“I’ve said it all year, our team was going to have to be a team that has to be prepared to play in all situations,” Snyder said. “So, to me, the fact that the starting lineup changed is the smallest of small things.”
In saying that, Snyder made it clear that the move is probably not a permanent one, and was made to spark a team that for one night had issues generating offense. At the same time, Snyder sent a message to one of his best offensive weapons. He’s not afraid to sit Hood — or anyone — who isn’t playing well. And on Tuesday night, he had a roster full of guys who didn’t play well.
To his credit, Hood did respond. He finished with a team-high 19 points, 17 of them coming after halftime. He found his way to the free-throw line 10 times, which represents a career high. His 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter gave the Jazz life and pulled them within 100-95.
Both Hood and Mitchell have to play well offensively for Utah to be successful. And in the last week, the two haven’t shot well concurrently over the course of a game, and it’s affected the Jazz offense significantly.
“I just tried to stay in the game mentally,” Hood said. “I tried to come in and help the team win. It’s easy to get distracted in that situation. I just wanted to come in and help the team, give the team some energy.”
Mitchell, after a great five-game stretch, played like a rookie. He went 3 of 21 from the field and scored just eight points. Like his teammates, he missed a bunch of open shots that he normally makes. He was good defensively, and did other good things. But Tuesday was a night Mitchell couldn’t get it going offensively.
Hood said going forward that the Jazz needed to figure some things out. But in the locker room following their third consecutive loss, it’s clear Utah’s a frustrated team.