Utah Jazz report card: Jazz earn fourth-quarter 'F' for failure to finish against Atlanta
BENCH: The Jazz bench was dominated by the Atlanta reserves — more than perhaps any Utah game this season, according to the lopsided 42-16 score. Hayward led the way, and Earl Watson (five assists in 21 minutes) was solid. But Derrick Favors didn't help his case with three fouls in 14-plus minutes as he was joined by Enes Kanter and Alec Burks (each with seven minutes) in going scoreless. The Utah reserves did play less than they usually do this season. GRADE: D+.
OVERALL: An 'F' for failing to finish — and here's looking at some veterans in Tinsley, Millsap and Foye. A win over a quality Atlanta club could have proved to be one of those random January road games that combusts a fire of momentum. Instead, Utah's late collapse — it held an eight-point lead going into the fourth quarter — proved to be a perfect midseason measuring stick: The Jazz are still merely mediocre because they are not effective in closing out winnable road games against good opponents. This team entered the fourth quarter shooting 53 percent from the floor, finished at just 47 percent as it scored just 19 points in the period. Realistically, the overall grade gets dropped another half grade since the Jazz failed to perform when they could have turned their season in the right direction. GRADE: C-.
Rhett Wilkinson is a senior in communications and politics at Utah State University and the co-founder of Aggie BluePrint, USU's student magazine. A Deseret News editorial intern, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wilklogan
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