Jazz news: Quin Snyder explains why Utah is struggling defensively
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Quin Snyder explains why the Jazz are struggling defensively

Quin Snyder, Jazz

A lot has been said about the Utah Jazz’s potential to become one of the best defensive teams in the league this year. However, looking at how bad they have been on defense in the preseason, things aren’t looking great.

The Jazz lost all four of their preseason games by an average of 15 points, allowing their opponents to score an average of 128 points. Head coach Quin Snyder, nonetheless, has an explanation why it’s taking time for Utah to click defensively compared to their offense.

“Offense, for the large part, is instinctive, where defense is more habits, habitual,” Snyder said, per  Eric Walden of Salt Lake Tribune.

Snyder didn’t exactly say that his players have bad habits defensively. For him, they just need to get used to playing with each other on that side of the floor.

“Defensively, there are just some foundational things that are unique to every program,” Snyder explained. “We’ll defend something one way, Milwaukee will defend it another way, the Lakers may defend it another way, the Spurs may defend it another way.

“So, if you’ve been in a system, and you’re used to guarding something a certain way — the easiest example would be if you come from a system where everybody switches pick-and-roll, 1 through 5. Well now, for Mike [Conley] and Rudy [Gobert], if we were to do that, that might be comfortable for the guy who’s done that, but [maybe] the player he’s now switching with hasn’t done it. I think Mike and Rudy switching pick-and-roll 1 and 5, there may be a time for it, but that’s not our fundamental base defense.”

The Jazz have added Mike Conley in the offseason, and he certainly needs time to adjust to the team’s system. At the same time, Utah needs to adjust to his style of play.

However, Snyder isn’t blaming anyone for the team’s poor preseason play, and he understands that patience is what they need at this point. Nonetheless, he wants every member of the roster to put the extra effort to learn and get better.

“It’s important for all of our guys to understand why we’re doing something the way that we are. That understanding really deepens your commitment and your resolve to do it, and over time, you’ll get better at it,” Snyder added.

The Jazz have struggled to have a good start for the past two seasons. They usually start to pick up more wins around January, but when they do find their rhythm, they are one of the most exciting teams to watch.

Hopefully, these recent struggles are just another bump in the road for Utah.