Los Angeles • Coach Tyrone Corbin and several players mainly attributed Utah’s 96-71 loss to the Lakers to missed shots.
The Jazz hit just 32.2 percent (29 of 90) of their field goals and 7.7 percent (1 of 13) of their 3-point attempts Tuesday, and Utah missed numerous close-range tip-in baskets.
But the Jazz’s season-opening blowout defeat, which nearly set multiple franchise records for futility, also came down to poor offensive schemes and execution. Utah settled from midrange and the perimeter, with wing players rarely driving toward the basket and the team only attempting 17 foul shots to the Lakers’ 37.
The Jazz’s starters were the worst. As pointed out by The Salt Lake Tribune’s Steve Luhm, Utah’s first five played more than 117 minutes but only attempted one free throw.
Jazz forward Gordon Hayward said his team must be ready to “knock down shots and shoot with confidence.”
Several Utah players acknowledged their offense lacked motion and flow against Los Angeles, which was a glaring problem during the preseason.
“At times it feels a little stagnant. It feels like we’re just standing around and watching a little bit,” Hayward said. “We need to move and be ready to shoot, and when we do take those shots, shoot to make it.”
He added: “If you don’t know when the ball’s coming to you and you’re not ready, you’re probably not going to hit [the shot].”
Paul Millsap was easily the Jazz’s most active player and got to the line six times. However, Millsap came off the bench after being replaced in the starting lineup by Derrick Favors.
The offensive struggles offset two positives for Utah. The Jazz only committed 10 turnovers and tied Los Angeles in rebounds, 46-46.
— Brian T. Smith