You learn from it. You don’t ignore it or forget about it. You just try to process it and do what you can do to get better from it. —Quin Snyder
SALT LAKE CITY — Before the question could be fully asked concerning how the Utah Jazz will move on after getting drubbed 137-110 Sunday evening by the Houston Rockets, Ekpe Udoh offered an answer at the team’s practice Monday afternoon.
“Next game,” he interjected. “We’ve got Philadelphia tomorrow.”
Such is the reality of the NBA schedule, as the Jazz will have to put Sunday's game in the rearview mirror after allowing All-Star James Harden to tally a career-high 56 points, the Rockets to score 48 points in a single quarter and Houston to make 59 percent of its 3-point attempts.
But while Udoh surely wants to forget about the game, it did mark the squad’s second consecutive contest in which it put forth a poor defensive performance (it lost to the Toronto Raptors 109-100 on Friday night), which certainly is a big negative for a team that both wants and needs to be elite on that end of the floor.
“You learn from it,” head coach Quin Snyder said. “You don’t ignore it or forget about it. You just try to process it and do what you can do to get better from it.”
Asked if trying to be elite defensively every night is a challenge, forward Joe Ingles offered a rather direct response.
“It’s not hard,” Joe Ingles said. “It’s part of the game. Sometimes you’re going to miss shots. We’ve had nights where we’ve missed shots but we’ve won games playing defense. For us, that’s what we need to do and that’s the way we’re going to be a good team. It shouldn’t be hard.”
Although in both the Toronto and Houston games the Jazz had bad third quarters defensively (the team gave up 36 points to the Raptors and 48 to the Rockets in the frame), head coach Quin Snyder feels that’s more coincidental rather than something that needs a big adjustment coming out of halftime.
“We’ve got to have more resolve,” he said. “It’s not just the third quarter. It’s throughout the course of the game.”
Coming to town for Tuesday night’s tilt is a Philadelphia 76ers team that is starting to show this season that “The Process” it’s gone through over the past few years of tanking to obtain high draft picks is paying off.
Riding a four-game winning streak, the 5-4 76ers are above the .500 mark for the first time since November 2013, although they’ll be without leading scorer Joel Embiid, who will rest on Tuesday night.
While Philadelphia will be without a player who is averaging 20.5 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.4 blocks per contest, it still will have the early frontrunner for Rookie of the Year, 6-foot-10 Ben Simmons, who plays point guard.
The Australian was the first pick of the 2016 NBA draft but missed his entire rookie year because of injury. He has started this season incredibly fast, however, posting averages of 18 points, 9.8 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game thus far.
He has registered two triple-doubles through Philadelphia’s first nine games.
“He’s very, very poised with the ball, even against smaller guys that get up into him,” Snyder said. “He just knows how to play, and that’s why you see the triple-doubles.”
Tip time for Tuesday’s game is set for 7 p.m.
DONOVAN MITCHELL JINX?: Snyder was asked Monday about rookie Donovan Mitchell’s role after the rookie led Utah in scoring for the second consecutive game.
Snyder continued his refrain that the coaching staff is just trying to help the youngster get better, but quipped that, “every time we talk about a guy leading us in scoring, he ends up having a bad game, so hopefully we didn’t jinx him.”
AUSSIE CONNECTION: Even though there are just a handful of players from Australia in the NBA, Ingles said he doesn’t know Simmons very well.
“He’s Australian, I know that,” Ingles joked.
After saying he’ll speak to Simmons on Tuesday before the game, Ingles was asked to guess whether or not the do-it-all 21-year-old has a poster of him in his room.
“I wouldn’t be surprised,” Ingles said. “No, you’ll have to ask him that.”