“Defensively, they take it up,” coach Tyrone Corbin said. “They’re a lot more aggressive on the pick-and-roll. They cover each other faster because they’re younger, more athletic guys.”
But that comes with its drawbacks. Corbin started a second unit in the fourth quarter that was lethargic and, he said, tense.
“We got stagnant because the pressure was on,” Corbin said. “If they can play free, it’s better. When there’s a little bit pressure, they tend to think a little bit more.”
The Jazz never relinquished their lead, and were quickly settled by a defensive stand that saw the Wizards fail to score on 10 of 11 possessions as the Jazz built an 88-82 lead.
While they’re closing out games, the Jazz certainly are not doing it emphatically.
The Jazz are less than two weeks removed from a 103-95 loss in Atlanta in which they blew a 15-point lead.
Subsequently, they have seen leads of 13 (Detroit), 21 (Miami) and, now, 22 almost entirely disappear before pulling out wins.
“It’s a concern,” Corbin said, “but you win the games, so you don’t go crazy about it.”
Randy Foye said the team has progressed since the Atlanta game, which, in this conversation, may be used as a line of demarcation. The figurative line in the sand where one could imagine the Jazz banding together and saying that they’d bend, but not break.
“I just think growth [is] the biggest thing,” Foye said. “We are growing as a unit every single day. Obviously today we’re happy we got the win, but kind of disappointed in the way we finished things. We should have taken the lead to 30 and definitely blown them out.”
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