The Utah Jazz can't afford for its two best players to have bad games at the same time

If the Utah Jazz are going to be playoff contenders, Lauri Markkanen and Collin Sexton can't afford to go cold at the same time.

Utah Jazz v Brooklyn Nets
Utah Jazz v Brooklyn Nets / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
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You can't have games where your two best players are having off nights. Not if you expect to win anyway. Lauri Markkanen is easily the Utah Jazz's best player and the team will go as far as he can take them, at least with the current lineup that he has around him. He's a heck of a shooter, a good rebounder, makes things happen in the paint, and is a better defender than credited with. Yet, like any good to a great offensive player, if he can't hit his shot, then he's not going to contribute as needed.

The same can be said for Collin Sexton, who has emerged as maybe the team's second-best player. He's a super efficient scorer who loves to drive to the paint and either attack the rim or hit a pull-up jumper from the mid-range area. And while his bad shooting nights are rare, they do happen and on Monday, that's exactly what happened.

The Jazz's two best scorers went a combined 5-22 (22%) from the floor, combining for 19 total points. Markkanen still pulled down nine rebounds, while Sexton contributed seven assists, but considering the Jazz got blown out early and consistently, those ancillary stats aren't going to help that much.

Especially when your defense looked as bad as it did against the Brooklyn Nets.

Utah Jazz head coach really wants to believe his team can win when those don't play well, telling the media after the game (via KSL);

"We don't rely on one person to do this; that's not how we're built. Our approach every day is that this is a team everybody comes in and does their job, and we're going to beat you with our collective strength."

Except, that is how the Jazz are built. Sure, you can sometimes get Jordan Clarkson popping off for 30 points, but for the most part, the Jazz need either Markkanen or Sexton to play well offensively in order to have a shot at winning.

The Jazz need to recognize that, and start building their team around those two.

dark. Next. Lauri Markkanen is as untouchable as one can be, and we're good with that. Lauri Markkanen is as untouchable as one can be, and we're good with that