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Donovan Mitchell Addresses Utah Jazz Struggling To Defend The Perimeter In The Playoffs: "It's Something We Can Fix... I Hope."

Donovan Mitchell Addresses Utah Jazz Struggling To Defend The Perimeter In The Playoffs: "It's Something We Can Fix... I Hope."

The Utah Jazz fell to an incredibly tough loss to the Luka Doncic-less Dallas Mavericks in Game 2 of the first round. Both games of the series have been hard-fought till the last minute, with both teams picking up 6-point wins so far. However, the Mavericks have looked a lot better so far considering they are pushing the Jazz despite their best player being injured.

The Jazz has cause to worry considering they are being pushed to the limit right now. What will happen when the Mavericks bring Luka back and their offensive struggles seem to diminish? The only way they can contend with that is with strong perimeter defense, something the Jazz have struggled with the last few seasons.

Donovan Mitchell was asked about his team's struggles on the perimeter, with players like Jalen Brunson scoring 41 points and Maxi Kleber making 8 three-pointers. Considering how the LA Clippers beat them last year, it opened up a wound for Spida who dismissed similarities between last year and this year. 

"This is something we can fix. I'm hopeful. Last year was last year, but this year we can go back and fix that. We can go ahead and Stand our ground, shift, and help each other as a team. I don't look at it like 'oh here we go same as last year's. Now we can go and do what we're supposed to do. We have to give them credit where credit is due. Jalen had a great game, Maxi had a great game, and we made it easier. I don't think any of us are looking at it like this is last year all over again because we're healthy and we can control that. I know we will."

Rudy Gobert has been a sore spot on the perimeter for the Jazz, with guards trying to switch onto him and then drive into the paint. With the Jazz not having many perimeter defenders, Gobert usually can take the pressure when he is already near the rim. But catching him off the dribble is his major Achilles heel.

Hopefully, the Jazz can commit to team defense like the Mavericks have done so far. Dallas is not having a hard time stopping Utah but is struggling to create consistent offense without Luka. Before Doncic gets on the floor, the Jazz needs a new defensive strategy to make sure they can make it to the second round.