The Utah Jazz need to alter the course of the season by making some major changes.
The Utah Jazz are starting to see their hopes for a playoff-caliber squad slip away. Currently, the team is 2-4 and 13th in the Western Conference. That’s three spots out of the last Play-In Tournament and seven spots out from the playoffs.
The team can turn things around and get back into the hunt, but they’re going to need to do some major alterations to get back on track. Here are three of the biggest.
Play the defensive players more.
This shouldn’t need to be said but it does; because we’re saying it. The Utah Jazz need to play their better defensive players more than they are. Granted, the team’s offense isn’t as good as once thought it would be, with the team shooting a lot of junk around Lauri Markkanen, but the team still needs to play their better defensive players more.
Kris Dunn and Ochai Agbaji, the team’s two best perimeter players, are playing just 13 minutes per game. They’re giving up minutes to guys like Talen Horton-Tucker (11th on the team in True Shooting Percentage) and Jordan Clarkson (12th in TS%), and those minutes are ultimately being wasted. Especially by Clarkson. Horton-Tucker is at least a playable defender, Clarkson is 13th.
It’s not helping the team any by playing either man, especially over Agbaji and Dunn.
But that’s not at all, as the Jazz are also limiting the minutes Kelly Olynyk (No. 1in defensive box plus-minus for the Jazz) and Walker Kessler are getting as well. It’s almost like if the Jazz played all four men at the same time, and for more than just a handful of minutes, the team defense may actually improve.