The Utah Jazz were expected to emulate and surpass what they did last season, recording the league-best record in the regular season, going to the second round of the playoffs, where the Los Angeles Clippers took them out in six games without Kawhi Leonard on the court.
They had big expectations entering the playoffs, but the Clips had different ideas. This year, they have played at a decent level, but have been far from that team that enchanted everybody last campaign.
In the past couple of weeks, the Jazz have struggled to find their touch, which has created some issues within the team. Their two figures are reportedly going through some things, as their relationship isn't that good right now.
ESPN's Brian Windhorst recently talked about the dynamic between Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, revealing that things aren't going that well for them.
"Gobert and Mitchell have been at each other's... I don't know if I can say at each other's throats," said Brian Windhorst.
"It's back to being passively aggressively awkward," interjected Tim MacMahon.
"It's the most underplayed story in the league, I think," continued Windhorst. "The Jazz are struggling a lot. This team had big expectations and they're getting passed by frankly. They are not on the level they were a year ago. Donovan and Gobert, even though they're both under long-term contract, are under each other's skin. There's all kind of subtweeting and passive aggressive stuff going on."
Gobert recently praised the defensive improvements made by Devin Booker, which Mitchell is believed to have taken as criticism of him.
"If these guys played for the Knicks or Nets or even the Suns or something, Stephen A. would be talking about this on First Take," said Windhorst. "Because it is two All-Star level players."
This is not a good situation for the Jazz. They need to find their groove again, as the Memphis Grizzlies have overtaken them as the third force in the Western Conference. They need to make some changes if they want to compete against the Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors.
Having their two stars going against each other is a major problem for them. If this situation doesn't improve soon, we could see one of them leaving the franchise to try their luck with a different team.