Despite the Utah Jazz’s win over the Philadelphia 76ers last night, head coach Quin Snyder made it clear that his team still has quite a bit of work to do.
The Utah Jazz are coming off a 17-point win over the Philadelphia 76ers in which they used a suffocating 30-9 fourth quarter to seal the deal. Their starting lineup was finally reunited for just the second time this season and while there were quite a few bumps along the way through three quarters, for the most part it was good to see them back.
“We’re not that good of a team right now. We’re OK. But I don’t think we’re playing great basketball. We played a good quarter tonight. I think we’ve played better in spurts, but I think we need to pick it up.”
Now before any Jazz fans overreact about the statement, Snyder kind of has a point. The Jazz dropped three straight games heading into Christmas, barely squeaked past the Lakers on Tuesday and were trailing the last place Philadelphia 76ers through three quarters.
The starting five was back, the Jazz beat the 76ers & Quin Snyder says, "We're not that good of a team right now." https://t.co/wCjWScShwJ
However, I don’t believe Snyder was trying to rag on this team or put them down in the least. Instead, I take it as he understands just how good they can be. He’s sensed their potential this season, just like so many of us fans have, and he knows that the Jazz can be much better than what they’ve shown the past two weeks.
Of course the onslaught of injuries and ever-changing rotations have played a significant role in Utah’s struggles. Just when one guy would get back it seems that another would be lost to injury. Starting point guard George Hill, who returned from a sprained toe last night, played his first game in a month. So certainly there are going to some kinks to work out as Snyder himself recognized in that same interview:
“It’s going to take time. We’ve got a chance to look at that and start to figure out who’s doing what and how we can do it better. That’s the good thing. Whether or not we’re there right now, we get a chance to move forward and hopefully we get there.”
And the key to what he said is that they have some time to figure things out. Time to figure out who plays best together, what lineups are most effective and how this team can all come together.
And perhaps the best news is that after getting a full starting lineup back against the Sixers, the Jazz play two more lottery teams in the Phoenix Suns at home and the Brooklyn Nets on the road before things get tough again with road contests against the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors.
While those latter two won’t be easy regardless of where the Jazz are at, it will be good to see Utah have had three straight games against less than daunting opponents to get their starting lineup back adjusted to one another and to give Snyder more time to understand how to best utilize a team that’s healthier than he’s seen it all season before going up against the second and third best teams in the East.
So what Coach Snyder said rings true. The Jazz really aren’t “that good of a team right now” based on the first three quarters of last night’s game and the four contests before that.
However, we’ve seen them be that good team that they’re capable of being earlier in the season and now that almost the entire roster is back and healthy (get well soon Burks and Exum), it’s only a matter of time until Coach Snyder and the gang get the Jazz rolling once again.
And if the next two games go as well as they should, I’ll be excited to hear Snyder’s post-game comments following next week’s contests.