The Utah Jazz loss to the Sacramento Kings proves why efficiency matters

The Utah Jazz have got to focus on efficiency over anything else when it comes to the offense.
Utah Jazz v Sacramento Kings
Utah Jazz v Sacramento Kings / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

The Sacramento Kings beat the Utah Jazz on Saturday night, 125-104, thanks in part to Keegan Murray's impressive outing. He scored 47 points and went 12-15 from three. It was an impressive performance and one that mirrored the rest of the Kings' effort. The Kings shot 54.1% from the floor and 48.9% from three. They terrorized the Jazz's perimeter defense and it showed. Rotation issues were still part of the reason for the outcome,

Utah Jazz head coach Will Hardy has not yet nailed down what combination of players gives him the best chance to win, but at least he's no longer shoe-horning John Collins and Jordan Clarkson into things.

But that said, it wasn't just the poor defense that sunk the Jazz, it was the efficiency of the Kings offense, something the Jazz have struggled with all season. The Jazz, you'd think, would have been trounced in a variety of ways by the Kings, namely in shots taken. You'd be wrong. The Jazz actually took more shots, and more free throws than the Kings, but the Kings made more three-point shots.

Being able to make threes is part of the NBA's fabric, and not having a guy who can make that his signature shot is going to hinder teams. The Cleveland Cavaliers dealt with this very issue with Sexton; a team would hit a three, Sexton would then go down, hit a two-point shot, and then watch as the opposing team exploited his weak defense for another three.

Even if Sexton gave up five straight shots from three, and scored five consecutive times, the opposing team still would have a five-point lead. At a certain point, you're either going to need to play better defense or shoot better from three.

The Jazz aren't doing either very well. The Jazz are just 23rd in three-pointers made,24th in points given up, and 21st in opponent three-point percentages. When you give up threes, because you can't play defense and in turn can't shoot threes, to keep up with the three-pointers everyone else is hitting on you; you're going to lose a lot of games.

This is a team that isn't efficient on defense, or shooting the ball; and that lack of efficiency is why the Jazz lost and continue to lose.

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