How the Utah Jazz became the hottest team in the NBA during 10-game win streak

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz’s flight landed in Atlanta around 5:25 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 21.

There were no flight issues, guys were able to rest, but the team just didn’t have it that Monday night against the Atlanta Hawks.

Utah trailed by as many as 26 before falling to the Hawks 104-90 in Philips Arena.

Guys looked flat. Defensively, they broke down. They shot 43.4 percent from the field. And just couldn’t hang with the Eastern Conference’s worst team.

To put things in layman’s terms, the Jazz looked terrible.

Atlanta Hawks’ Tyler Dorsey, bottom, plays a loose ball with teammate Mike Muscala, left, against Utah Jazz’s Ricky Rubio, right, in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Atlanta, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. | David Goldman, Associated Press

“We felt like they wanted it a little more than we did and they deserve it,” said Gobert, in his third game back from a second knee injury at the time. “Until we start playing more physical and being more focused on what we have to do, individually and collectively, we’re going to get our a** kicked.”

Three weeks later, times have changed.

That same Jazz team is now the hottest squad in the entire NBA, riding a 10-game win streak for the first time since 2009 after Monday’s come-from-behind victory against the San Antonio Spurs, 101-99.

Utah (29-28) is still in 10th place of the Western Conference standings, but 1.5 games behind the New Orleans Pelicans for the eighth playoff spot and three games behind the Oklahoma City Thunder for the fifth spot in a tight race.

So what has changed in the Jazz locker room since losing to Atlanta?

“I think the Atlanta game, as disappointed as we all were in our performance, there’s always some games in the …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News


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