Rudy Gobert’s latest statement speaks volumes on Jazz’s championship mentality
After a disappointing Game 7 heartbreaker to the Denver Nuggets in last year’s playoff bubble in Orlando, the Jazz has seemingly come back this season with a chip on their shoulder. Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert have blossomed into the ultimate pairing of complementary stars, and Mike Conley has had a personal renaissance of a season, earning the first All-Star berth of his career.
Yet, to the Jazz, that is not enough. After all, they haven’t won anything yet.
The Jazz are coming off a 114-75 bludgeoning of the hapless Cleveland Cavaliers. The win was their sixth in a row, and 20th straight at home.
Despite poor first-half performances by several key players, the Jazz were still up by 19 at the half, and had ballooned their lead to 41 before the game was through. Utah considered this a solid refocusing point for their season, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Said Gobert:
“Regardless of the score, regardless of if we’re up or if we’re down, we really want to keep getting better every single minute on the court….Regardless if it’s the end of the game, early in the game, we want to play defense and we want to share the ball offensively and shoot the ball.”
Mitchell echoed the sentiment, noting a slip during the game that led to some open shots inside.
“When you’re up by that much, it’s tough to stay locked in — and we’ve been culprits of doing that a few times,” said the star guard.
As the Jazz gear up for a deep playoff run, they will be assailed by many teams that are better than the Cavaliers. Even the Western Conference’s lower seeds are dangerous, and with sharks like Dallas eyeing them in the first round, the Jazz seems to be learning to not take their foot off the gas — a valuable lesson.
Head coach Quin Snyder summed up their night, solidifying the beat that this team will march to going forward:
“Sometimes when you get a lead on teams, [you] have a tendency to stop sharing the ball quite as much, and that’s something I thought we did a good job of. We kept playing the right way.”
Stay boring and excellent Utah. No one might want you in 2k, but if you keep this up, no one will want you in the playoffs either.