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2022 NBA Playoff Analysis Utah Jazz reborn from adversity?

2022 NBA playoffs analysis Utah Jazz

This season, the Utah Jazz took almost the core team of the original class and intended to fight again. At the beginning of the season, they did show a comeback momentum. However, due to the situation of injured soldiers and internal turmoil, they finally became a sinking team that was repeatedly unable to defend at the end of the season and suffered a major reversal. In the end, the Jazz returned to the fifth seed in the West Division with the most predestined relationship since coach Snyder took over…


Last season was the leader of the league, but suffered a major reversal due to injury and stopped in the second round. This season, the Utah Jazz brought almost the core team of the original team to fight again. At the beginning of the season, they did show a comeback momentum. The internal turmoil caused by this finally turned into a team that could not hold back like a demon at the end of the season, and was repeatedly reversed. In the end, the Jazz returned to the fifth seed in the West Division with the most fate since coach Snyder took over…
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※A brief description of the regular season

record:49 wins and 33 losses

The Jazz, who started high and low this season, failed to win 50 wins again, and in terms of winning rate, it was the worst in the past four years (the only one that did not break 60%), and completely retained the main core lineup, but from breaking 70% to less than 60%, This decline is not a big deal.

At the beginning of the season, with the league’s top offensive efficiency continuing last year, it was once a powerhouse in the competition with the Returning Glory Warriors for the top spot in the West. The leader will be suspended at the same time + Ingles reimbursement, and then to the second wave of wounded soldiers in mid-March, the Utah Legion also followed all the way down, coupled with the accompanying rumors of internal conflicts heating up, and the lack of cohesion on the field that can be seen by the naked eye. At the end of the season, there was a big downturn. The double-digit lead that had already led the league was tied in the number of games & the double-digit lead in the fourth quarter was tied in the number of games. At the end of the season, it was beaten by opponents three times in just two weeks. In the fourth quarter, they reversed the double-digit point difference and won the match. At one point, they were in danger of falling into the play-offs. They could be called the worst team in the Western Conference quarterfinals. Although the fifth seed was finally guaranteed, for this Jazz, if Failing to rebound in the playoffs, it is likely that they will be greeted by the end of the summer…

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*This season may be the last chance to prove yourself for the four major starting players of the Jazz in the past three years

※Team advantage

(1) Doncic’s accidental injury

The outside world has been scolded for a long time. Doncic strained his left calf in a less important game at the end of the season. Although there are different opinions on the severity, the Lone Ranger also deliberately played vague battles in order to make it more difficult for the Jazz to prepare for the game. However, according to the data, the recent players in the league with similar injuries are probably With an average of 16 days off, Gobert had experience mid-season when he was on a three-week waiver. It can be expected that even if Doncic’s natural power returns quickly (the latest news is likely to be absent from the first battle), it will inevitably be affected by injuries. As long as the Jazz do not underestimate the enemy, it will naturally be a big advantage.

(2) For the first time in the past three years, all the main staff are healthy

This will be underestimated by most of the outside world’s comments, but it is also what Coach Snyder is most optimistic about. It is the first time in three years that the Jazz have entered the playoffs with the most complete lineup. From January to the end of the season, repeated injuries and the subsequent domino effect have kept the Jazz in a state of instability, including Mitchell (who also suffered two concussions this season) and Gobert also played with injuries, plus Ingles’ mid-season trade & The introduction of new aid, compared with the turbulence of the roster in the first half of the season, also really affects the stability of the team’s combat power. But this may also be a lesson learned from last season, and it is better to have a slightly worse record and keep the health of the members after entering the season. Readers can especially observe Conley, one of the most unwilling people in the last season, who has a high probability of The possession in the season. In addition, compared to March when the Mavericks lost in World War II, in addition to the return of wounded soldiers, Snyder’s scheduling order has also changed a lot, including Hernangomez and D.HouseJr., which are more suitable for Dallas (with or without Doncic) striker began to enter The main rotation, which may also bring unexpected surprises.

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*The good news is that, at least on the table, this will be the first time that the Jazz team has entered the playoffs in a healthy manner for the first time in three seasons.
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*House, who returned from injury at the end of the season, has replaced O’Neale in several critical moments at the end of the season with his good body and the courage to shoot. Both help the Jazz defend Doncic/flank Sea

(3) The absolute advantage of the battle in Salt Lake City

Although they lost their home-court advantage, the three Salt Lake City away games the Mavericks will visit are on record as a series of boosters. Since the 2016-17 season, the Mavericks have only won one season-ending game in Salt Lake City. The digestion and trial match, Doncic has not won a game here since he entered the NBA. In any case, it is an objective advantage of the Utah Army.

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*Although we have not been able to grasp the home field advantage, the Salt Lake City home field, which has recently bloomed, is the most effective fortress against the Mavericks, and don’t forget that the Mavericks and the Clippers also defeated each other in the first six games of the first round last year.

(4) Underdog’s psychological motivation

The fifth seed is the seat most familiar to the Jazz since Snyder took over, and the second half of the seed that lacks home-court advantage is actually a fine tradition with historical roots: small-market teams/often lacking star brilliance/ A lot of fringe people find a second spring, so the Jazz have always given the outside world a more suitable Underdog image for the enemy. Now, say goodbye to last year’s maybe ill-fitting faucet glory, and return to the old position again, as Gobert said, It’s fun to be a challenger, I like it when people don’t like us. This should also be the other bottom half. Ji was seen without the voices of other teammates – especially what has not been proved in the previous two years, this year may be the last chance for this group of core main players.

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Going back to the original starting point, Mitchell’s career playoff blockbuster also started from the fifth seed defeating the Thunder Big Three at the time. Can it be repeated this time?

※Team disadvantage

(1) Recent malaise

With the wave of wounded soldiers at the end of March and rumors of internal contradictions, the Jazz’s current situation after March was really bad, with 4 wins and 6 losses in the last 10 games / once a five-game losing streak / three times the fourth quarter double-digit lead was reversed; Lone Ranger, 8 wins and 2 losses in the last 10 games, Doncic and Kidd also won the best player of the week and coach respectively. The gap between the two sides is not too big.

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*The rumors of the rift between Gobert and Mitchell have resurfaced again as their record declined. The outside world has also affected the internal unity. What is the truth?

(2) The huge gap in the ability of the two teams to close the door this season

One of the indicators of the recent sluggishness that has been ridiculed by the outside world is that the Jazz’s double-digit lead in the second half was tied and the double-digit lead was tied in the fourth quarter, both of which were the top of the league. In contrast, the Lone Ranger won 17 games this season. A double-digit trailing game at one point (the second-most in team history), it’s the exact opposite. The deeper problem that extends out is the ability of the Jazz to win after closing the door more and more embarrassingly towards the end of this season. In the Clutch Game this season, the Mavericks won 22 wins in 38 games / the league’s NO.7 winning rate – after February, it was 13 wins and 3 losses / as high as 81.3% winning rate; on the other hand, the Jazz only won 40 games in 40 games. In the next 17 wins / the league’s NO.20, Clutch Time’s shooting rate is only 41.5% / three-pointer is only 29.9%, it is hard not to sweat for the Jazz.

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*The end of the season was repeatedly reversed by the fourth quarter. The most uncomfortable is of course the player himself, but just like the 3:1 reversal in the playoffs for two consecutive years, it can only be proved by both hands, whether it is just a temporary setback or has turned into a demon

(3) Mitchell’s Worrying Recent Development

As the Jazz’s leading scorer, Mitchell’s poor form at the end of the season is the main reason that directly affects the Jazz’s record decline. In April, he averaged only 21.3 points per game and shot 32.8%, and the three-point shooting rate was a dismal 26.1%. , In the last two games against Dallas, he averaged only 14.5 points per game, with a shooting rate of 28% and a three-point shooting rate of 23%. Compared with his opponent, Doncic, if he can play, he has just won the Western Conference Player of the Week, 2 The 51.4 percent hit rate in 12 Clutch Game games this month is worrying – but Clippers coach Lue, who played against both of them in the playoffs last year, even gave Mitchell a harder to stop rating. Only one of the main reasons why Mitchell has been soaring in the past few years after entering the league is his habitual explosiveness in the playoffs. In the past two years, in the three rounds of the series, even if he was injured, he still averaged 33.9 points, 5.2 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 64% true shooting. With the terrible results of the rate, I can only hope that this year he can transform as usual and regain the skills and dominance he should have.

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*If Mitchell can break out in the playoffs as usual, then all the problems will be solved. Recently, the fourth generation of personal shoes has been accidentally exposed. He also needs to recover to explain to the manufacturer, right?

※Battle analysis

Since 2020, the Jazz Lone Ranger has played as many as 7 games within 8 points of the 10 games in the season (including 4 games within 5 points). It is also a key point that the author wants to say. Although Doncic is already a super giant in the league and has a great influence on the team, he really does not rely on his personal style alone to defeat the kind of players of the Jazz: such as Harden, C.Paul , Curry, the more tricky, fast, smaller offensive player who can pull Gobert out and hit the team’s defense at a loss. Although facing the diminutive Jazz, Doncic still has a lot of single-point hits, but he is not Gobert. The most feared type, and unable to defeat the Gobert-based formation, the Jazz have the ability to resist.

This is not to say that Doncic is not good enough, you are not strong enough, it is simply to emphasize the suitability of the formation. However, when Dinwiddie was traded in February, the battle between the two teams changed subtly, and Porzingis was lost. This season, the new coach Kidd, who has changed a lot of direct defense and rotation, played this set more thoroughly (Kidd In the past, I have clearly shown my preference for flanking team building), and this is the defensive strategy against the Jazz. A cover with poor ball ability. In all fairness, from the data point of view, after Dinwiddie joined the Mavericks’ defense is slightly backward (the league NO.14/season NO.7), mainly due to the shortage of manpower in the penalty area (sufficient size only Powell/Kleber/Bertans) , this is also the concern of the outside world about the pressure that Gobert brings to the Dallas penalty area, but I personally think this is overrated. As mentioned above, teams that are good at rotation and defense are more troublesome for Gobert, who has mediocre offensive ability (but The Mavericks’ rebounding ranking is not good, but this season is not a disadvantage to the Jazz), but the Jazz still have to continue to find ways to press the penalty area and consume the opponent’s physical strength (Kleber’s hit rate dropped sharply after Porzingis left) + At the same time, create foul consumption The opponent is weak in the penalty area – especially the opponent is likely to lack Doncic, which is a good strategy.

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*In the case of extremely limited manpower in the penalty area, it is very important whether Powell can protect the penalty area and avoid foul trouble.

With the arrival of Dinwiddie, the offense also brings a more serious threat to the Jazz. The formation of the three guns of Doncic, Dinwiddie and Brunson allows the Mavericks to put two threatening ball handlers on the court at any time. There has been a qualitative leap in the offensive end. At the same time as the liberation of Doncic (including the pick-and-roll efficiency after switching to Powell), the team’s offense has since improved to the league’s No. 9, and during this period, it has scored 19 wins and 7 losses. The league’s No. 2 record. On a more positive note, Dinwiddie and Brunson are likely to be the more troublesome types of Gobert (reminiscent of the Clippers’ R. Jackson and Mann last season, and Dorian Finney-Smith may also bring surprises), so If there is a short-term decisive battle, Dallas fans really don’t need to be too desperate. This kind of lineup that deviates from the original defensive strategy and is still in chaos has caused the Jazz to be more chaotic. There are many examples in Utah team history, especially ball rights. Concentration (Doncic) -> Ball liberation/multi-point blooming situation.

Okay, here’s finally the importance of Doncic, but I don’t think it’s how much firepower he can bring to this team against the Jazz. It’s more about the multiple roles and depth he can provide throughout the series. . As mentioned above, the two guns might be more lethal than Doncic, but the rotation of the three ball carriers is always more beneficial to winning the entire series. ? On the other hand, the shallow depth of the penalty area and the addition of Doncic with a size and thickness are a big plus for defense and rebounding. In the process of fighting against the Jazz, the multi-faceted support and stability that Doncic can provide is actually the most valuable asset of the Lone Ranger.

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*When facing the Jazz, Doncic is more valuable in the rotation of multi-faceted support. Without him, it is undoubtedly a huge hole. If he is really absent, the main defensive player, Dorian Finney-Smith, is bound to carry the heavier offense and defense. responsibility

In addition, there are two key points for watching the battle between the two armies this time. The first is the matchup on the three-point line. Although the Jazz still focused on the three-point sea throughout the season, the other is the Mavericks’ defense this season, which just excelled in suppressing the opponent’s three-point line. After Dinwiddle came, the overall three-pointer was hit. The rate jumped to 37.6% (the league NO.7, only NO.19 in the whole season), which is better than the opponents who are not doing well. The Utah army will definitely find a way to gain a greater strategic advantage in this main field (the good news is that since joining Bogdanovic /Conley/Clarkson is 40% on 3s against the Mavericks). However, it should be reminded that behind the Lone Ranger’s seemingly good three-point perimeter, there is a hidden factor of instability-too ​​ups and downs; 20 games in the whole season were below 30% (Jazz only 15 games, including the two training trials at the end of the season) , and to see whether the short-term series can improve stability, it is also worth observing how much impact Doncic will have on the team’s three-pointer if he is absent.

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*Bogdanovic, who was injured at the end of the season, was experiencing a big outbreak on the outside. In the past five games, he has made more than 70% of the three-pointers against the Lone Ranger. Can he regain his focus in time?

Another point is how the two sides will set the rhythm of the field. Both teams are relatively slow in Pace in the league, but compared to the Jazz who are limited by physical talent, the Lone Ranger is more like to make Doncic (who is good at isolation/pick-and-roll) a comfortable rhythm. , after all, there are many young and physically able flanking groups in the array. So in order to get more profit in this round of matchups (for the Jazz short backcourt group & power center Gobert/Whiteside), especially in the absence of Doncic, the Mavericks should think carefully about whether to speed up and control the mistakes. Poor opponents play more defensive backs (Jazz have to control turnovers and rebounds).

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*Without Doncic, there will be more pressure on the Mavericks against the Jazz double-tower-led penalty area. Speeding up and playing faster + increasing the strength of the defensive counterattack may be the best solution to reduce their playing time

※The key to the battle

In addition to the above-mentioned whether Mitchell can find himself & Doncic’s playing status, the biggest key to the victory of the Jazz series in this series is always on coach Snyder. The Jazz’s recent problems are mainly two: (1) When the original game is more and more thoroughly studied and cracked, is there any response? (2) The changes in the team lineup are limited, why is the cohesion not as good as before/the concentration is lax, and there are internal conflicts from time to time?

These two issues, the bell is always the head coach. The team insisted on being short in the season but was repeatedly beaten; always called for a return to team basketball but was weak, will it improve in the playoffs? In the past, there have been cases where Snyder was forced to change his recruits in the playoffs. The health of the entire team is a playoff with completely different meanings. It may also help the coach to wind up the team. The good news is that at the end of the season, Snyder has more attempts to change moves and formations. As far as I think, the Jazz really have the opportunity to crack the lineup of the flanking sea and even the old 5 Out door, just use it or not, the scheduling dare Not daring to make a quick decision, it was all in Snyder’s thoughts.

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*Snyder, who has been showing different murderous beards recently, is also facing important exams. It has been rumored that his team is interested in/declined to renew Utah’s contract in advance. Will this be his last season before parting ways with the Jazz?

※The first round result prediction

Although the outside world is seeing bad news now, and even thinks that they can’t get past the Lone Ranger who is absent from Doncic, the Jazz team is still in good shape. Even if Doncic is healthy, the author believes that the normal Jazz will pass the test 4:2, lacking Doncic’s words. Possibly faster – after all, the roster depth/overall star/experience is still slightly higher.

But the real crux of the matter is, can the Jazz return to at least the day-to-day Jazz they were before the All-Star Game? Mitchell’s recent slump, whether due to psychological factors or old injuries, can he get back on track and return to the playoff version of Mitchell?

If it can, the Jazz can make the cut, let the Mavericks wait 11 years since their championship year to make a second round, and beat the Mavericks in the playoffs for the first time in franchise history – but if they can’t even do that So, even if Doncic delays his comeback and the Jazz can take an early lead, who said that the tragedy of the big reversal can’t be repeated again?

If this is the case, the major revision of summer jazz will be imperative.

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Under normal conditions, the Jazz’s combat power should be slightly better, but the question is whether it can be normal? This will also affect whether Mitchell and Gobert are separate things after the summer, or continue to play jazz together!

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