some coaches may say that, just so they can get those little personal jabs in there to disguise it, but Chauncey is straight up. He’s really honest.”
- Chet Holmgren — the Western Conference’s reigning Rookie of the Month — has exceeded expectations and is changing the Thunder‘s trajectory, according to Rylan Stiles of ThunderousIntentions.com, who says the 21-year-old’s dynamic two-way game could make Oklahoma City a contender sooner rather than later.