The Jazz definitely looked disinterested in an unroyal 120-109 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night.
GUARDS: Jamaal Tinsley (two points on 1-of-4 shooting, five assists, two turnovers) was mediocre offensively, which was unfortunate given that Sacramento point guard Isaiah Thomas (25 points, four rebounds, three assists, three steals) was the player of the game.
Randy Foye's 1-of-4 3-point shooting was his worst display beyond the arc in seven games. Tyreke Evans (12 points, six assists) was better. GRADE: D+.
FORWARDS: Paul Millsap (six points, eight rebounds, three turnovers in just 19 minutes) was dominated by Kings forward Jason Thompson (21 points on 9-of-11 shooting, seven rebounds), who scored 23 points against the Jazz in his most recent outing Feb. 4. Other than those two contests, Thompson has not scored more than 20 points all season. Thompson has proved that his additional four inches and increased speed over Millsap make him one of the tougher matchups for the Utah veteran.
Marvin Williams (eight points on 3-of-5 shooting) and John Salmons (11 points on 4-of-11 shooting, four assists) canceled each other out, but neither played the bulk of the minutes at small forward. Sacramento's Marcus Thornton (24 points on 7-of-14 shooting) was dominant in 26-plus minutes. Those 24 points were a season high for the fourth-year pro after he had just nine points on 3-of-12 shooting in the same minutes Feb. 4 in Salt Lake City. DeMarre Carroll (14 points on 5-of-19 shooting) did his best to keep up. Carroll has registered 31-plus minutes and double-digit shot attempts in two of the past three games after not reaching either mark up until the Jazz's home win Wednesday against Milwaukee: GRADE: C-.
CENTERS: Al Jefferson needs more shots when he makes 6 of 11 field goals. Then again, he registered just 19-plus minutes. His opponent, DeMarcus Cousins (13 points), was better since he registered 11 rebounds to Big Al's three. Enes Kanter (15 points on 6-of-10 shooting, four rebounds) made good use of his 25 minutes. GRADE: C.3 comments on this story
BENCH: They may have been throttled overall, but at least the Jazz's bench players were solid offensively, outscoring the Sacramento reserves by a whopping 69-38 count. With 24 points in 27 minutes, Alec Burks showed what he is capable of doing, scoring a career high and joining with Carroll and Kanter as bright spots offensively. BYU product Jimmer Fredette was a spark for Sacramento after Thornton's big evening, scoring nine points on effective 4-of-6 shooting. Fredette's one 3-point make in his only attempt boosts his 41.3 percent 3-point percentage this season. GRADE: B.
OVERALL: The defenseless effort indicated "a lack of interest in playing," as Jerry Sloan would have said, from up and down the bench, even if the reserves were scoring. The starters often seemed disinterested in playing after their close loss to Chicago just one day earlier. With players like Thompson and Thornton, the Kings presented some matchup problems for Utah. But that does not account for the lack of effort the Jazz often showed. GRADE: C-.
USU student Rhett Wilkinson is the co-founder of Aggie BluePrint (USU's first student magazine), an intern for LDS Living and the public relations director for Larada Sciences. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter: @wilklogan