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3 reasons the Utah Jazz won’t win the 2022 NBA championship

Jazz

With their disappointing playoff runs over the past few seasons, the Utah Jazz are hoping to come back with a vengeance with three key additions in Rudy Gay, Eric Paschall and Hassan Whiteside to shore up their depth. Along with that, Jazz fans are hoping for second round draftee and NCAA champion Jared Butler to help Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley, and Jordan Clarkson with the backcourt responsibilities.

Continuity is a major advantage for Quin Synder’s squad as the core of this team has been playing for several years already, but their major obstacle has been elevating their performance in the biggest games of the season. Thus, here are three reasons on why the Utah Jazz will still not be able to reach the mountain top for this season:

Donovan Mitchell cannot carry the offense in the playoffs

The offense of the Jazz in the regular season is arguably one of the best in the association because of the impeccable ball movement and balanced scoring all over the board. Many of their players are able to contribute on all aspects of the stat sheet but come playoff time, most of them are not able to perform due to immense pressure and high expectations.

Mitchell has been the focal point of their offense over the past years, but it is insurmountable for the Jazz to just rely on him to facilitate and score for them. Conley’s game has took a dip from his tenure with the Memphis Grizzlies, while Clarkson is more of a microwave off the bench rather than a second or third option in championship contending squad.

Rudy Gobert is their defensive anchor, but he is more of just a screener and inside threat for Utah. Bojan Bogdanovic and Joe Ingles are the perfect complimentary role players for Gobert and Mitchell, but the major loophole in their franchise is a proven scorer, such as Bradley Beal, Zach LaVine, or CJ McCollum. Snyder needs another individual that can provide instant offense and create for his teammates when Mitchell needs a breather.

West is too deep for the Jazz

With numerous teams in the Western Conference enduring their own hurdles, the Jazz have a huge chance to pounce on that opportunity and win the West again in the regular season. Utah is a fantastic regular season team, but when teams lock up on them in a seven-game Playoff series, it is usually difficult for them to adjust and triumph over their counterparts.

For instance, the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets may underperform in the regular season because of a slew of injuries to their superstars. However when Playoff time comes, Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, and Jamal Murray will be readily available. These are superstars that have proven to perform at such a high level in the biggest games of the season which the Jazz sorely lack.

In addition to the three other contenders, there are still the heavy favorites in the Los Angeles Lakers that are led by the three-headed monster of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook. Utah has no match on the defensive end to contain the all-around prowess of these three Hall of Famers. Moreover, there are other squads like the Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, and Portland Trail Blazers which are not easy opponents for the team from Salt Lake City.

Lack of veteran leadership

As previously mentioned, the Jazz have been playing with the majority of this core for several years already. However when adversity strikes, there is usually a couple of individuals that gathers everyone from the team and keeps them focused on the goal despite the rumblings and criticism from the outside world. The acquisition of Conley two years ago looked to address that issue, but he is more of a leader by example than a vocal leader.

The signing of Gay from the San Antonio Spurs was a brilliant one because he adds the mentorship and guidance which is necessary for a squad that has a championship aspirations. When adversity hit the team in their series against the Clippers last season, there was no one that galvanized the troops and rejuvenated their energy especially in their Game 6 collapse in Staples Center. They squandered a 25-point first half advantage to a Clippers team that did not even have Leonard for the last two games of the series.

There are many positive sights for the Jazz fans, but they are yet to prove it in the biggest stage. This could be the year wherein they silence the doubters, similar to the Milwaukee Bucks last season. Moreover, Mitchell must solidify his case as a consistent and reliable NBA superstar and propel his teammates to elevate their production when the lights are bright.