The Utah Jazz have proven that they need more defense

The Utah Jazz's loss to the New Orleans Pelicans reinforces that it's time to move on from two players.

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers
Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

The Utah Jazz have given 134 points on average over the last three games. The team has fallen apart on the perimeter and in turn has allowed guards and forwards easy penetration against the interior defense of the Jazz's roster. While the team has averaged 126 points in those three losses, it's clear that the amount of points the team can score is not going to help them win games.

They have to play better defense. It's one thing to lose to the Oklahoma City Thunder in a shootout, but the Houston Rockets and New Orleans Pelicans? That's not good. What's made those losses so much less tolerable is that two of their best defensive players; Kelly Olynyk and Kris Dunn, only averaged 16 and 19 minutes respectively.

Yet, Jordan Clarkson and John Collins, the two biggest culprits in the team's poor defense, averaged 32 and 22 minutes respectively. Will Hardy try to get out of bad defensive packages by overplaying the same guys who got him in that hole? The Jazz can't win with guys like Clarkson and Collins on the roster playing poor defense, and the sad thing is that sometimes they actually try.

Then you see a three-game stretch like this and the realization that they're just not going to always try rears its head once again. The Jazz need a heavier lineup and a focus on getting better defensively, either through coaching or trades. The Jazz can make the playoffs as is, even if it's through the Play-In Tournament, but if they want to make some actual noise, they have to stop resting on the notion that they can just skate on by with the talent they have now.

Whatever Clarkson and Collins add to the offense, they take away twice as much on defense. Their lack of effort, especially when they share the court, is hurting the effectiveness of everyone else. Just go look up the lineups with Collins and Clarkson playing together, and see how bad their net ratings are.

Of the five most-played lineups, four have a negative net rating, and three of them include a lineup involving Collins and Clarkson. They're not winning players in this current structure, and it's time to move on from them.

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