Utah Jazz vs Miami Heat instant reaction: Offensive struggles hit new low

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 5: Goran Dragic (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 5: Goran Dragic (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

Despite a promising first-half performance, the Utah Jazz again struggled to make shots in the second half, falling 84-74 to the Miami Heat.

Well, that was rough.

The big news coming into Friday’s matchup between the Utah Jazz and Miami Heat was that Donovan Mitchell would be starting in place of the struggling Rodney Hood. In the opening minutes of the game, Quin Snyder’s decision to start the rookie looked genius. Mitchell scored Utah’s first four points by getting to the basket and finding easy looks.

The role reversal also seemed to spark Hood’s performance. He came off the bench and instantly made an impact, hitting a jumper on his first offensive possession. He finished the first quarter with six points on 3-of-5 shooting and looked far more aggressive than in his previous games.

The Jazz seemed to find their identity defensively in the second quarter, outscoring the Heat 27-12 in the period and holding Miami to 3-of-19 shooting from the field. The Jazz were also able to find a rhythm offensively behind Hood and Alec Burks. Burks added eight first-half points off the bench while shooting 3-of-3 from the field, including the highlight of the night.

The Jazz closed the second quarter on a 20-4 run and led Miami 49-37 going into the half. Utah had seemed to find ways to get good looks and was controlling the game defensively.

All was restored to its proper order in Jazzland, right? Wrong.

Again, Utah struggled to maintain their intensity after the break. Miami opened the third quarter on an 11-0 run. Utah was scoreless over the first five minutes of the period to go along with five turnovers during the drought.

At the end of the third quarter, Utah had been held to one field goal in the entire period. ONE.

Nothing could get worse than going 1-of-18 from the field, right? Wrong again.

Somewhere wedged in between a Joe Ingles missed lay-up and a couple of missed open threes, Utah’s star center, Rudy Gobert, went down with a knee injury and immediately went back to the locker room.

Utah dodged a bullet as Gobert was able to return and finish the game. So it wasn’t all bad, right? #SilverLining

Despite their atrocious shooting performance in the third quarter, late free throw shooting helped Utah draw even with Miami going into the final period.

Both teams traded buckets for most of the fourth quarter, however, it still felt like Utah would find a way to gut this one out at home. With three and a half minutes left, the game was tied at 71.

That’s when the Dion Waiter’s show began. Waiter’s finished the game with 21 points, 10 of which came in big moments down the stretch. Waiter’s timely shot making led Miami on a 13-0 run that essentially put the game away.

A quick look at a few second-half numbers should give you a pretty good indication of how this game went —

Field Goal Percentage: 12.1 
Field Goals Made: 4
Total Points: 25

Hood finished the night with 19 points, however, he struggled again to find any sort of rhythm from the field. Despite shooting 5-of-19 from the field and 1-of-9 from three, Hood salvaged his point total by going 8-of-8 from the free throw line. If his shot continues to struggle, the Jazz need Hood to be aggressive in getting to the line.

While slow-paced, defensive games should favor this Jazz team, Miami made more big shots down the stretch. Simple as that. This game came down to shot-making, and the Heat had more options to end the game on the offensive end.

Still, all is not lost. Keep your “#TankNote” tweets to yourselves… for now. However, Utah better hope that Joe Johnson can come back 100 percent ASAP. They could really use his shot-creating in games like this where seemingly EVERYONE is struggling.

What’s next?

Since starting the season 5-3 the Jazz have now dropped four straight games and find themselves at 5-7. Utah will have to wait at least one more game to end their current four-game losing streak.

The good news for the Jazz is that they won’t have to wait long. The Jazz will host the 5-7 Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night. Brooklyn will also be playing their second game in as many nights. The season is still young, but this is a game that the Jazz simply must find a way to win.

Next: The Utah Jazz have first-group problems

Until them, find some solace in this:

Follow me on Twitter @TylerDThorpe for more Jazz updates and insights.