The Utah Jazz aren't going through a good moment right now. Despite being 3rd in the Western Conference standings and boasting a 12-7 record, the team has suffered big losses in the last three games, succumbing against the Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans.
The 5-15 Pelicans landed at the Vivint Smart Home Arena Friday night hoping to get a shocking victory over the Jazz. Well, they did, as the Jazz blew a late lead, opening the door for the Pels, who got the 98-97 win at Salt Lake City.
Even though they're still 3rd in the West, nobody is happy with the development of the game. Rudy Gobert called himself out and the rest of the team for their poor display. He even recalled all the times they couldn't get the job done in the playoff, stating they must learn from past mistakes if they want to win a championship soon.
“We’re letting a lot of games get away that we should win. At the end of the season, we’re going to feel stupid.”
“We’re not playing like a team that wants to compete for a championship. … Even the young teams are playing better than us in the clutch.”
“I don’t know how many years we’re gonna keep losing in the playoffs and not learning from it. I might be 30. I might be 40. We need to put our egos aside and learn.”
Donovan Mitchell echoed Gobert's comments, saying they must be held accountable for the mistakes. Further, he said that the coaches have nothing to do with this, as the players were the ones who failed to do the job.
“We’re just not playing well. I’m not playing well. … This shit’s happened twice in a week. This shouldn’t happen.”
“You can’t put this on Quin [Snyder] or the assistants. This is on us. We’ve just got to f***in’ play better.”
After finishing with the league-best record last season, the Jazz entered this campaign with certain expectations, looking for revenge after getting eliminated by the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round of the 2021 playoffs.
They're still a competitive team, only trailing the inspired Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns in the standings. However, they need to do better if they aspire to win it all next year. They look like that team with a good regular season that never delivers in the postseason.
Hopefully, the two stars of the team voicing their frustrations can wake up the rest of the squad. The Jazz are still chasing that first NBA championship, and this level won't be enough to beat the Stephen Curry-led Warriors or get past Chris Paul and Devin Booker in Phoenix.