By the time Bojan Bodganovich fired his shot, Donovan Mitchell had already had his hands behind his head. Then he saw his teammate’s shot hit the circle, crouching for a few seconds facing the basket.
Donovan Mitchell’s ordeal was unlike it was about two years ago, when he saw Mike Conley’s bell shot go round the circuit in Game 7 against the Nuggets. But the result is the same: Utah has just tested a new exit from the road on the first lap.
” It was a good shot, I was wide open. I’ve done this shot before ‘, laments Bojan Bogdanovic who could have been the hero of the evening after his perfect trick against Spencer Dinwende. His coach neither blames nor regrets this last layup system, with a double screen of Donovan Mitchell and Jordan Clarkson, to shoot for the ball.
” Bojan is the most decisive player you can see.”Judge Quinn Snyder. “We saw him come in big shot after big shot. There’s no better person to take that shot. Everyone in the locker room wanted him to take it next. Nobody was more impressed than him. »
Individual failure but collective bankruptcy
This missed shot is a symptom of a team that has lost confidence behind the three-point line during these playoffs. In the regular season, the Jazz converted an average of 15 winning baskets (out of 100 possessions), the best league formation in the field, with a success rate of 36%.
That percentage dropped to 27% against the Mavs with half as many award-winning baskets converted. Conversely, the Texans raised their benchmarks by 15.5 3-pointers in the series with a much better title (37%).
In the final moments, Utah could have avoided playing its season on a shot. 15 seconds left, Luka Doncic was well challenged by Rudi Gobert near the circuit. Without taking a timeout, Quin Snyder left his team, then one point behind, setting himself up for a move. And Mike Conley recovered a good ball to attack the circle with his left hand. But instead of going up, he paused, hesitated, and tried to peel off the skin.
Too late, he lost his balance. whistling walking. ” Of course you want to go back to this procedure, and realize the seriousness of the situation. Describes a point guard veteran. “It was something very unusual. If I went back I would still try to break in and create something but I would have tried not to stop the dribbling so that wouldn’t happen. »
These individual failures, on the part of two major jazz recruits in recent years, do not mask a mass bankruptcy. ” We often say it’s a thing: a match isn’t just an action.The coach remembers. “It’s easy to focus on the end of the match, but things happened before that we wanted to do better, to find ourselves in a different situation. »
loss of identity
Utah could have snatched that seventh game, but this early elimination, in six sets and despite Luka Doncic’s absence at the start of the series, isn’t really surprising. The team has shown more than once this season troubling signs at a team level that cannot be summed up in the only relationship between Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.
” We wanted to be the team that showed a lot of progress last year.”Mike Conley notes. “We just needed to be better in many different aspects, from adjusting and upping our game at different points of the season to keeping our confidence high and maintaining our camaraderie. Our team is built on unity and playing for each other. Sometimes we lose that. »
Rudy Gobert feels disappointed and frustrated too, the same sense of loss of identity despite all the talent out there. ” When you look back, you ask yourself, “Why?” Why not be regular? Playing the same way, Mike said, with the same identity, every night. Of course, some nights you won’t play well, but you keep that identity. This season, compared to recent years, it’s really the first time we’ve lost that identity. »
Now let’s see if Jazz will have to reshape its workforce during the holiday period to find itself or take another direction. Meanwhile, Quinn Snyder displays “ Great respect for our players in the way we played, without fear or aggression. We were beaten and that’s a shame. But I think we played well enough to win this match. »
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