They led by 25 points on Friday night, but the Clippers took over in the second half to knock the Jazz out. While it was a tough defeat Utah doesn’t need to panic.
The Jazz have built a core that is good, but not good enough to be a championship contender. They have a superstar in Donovan Mitchell paired with a star center in Rudy Gobert. With a few moves in the offseason the Jazz can make a run at the NBA Finals.
Here are five reasons the Jazz don’t need to panic.
Jazz panic prevention points:
5. Another year of growth ahead
The Jazz had an amazing regular season and had 3 All Star players. Another year in the system will help the Jazz become an even better team. This season they finished with the best record in the NBA at 52-20.
The Jazz clicked together as a unit on both ends of the floor. In the offense they were able to create more open threes this season while being a versatile defensive unit. Superstar guard Mitchell will seek to continue his elite play and grow into an even better player.
Look for the Jazz to get better naturally with another season in the system.
4. Rudy Gobert’s defense
Rudy Gobert took home his 3rd Defensive Player of the Year award this season and continues his great rim protection. While Gobert can’t guard 1-5 like some elite defenders he has the ability to stop teams from getting easy points at the rim. He is the anchor of the defense for the Jazz and is big part of why they had one of the top defenses in the NBA.
Gobert will continue to set the tone for this Jazz team defensively.
3. Jordan Clarkson’s fire power off the bench
Jordan Clarkson received the 6th Man of the Year award this season and has been great for the Jazz. Great teams thrive when they have a good scorer off the bench and Clarkson has provided that. He averaged 18.4 points per game and was the second leading scorer on the team.
Clarkson is the leader of the bench unit for the Jazz and will only improve in that role next season.
2. They have an identity
A big part of creating a championship level team is having an identity. The Los Angeles Lakers had a defensive identity last season when they won the championship. They prided themselves in being elite on the defensive level even when the offense wasn’t clicking. The Utah Jazz have an identity that will help them get to that same level.
The identity for the Jazz is the three point shooting paired with a solid defense. With a star in Mitchell the Jazz are able to get into the paint and kick out to open three point shooters. All the Jazz need to do is add a few more versatile players that can play defense and shoot the three point shot to match the team’s identity.
1. Donovan Mitchell’s emergence
Donovan Mitchell was regarded as an up and coming star but emerged into a superstar in the playoffs. He averaged 32.3 points per game while getting 5.5 assists and shooting 43.5 percent from three. Mitchell has solidified himself as a top 15 player in the league and will look to continue his playoff success into next season. Don’t be surprised if he is in the MVP conversation come next season.
Although it was a disappointing end to the season the Jazz have a bright future ahead. With a moves in the offseason this Jazz will be ready to compete for a championship.