Utah Jazz: Another game, another lopsided loss as rough start continues vs. Bulls
CHICAGO — Gordon Hayward recently warned that this will be a "long season" if the Utah Jazz don’t figure things out and start winning games as they’re supposed to do as professional athletes.
At this particular long-season rate, the 2013-14 season will end in the year 2099.
That season-ending April 16 game in Minnesota might really feel like it’s an eternity away if Utah doesn’t start hitting shots, which it failed to do at an alarming rate in a 97-73 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Friday night.
The Jazz’s aim was so bad in this lopsided loss — the worst this season — the team’s field-goal percentage was closer to the Mendoza line than the coveted 50 percent mark.
Mired in an ugly slump, Utah only hit for a .294 average.
“We shot 20-something percent. You’re going to have to be really, really, really good defensively if you want to win a basketball game shooting under 30 percent,” Jazz shooting guard Gordon Hayward said.
“It’s just lack of execution. We didn’t get very many good looks, and when you can’t score the basketball it just puts too much pressure on your defense.”
And on your team, which seems further than ever from getting win No. 1 of this rebuilding season.
While Chicago won for the first time in three games and only the second time this year, the Jazz dropped their sixth game in a row and seventh overall, going back to last season.
Utah now finds itself in the second-worst season-opening losing skid in franchise history, trailing only the 0-11 start by the inaugural 1974 New Orleans Jazz.
In a recurring theme, Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said the team has to maintain a positive attitude and keep plugging away.
“We have to make sure that we don’t feel sorry for ourselves. Our defense struggled because our offense did,” Corbin said. “We just have to continue to work hard and find ways to get the ball in the basket. You can’t let a team shoot 50 percent and win.”
The Jazz, who watched the Bulls shoot 52.8 percent from the field, didn’t come close to doing that while preserving their status as the only winless team in the NBA.
Though Utah can’t feel sorry for itself, the way Friday’s game went and the season continues to sputter, you almost expected Michael Jordan to appear on the court and apologize for pushing off in the 1998 NBA Finals just to make the Jazz feel a little bit better.
That didn’t happen, and the Jazz weren’t getting any solace from their old rivals. In fact, one trash-talking Bulls fan summed up how bad the situation looked for the visitors at the United Center when he screamed, “Utah is the new Charlotte!”
While that seems like a low blow, Al Jefferson and the Bobcats already have three wins on the season.
The Jazz will get another chance to turn things around when they visit Toronto tonight to take on a 2-4 Raptors squad.
“Losing is always very frustrating, so the frustration level stays the same,” Hayward said. “We have another one (Saturday). I think you’ve got to focus on that and just try to learn from the losses.”
At least Utah has a lot of opportunities to learn.
Like in Brooklyn and reminiscent of the dreadful eight-point quarter in Boston, it became evident that that would be the case again from early on in this defeat.
Utah fell behind 5-0 in 53 seconds and never came close to challenging the Bulls after that while eventually trailing by as many as 29 points.
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