NEW ORLEANS — While a lot of people were alarmed by Utah’s three-point loss to a sub-.500 New Orleans team Monday night, it shouldn’t have been that surprising.
Just look at some of the other results around the NBA the past few days.
The same night the Jazz were beaten by the Pelicans, the team with the worst record in the NBA, the Phoenix Suns, knocked off the team with the best record, the Milwaukee Bucks, 114-105.
Then on Tuesday, the teams with the third- and fourth-best records in the Western Conference, Oklahoma City and Portland, were knocked off by the teams with the 11th and 14th best records in the conference, respectively: Minnesota and Memphis.
As Rudy Gobert said after Monday’s loss, “It’s the NBA — any team can lose to any team on a given night. The most important thing is how you react from that. We got punched in the face tonight and learned from it and we need to be better the next game."
Coach Quin Snyder gets a little weary of hearing how his team should be favored in every game the rest of the season with the NBA’s softest schedule.
“Every team has a different dynamic,” he said. “Those kind of games that you’re quote-unquote supposed to win, I don’t buy into that, because every game has its own set of unique challenges. (Other) players are playing looser and you can put pressure on yourself, feeling like ‘we need to win this, we should win this.’ We just need to play well.”
Snyder pointed out that early in his coaching stint at Utah, the Jazz were one of those teams that was the underdog in most games.
“We were one of those teams a couple of years ago,” he said. “We’ve had a good second half (of the season), because sometimes the guys who aren’t playing as much, they’re invorgorated and the team forms its own identity as the season progresses. These games are hard. We had them last year and you’ve got to be ready to play.”Comment on this story
JAZZ NOTES: The Jazz coaches players and staff were in New Orleans for Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras, but not long enough to experience much of the revelry. The Jazz contingent didn’t fly into New Orleans until evening after all the parades were over and made it to their hotel near Bourbon Street with a police escort. It’s unlikely any of the players ventured outside into the packed streets to rub shoulders with the revelers . . . The temperatures in New Orleans have been 20-25 degrees below average with a high of 49 on Tuesday . . . Former Lone Peak High star Frank Jackson, who only scored four points Monday night in his Utah homecoming, played better Wednesday night, finishing with 13 points in 28 minutes off the bench on 5-of-9 shooting, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range . . . Donovan Mitchell, who became the youngest Jazz player to score 45-plus points in a game on Saturday night against Milwaukee, became the youngest and fastest Jazz player to get to the 3,000-point mark in his career . . . Gobert moved into fourth place on the all-time Jazz rebounding chart, surpassing that well-known rebounder John Stockton . . . The Jazz move on to play Memphis Friday night before returning home to play Oklahoma City Monday night at Vivint Arena.