Jazz will need more than home cooking to pick up first win
Toronto •Â The road has been rough, but the Utah Jazz are headed home, back to EnergySolutions Arena, the place where they have played three good halves of basketball against good NBA teams so far this year.
They're headed back to the altitude and cheering fans that have made Salt Lake City one of the league's tougher places to play over the years.
The winless Jazz at least have that to look forward to after wrapping up their four-game trip with a 115-91 drubbing at the hands of the Toronto Raptors.
"I think it's going to be better with the Jazz fans behind us," center Enes Kanter said. "On our court, I think we're going to play better."
But with the Jazz off to their worst start since the franchise moved to Utah in 1979, coach Ty Corbin knows it's going to take more than home cooking.
"Look," he said after Saturday's loss, "just because we're going home, it's not just going to get better. We've got to make it get better. We've got to play and fight and compete, and if we lose games fighting and competing we can deal with that. But we don't want to come in and just show up and think it's going to happen. We've got to make it happen."
How the Jazz might do that remains to be seen.
"Well we're still searching for the answer," Gordon Hayward, the team's leading scorer said. "Keep working and trying to get through this rough patch. We're struggling. Try not to make the same mistakes. We've got to find out something about ourselves right now and hopefully we can push our way through it."
In four straight games, Utah has trailed by at least 24 points. On Saturday the Jazz found themselves down 38 at one point to middling Toronto.
The Jazz are the league's worst offensive team both in points per game (87.7) and offensive rating (90.7) and have been beaten by an average of 18.5 points on this road swing.
Defensively, the Jazz are allowing 105.3 points per 100 possessions, the fourth-worst in the league.
"Way too many points, easy points, dunks, wide open threes. Defensively, we weren't there," Hayward said after the most recent loss.
So a return for three games, beginning Monday with the Denver Nuggets, is "nice," point guard Jamaal Tinsley said. "But if you're not competing for 48 minutes, no matter if you're home or not, it can still happen."
Nuggets at Jazz
P At Energy Solutions Arena
Tipoff • Monday, 7 p.m.
TV • ROOT Sports
Records •Â Jazz (0-7); Nuggets (1-4)
About the Jazz • The only team in the league still looking for its first win. â¦ Coming off a road trip that featured four games in five nights; in each of them the Jazz trailed by at least 24. â¦ Swingman Gordon Hayward leads the team in scoring at 19.1 points per game. â¦ The franchise's worst start was 0-11 in 1974, the team's inaugural season in New Orleans.
About the Nuggets • Coming off a 114-103 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Friday. â¦ Point guard Ty Lawson leads the team in scoring, averaging better than 22 points per game. â¦ Team is struggling for wins as coach Brian Shaw takes over for the fired George Karl. â¦ Forward Danilo Gallinari is likely out until December due to injury.