Utah Jazz Notes

Jazz shootaround: Focus squarely on defense entering matchup with Clippers

First Published      Last Updated Feb 13 2017 12:53 pm

When the Utah Jazz face the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night, the goal within the game for the Jazz will be clear: Defense has to be a team thing.

That was a theme coming out of Saturday's ugly loss to the Boston Celtics, a game where Boston got any and everything it wanted offensively.

"We have to play as a unit," Jazz forward Gordon Hayward said. "Defense takes all five guys. If everyone isn't connected, it isn't going to work."

The Jazz couldn't get stops against the Celtics, which negated the offense's decent night.

Monday night could be more of the same if the Jazz arent good defensively. The Clippers are without all-star point guard Chris Paul, but they have adapted lately. They have been putting the ball in the hands of Blake Griffin, their dynamic power forward. Griffin is known for his athleticism, and he's become one of the most skilled big guys in the league in recent years.

"He almost runs the point for them," Hayward said. "They run their offense through him."

The winner will take fourth place in the Western Conference.

— Tony Jones