It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Utah Jazz are not playing very well right now. Not only have they lost 4 games in a row and 6 out of their last 10, but they are doing it against some of the league’s worst teams. The Washington Wizards, New Jersey Nets, and Philadelphia 76ers are all teams that are well below .500 and should not have much of a chance of winning when playing the Jazz. Despite that, the Jazz found a way to lose to all of those teams since MLK Day.
Obviously teams go through some rough patches in a long NBA season, but to lose to so many bad teams in such a short span of time is unacceptable for a team that has high hopes. The Jazz are simply not playing basketball like they are capable of, and they need to figure out a solution very soon.
If you look at their last few games, it is clear that the team is not clicking offensively. Their point totals have been down, and there is a lack of a true identity. The one player who has really stuck out to me has been Paul Millsap who has not had a 20-point game since January 8th at Houston, where he basically won the Jazz that game.
If you remember, Paul Millsap is in his first year as Utah’s starting power forward, and he has done a very respectable job up to this point in the season. However, if Millsap continues to have his numbers decline on the offensive end, the Jazz could be in some trouble like they have been recently. The Jazz require a lot of the power forward position in Jerry Sloan’s offense, and it takes a very talented player to be the right fit. Now I’m not saying that Millsap is not the right fit, but I am saying that he needs to get back to early season form really soon.
When Millsap was officially named the starting power forward this season there was one thing I feared, and that was his ability to remain consistent throughout the season. I felt like he was the type of player who could ‘wow’ you on any given night, but I wasn’t sure if he could ‘just bring it’ on all nights. It’s still to early to tell, but if Millsap’s recent play is any indication of what he is going to bring for the rest of the season, I don’t see things looking too bright for the Jazz. But knowing Paul Millsap and his hard-working ways, I am going to give ‘Sap some time to prove that his recent play is just a bump in the road. If anybody can overcome adversity, it is a guy like Paul Millsap, who has thrived in this league despite his few opportunities. So I don’t expect things to continue in a downward direction for Millsap and the Jazz, but if it does, consider it a blown opportunity by a very talented player and ball club.